Referendum Day

After all the debate today is decision day. millions of voters will decide whether we will stay in or leave the European Union. If the bookmakers are right Remain are going to win easily. The polls are more divided. We shall all know soon enough. Just as with a local or a general election polling stations are open until 10pm.

Vote Leave a one minute summary

If we leave the European Union we will regain control over our own affairs.

We will be free to make our own laws at Westminster and not be told what to do by Brussels.

We can decide for ourselves how we spend the billions of pounds we have to pay in membership fees every year.

We will regain our seat on the World Trade Organisation and be able to make trade deals with all the growing economies around the World.

We will still be able to trade freely with our European neighbours just as we have throughout history.

We will regain control of our own borders and be able to control immigration.

We can still share intelligence about terrorists and other criminals with the rest of the EU, just as they can with us, because it is in everyone’s interest.

We can still co-operate with our European partners but we will not be ruled by them.

If we vote to leave the EU we will have a brighter and more prosperous future so, please, vote leave tomorrow.


EU and Trade

IF the UK leaves the European Union British businesses will continue to trade freely with all the other countries in the EU. That is a simple fact and for all the hours of debate it is a simple truth that is frequently overlooked.

Countries around the World trade with the EU without accepting the supremacy of EU law or having to allow 500 million EU citizens into their country.

Britain is the EU’s largest export market and they £68 billion more in goods to us each year than we do to them.

Over the last decade the EU has become less important anyway for UK exporters as economies in the developing parts of the World grow at a much faster rate than the EU. There is already a free trade zone stretching from Iceland to Turkey. There is no reason to accept that if we leave the EU the UK as the 5th biggest economy in the World will not be able to continue to trade with the rest of Europe as we always have, without tariffs and with the minimum of bureaucracy.

Referendum week

Thank you to all those who attended Bury Parish Church yesterday afternoon to hear the arguments for and against our membership of the European Union. I am not sure if any minds were made up or indeed changed but it was a good opportunity for the issues to be aired. Thanks go to the Rector of Bury Rev. John Findon for arranging and chairing the debate.

It was apparent from some of the questions that some people seem to think if we leave the European Union it would be the end of immigration. What it would mean is that the UK parliament would be in control and we would be able to determine how many extra people we could accommodate.

I note it has been announced that Ken Clarke is to stand down at the next general election after serving half a century in Parliament. He is of course someone who has always made the principled case for our membership of the European Union and whilst obviously I disagree with him over that issue I nevertheless have always got on with him really well. He is great Company and like me he enjoys his cricket and birdwatching. I hope he has a very long and happy retirement after he leaves the Commons.

Church Referendum Debate

There is a chance for anyone who is interested to listen to more arguments for and against us leaving the European Union to hear them this afternoon. Bury Parish Church has arranged a debate between the MP for Bury South who will argue we should stay in the EU and myself. I do not know details of the exact format but it is at the Church or in the Hall at 4 o’clock today although I guess there will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions.

Last night I attended a celebration dinner to mark the 90th birthday of Her Majesty the Queen with lots of musical entertainment. An excellent evening which I am sure was enjoyed by all those who went.

Referendum Campaigning Suspended

Following the death of Jo Cox campaigning remains suspended ahead of the referendum on Thursday.

I would like to thank all those who have contacted me to say how they are grateful for the work MP’s do. I have no problem with people taking an opposing view to mine – that is what politics is all about. There are times when I strongly agree with those who I often do not agree with. ( Our membership of the European Union being one such case! ) At all times we should  respect the views and opinions of everyone.

Politics Second

The world of politics is still struggling to come to terms with the tragic and senseless murder of Jo Cox the MP for Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire.  Politicians in different parties may have different ideas about what policies are most likely to improve the lives of the people who elect them but there is one thing we all can agree on and that is there are things more important than  politics. For the family of Jo Cox, her husband and her two young children, as they mourn the loss of a wife and mother politics will all be secondary to life itself.