EU referendum bill passes second reading in British parliament


LONDON, June 9 (Xinhua) — The bill for a referendum on the British membership of the European Union (EU) has passed its second reading overwhelmingly in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

Members of parliament (MPs) voted by 544 to 53 supporting the bill, which will next be examined by a committee of MPs before passing through more stages.

“For too long, the people of Britain have been denied their say. For too long, powers have been handed to Brussels over their heads. For too long, their voice on Europe has not been heard. This Bill puts that right,” said Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.

Labour supported the bill although they opposed it during the general election campaign. Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn said the Labour leadership would campaign strongly in favor of the Britain remaining a part of the EU.