Today the Conservative party have published draft laws that set out plans to hold a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU by 31 December 2017. Alex Chalk commented.. "If I had been Cheltenham's MP I would have joined the 304 mainly Conservative MPs who voted in favour of the bill. The European Union has changed out of all recognition since the British people were last given their say, in terms of the cost of the institution and its effect on our sovereignty. Ultimately, no institution can survive without the people’s support, and I feel passionately that it is right to let the people decide. Most Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs didn’t even bother to show up in the House of Commons to engage in this crucial debate regarding the future of the UK’s sovereignty. Of those that did, including Cheltenham’s current MP, almost all sat on the fence and abstained. How can you be undecided about something of this democratic significance? I believe that a decision this big should be made by the people. It’s a shame that so many Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs disagree."