CLACTON MP Douglas Carswell is to give his constituents a say on whether Britain should leave the European Union.

Mr Carswell is sending out thousands of questionnaires to residents to find out if they want to stay in the EU or pull out.

The Tory MP was one of a number of backbench Conservatives who put pressure on the

Government to hold an in-out referendum, which could now take place in 2017. He could also face a challenge from UKIP at the General Election.

"We could be 40 months away from an EU exit" said Mr Carswell.

"It is vitally important that we have an in-out vote. No one under the age of 57 has ever been asked.

“Those over the age of 57 who voted on the issue in the mid 1970s thought they were being asked about a Common Market".

“I've discovered that the issue of Europe now touches on everything from flood defences to immigration.

“Until we become a self-governing country once again, politicians will always struggle to deliver on their election promises because it will be unelected officials in Brussels who decide. That has to change".

Mr Carswell said he will announce the results of the poll in a couple of months.