EU debate: District groups battle for your vote

Stay or go? Join our EU debate
Stay or go? Join our EU debate

With just days to go before the EU referendum we asked the district’s Leave and Remain groups to have their say on why their cause should win your vote.

VOTE TO REMAIN: By Ben Wesson, European Champion for Warwick and Leamington Labour Party

Ben Wesson

Ben Wesson

“In under a week we will be going to the polls in the most significant vote for a generation.

The decision we make will impact on the lives of our children and grandchildren and ensuring we do not gamble with their life chances should be at the forefront of all of our minds on June 23.

I believe Britain’s future lies at the heart of the EU. This is true not only nationally, but for those of us living in the Warwick and Leamington area. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) says that all the trade, investment, jobs and lower prices that come from our economic partnership with Europe are worth £3,000 per year to every household in our area.

We must also ask ourselves the question: who will benefit from our departure from the EU? Certainly not local workers or businesses, because EU direct investment combined with the value of our exports support 400,000 jobs in the West Midlands alone. That is before you consider all the EU has done to advance our rights and protections in the work place.

Certainly not families across Warwick and Leamington who save hundreds of pounds on summer holidays to other EU countries, are able to purchase cheaper food thanks to the EU and live on safer streets due to the European arrest warrant.

The benefits of being in the EU are strategic, economic and about the character of our country: outward looking, inclusive and confident in our principles and positions.

Unfortunately, the nature of this debate, and the dissatisfaction and distrust that many have for those leading it, means there is a real chance of pro-EU voters staying at home on polling day.

We all need to encourage our families, friends and colleagues to make sure they get out and cast their vote to ‘remain’ next week.”

VOTE TO LEAVE: By Alastair MacBrayne, Chairman of Warwick and Leamington UKIP - Representing a cross-party Vote Leave group

“Let us go out into the big wide world again, to smell the fresh air of freedom and aspiration, without being stifled by the bureaucratic controls and unnecessary regulations that are destroying our jobs and our expectations.

Above all to have the ability to make our own decisions here in our own parliament by removing the risks to our British constitution and sovereignty posed by membership of the EU.

We aspire to the wishes of the people of the UK and their children.

We wish to restore their rights and democratic control back into the hands of those we elect, not the out of touch EU elitist political establishment.

Our country has been slowly taken over by a bureaucratic EU elite who now influence and control so much of our society.

We believe in a fair, just and appropriate immigration system, based on the Australian points system which balances the needs of the country to allow people with the right skills to enter our country, on a no prejudice basis - in particular not excluding our Commonwealth citizens, who have cultural links with the Queen as their figurehead.

Let us save on the excessive costs imposed on us by this EU corporate dictatorship that will enable us to restore our social services and welfare, fund the NHS, provide adequate housing and help the homeless. protect our security by providing more resources for our police and armed forces.

Let us support our own industries such as steel, farming and fisheries.

Let us create the enterprise to secure a more prosperous and secure future for us and our children, but above all let Britain be able to talk freely to promote peace and understanding to enable us to have respect and credibility in the world again.”