Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew has announced that he will be voting to leave the EU.
Mr Andrew had said he was undecided when the Thursday, June 23 referendum date was announced earlier this year.
But in a statement, the Conservative MP has today said he will not be voting with his Government, and has voiced his concerns over law and ‘uncontrolled’ immigration under the EU. He said:
“I am not convinced that there is sufficient appetite within the EU for reform that goes further than what has been achieved.”
On the issue of the UK setting its own laws, Mr Andrew said:
“Whether it be the rate of VAT we set or the amount of red tape we have to apply, I believe that the laws of our land should be set by the people elected by the people of our land.
“That is what democracy is about, we elect a Government that is accountable to the people and if the people choose, they can kick them out of office. That accountability and opportunity is not as clear with the EU.”
Mr Andrew said he thought immigration could be good for the country, bringing the skills and needs that the UK requires. But he added:
“What worries me and many others is uncontrolled immigration. The free movement of people has made it almost impossible for us to have an effective and controlled system in this area and I am concerned about the strain this is putting on housing and public services.
“I have concluded that if we were to leave the EU we would have greater control of our borders and the ability to introduce a system that is both fair and meets the needs of our country.”
On the issue of trade, Mr Andrew added:
“… Looking at the figures it is clear that we buy more from the EU than we sell. Given this, countries like France, Germany and Spain will certainly want continue to trade with us and I’m confident agreements will be reached quickly.”
Mr Andrew, who said he won’t be campaigning on the issue and urged residents to make up their own minds, will be holding a public meeting where campaigners from the Leave and Remain groups will present their cases and for constituents to ask questions.
Labour Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves has already said she will be voting to stay in the EU in June.