Stay in the European Union? – Downtown Lancashire members share their views!

Tuesday 25th February 2014

Despite it being Valentine’s Day on Friday, there was no love in the air for the panellists debating whether to stay in Europe. 

Marsden Rawsthorn hosted the February regional get together for Downtown Lancashire at their Fulwood Preston office on Friday 14th February. Local business professionals enthusiastic to hear the divided opinions on a very hot topic, joined together to listen to the debate. The popular event brought Downtown members and guests from a wide area of the region, to enjoy a friendly morning get-together and the topical issue for discussion.

The topic on discussion related to the Prime Minister’s promise for a referendum on the UK’s future in the European Union if the Conservatives win the next General Election.  Some say that this would result in economic suicide for the country, whilst others believe that, freed from the red tape and bureaucracy of Europe, Britain would significantly improve its business performance. To ensure a lively debate, the two guest panellist invited to present the debate were Northwest Conservative MP Saj Karim and prospective MEP from UKIP, Mr Steven Woolfe. They passionately have very different views on this matter.  

Mr Karim believes "that unless pro European MP’s speak up to voice their opinion on Europe, it is left the anti-EU groups to do all the talking.”  He champions the vital role played by the EU developing and facilitating International trade between the EU and the wider world. He is the European Parliament’s rapporteur on the free trade agreement with India and has authored two trade-related European Parliament Reports on EU-India Trade Relations and the EU-India Free Trade Agreement. Both reports maintain the need for human rights to be integral in any trade related agreement that the EU has with another country. Saj's persistent work to tackle child labour and ensure that it is recognised as an international trade issue, underlines his passion for those causes which interlink trade and human rights.  

With a different point of view on the matter, UKIP member for many years and financial services spokesman for the party, Steven Woolfe frequently represent the UKIP party's position on television, including BBC Daily Politics, as well as many radio debates and political discussions. He welcomes the opportunity to fully focus on presenting what he thinks is fast becoming the majority electorate view, in the forum of the EU itself and to ensure that the views of the public are conveyed with clarity.

Steven’s position is “Freedom is a right not a dream and the European Union has no right to take away a nation's right to self determination, democratic freedoms and sovereignty by stealth and without consent of the people, that is why I campaign that Britain leaves the EU.”   Refreshed with an early morning cup of coffee and a chance to chat to the attendees, the panellists then debated the In or Out issue regarding Britain’s position in Europe.

An interesting debate ensued with many guests enjoying the divided opinion and the passionate, varying attitudes that the representatives obviously feel about being in Europe.   Both panellists put across strong arguments to support their views. With wide range of counteractive questions and answers fired during the debate, the chairman Roger Jonas, events manager at Downtown, had to step in several times to intervene with the panellists. Their opinions were quite divided on the matter.  

At the close of the morning’s debate – a vote was then taken with the audience “Europe – In or Out?”   The majority of the audience voted to stay In the European Union.

There were an equal number of votes to opt Out and for those who couldn’t decide!  

There is no doubt that professional people in the Northwest remain divided on the opinion of UK’s position in the European Union and it will continue to simmer until the next election’s outcome is known which is due in 2015, and whether we are sent to the polls for a referendum express our point-of-view.

Author: Administrator

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