In or out? Church to host de­bate on EU ref­er­en­dum

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN BRIT­TON

APUBLIC de­bate look­ing at both sides of the EU ref­er­en­dum will take place in the town.

The event will fea­ture ar­gu­ments for and against the UK leav­ing the Euro­pean Union, ahead of the na­tion­wide vote on the mat­ter next month.

It’s tak­ing place at Mac- cles­field Methodist Church and be­ing or­gan­ised by mem­bers of Churches To­gether in Mac­cles­field.

The group or­gan­ised a sim­i­lar event be­fore the last gen­eral election when it hosted a hus­tings for all prospec­tive MPs for Mac­cles­field.

The group says it’s able to of­fer a neu­tral fo­rum for peo­ple to de­bate both sides of the EU de­bate.

The Rev He­len Byrne, min­is­ter at the church, said: “This is a com­mu­nity event that we are host­ing to al­low lo­cal peo­ple have a pub­lic dis­cus­sion about the EU ref­er­en­dum.

“Our venue holds more than 200 peo­ple. We want to tell the pub­lic about this chance to dis­cuss is­sues that mat­ter to them.

“We have speak­ers com­ing in from both sides of the de­bate to lead on an­swer­ing pub­lic ques­tions raised.”

Mean­while Mac­cles­field MP David Rut­ley is pro­mot­ing ac­cess to Par­lia­men­tary re­ports which he says pro­vide in­de­pen­dent in­for­ma­tion on the is­sues.

The on­line re­ports have been pub­lished by the House of Com­mons li­brary which of­fers in­for­ma­tion to MPs and the For­eign Af­fairs Se­lect Com­mit­tee, a cross-party com­mit­tee of MPs who scru­ti­nise the gov­ern­ment’s work.

Those with­out in­ter­net ac­cess can write to Mr Rut­ley and he will send the re­ports to them.

While Mr Rut­ley has pre­vi­ously stated that he will vote to re­main in the EU, he says he is keen for peo­ple to un­der­stand both sides of the de­bate.

He said: “I ini­tially found this a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to make and from speak­ing to res­i­dents I know there are some peo­ple who are find­ing it hard to as­sess the dif­fer­ent ar­gu­ments.

“Th­ese re­ports are free, in­de­pen­dent and give plenty of in­for­ma­tion in a clear and com­pre­hen­sive man­ner, which will of­fer vot­ers the chance to make their own mind up.”

The ‘In or Out’ de­bate is at Mac­cles­field Methodist Church on West­min­ster Road, Mac­cles­field on Fri­day, June 3, from 7pm to 9pm.

For more de­tails call 01625 572259 or email he­len­methodist@ gmail. com.

The EU ref­er­en­dum is on Thurs­day, June 23 to de­cide whether Bri­tain should leave or re­main in the Euro­pean Union.

Pic­ture by Fiona Bai­ley

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