Heated EU de­bate nears its con­clu­sion

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Points Of View -

You can tell the EU ref­er­en­dum is fi­nally draw­ing near. The ‘Brexit’ de­bate road­show rolled into town this week as Con­ser­va­tive chan­cel­lor Ge­orge Os­borne was joined in Ash­ford by his Labour pre­de­ces­sor Alis­tair Dar­ling for a show of cross­party sup­port for Bri­tain stay­ing in the EU.

Last week Folke­stone hosted a fiery Ques­tion Time as host David Dim­bleby had to calm down the op­pos­ing pan­el­lists, who in­cluded Ukip’s Nigel Farage and co­me­dian Ed­die Iz­zard.

Ten­sions ran high, par­tic­u­larly when dis­cussing con­tro­ver­sial and di­vi­sive top­ics such as im­mi­gra­tion, which has per­haps be­come the most talked about as­pect on the whole campaign trail so far.

This is no doubt some­thing that pro-Brex­iters will wel­come. But it has the power to over­shadow the over­all de­bate, po­ten­tially turn­ing next week’s ref­er­en­dum into a vote purely on im­mi­gra­tion.

It isn’t. There are so many more is­sues at stake when peo­ple go to the polls on Thurs­day, June 23. A poll con­ducted for the KM Group showed 57% of the county look set to vote to leave with 58% of those peo­ple say­ing im­mi­gra­tion was the most im­por­tant is­sue.

While the leave camp may have suc­cess­fully steered the de­bate on to im­mi­gra­tion, the re­main­ers are fight­ing tooth and nail to move the econ­omy and em­ploy­ment back on to the agenda.

De­spite the vote com­ing down to a straight choice, many vot­ers have still not de­cided which way they will go. The only cer­tainty in this ref­er­en­dum is that a very high num­ber of vot­ers will turn out a week from now to have their say on the coun­try’s fu­ture.

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