MPs back advisory referendums

A majority of MPs on Thursday evening voted in favour of draft legislation which would sanction advisory referendums in the Netherlands.

The draft legislation was drawn up by the Labour party, D66 and GroenLinks several years ago, but had been gathering dust since then. Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration PVV, forced the vote. He wants to use the legislation to bring in a referendum on Dutch membership of the EU.

The legislation will now move to the upper house of parliament for its consideration.

The bill would give voters the right to demand laws are put to a public vote. However, the result of any referendum would not be binding on ministers.