Sleaford’s MP Stephen Phillips has announced his intention to vote for the UK to leave the European Union.
He declared has declared his stance following Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement of an ‘in/out’ referendum on June 23.
It also follow’s the PM’s negotiations for a better deal for the UK - which Mr Phillips said had not gone far enough.
Waiting until after Mr Cameron addressed the House of Commons on Monday afternoon, Mr Phillips said: “I sat for five years on the European Scrutiny Committee, and so I have seen at first hand the waste and unnecessary regulation for which Brussels is responsible.
“I believe that the Prime Minister worked very hard to get a good deal for Britain in these negotiations. I also think that he made incredible progress in our national interest.”
But he said the deal had not gone far enough: “There is no doubt in my mind that Britain would be better off inside a reformed EU focused on trade, which is what my parents voted for 40 years ago. The question I have to ask myself is whether these reforms go far enough.
The question I have to ask myself is whether these reforms go far enough... I do not think that they do.Stephen Phillips MP
“I do not think that they do, although I also think that they may not necessarily be the last word if we vote to leave the EU.”
On this suggestion he added: “From recollection, on two previous occasions (admittedly both treaties), the EU has entered into negotiations with states which had delivered ‘No’ votes: Denmark in 1992; Ireland in 2009. The Prime Minister has, however, made it clear that there will only be one vote, and that it will be final.”
He concluded: “Having considered the matter very carefully, and with a heavy heart, on June 23 I will vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. This is, however, a referendum in which we all have a vote. I know that others will make a different choice, which I respect, as I hope they will respect mine.”
Fellow Lincolnshire Conservative MP, Karl McCartney, for Lincoln, has also said he will vote to leave the EU. However, Conservative colleagues Victoria Atkins (MP for Louth and Horncastle) and Matt Warman (Boston and Skegness) said they will back the Prime Minister to stay in.