Bob has always been sceptical about the value to this country of the European Union. In 1975 he remembers voting to join an economic union and just that - nothing more. Since then he believes the organisation has far exceeded its original trading purposes and he is very unhappy about the current way the European Union operates - particularly in the political and social sphere.
Since being elected Bob has consistently argued that the British people should be given a referendum on membership of the European Union. He is thus delighted that the Government is now set to institute such a referendum on the European Union by the end of 2017.
Bob's position on Europe as recorded in Hansard (the official record of parliamentary proceedings):
- 13 October 2010 voted against any increase to the European Union Budget.
- 24 October 2011 voted with 79 other Conservative MPs to institute an immediate referendum on the European Union.
- 13 December 2011 suggested in the Commons that the Presidents of France and Germany wanted to use the European Union to carry out a financial raid on the City of London which raises 11 per cent of our national income.
- 26 January 2012 suggested in the Commons that European Union regulations should be abandoned with the comment 'Scrap them!'
- 22 February 2012 suggested in the Commons that the European Union Civil Service should be downsized in the same way as was happening to our Home Civil Service.
- 31 October 2012 suggested in the Commons that the European Union should make the same percentage portion of cuts to budgets as in the United Kingdom.
- 5 July 2013 made his position as clear as possible and stated in the Commons that, 'If there was a vote (on Europe) immediately, I would vote to come out, but now we are going to have an alternative plan. It is good that we have four years to try and get it right, so the British people can say, "Actually we like the end result the Prime Minister has negotiated" - or say that they don't, and we leave. In my opinion that makes a pretty good fist of dealing with this problem.'
- 29 November 2013 voted with the Government to hold a referendum on Europe before the end of 2017.