Crucial EU debate IN
DAVID RUTLEY, MACCLESFIELD MP
IT has not been an easy choice for me, but the strong economic arguments have driven my decision to vote “remain”.
Prior to becoming an MP, I worked for 20 years as a senior executive with international companies and learned first-hand how important access to the EU Single Market is for the UK’s economy.
I recognise that the EU is not perfect and further reform is required. However, while other options to access the EU’s markets would, in time, be negotiated if there is a vote to leave, this would not be granted freely and the outcome is not clear.
We do know, though, that key industries vital to our economy want us to stay in the EU. AstraZeneca has around 3,000 highly skilled staff based in Macclesfield and was a leading signatory of a recent letter from the lifescience sector supporting a remain vote.
Small businesses and consumers benefit from the single market too.
This is an important decision for the country.
JANET JACKSON, LABOUR COUNCILLOR FOR MACCLESFIELD CENTRAL
WITHIN the EU we will continue to have protection for workers’ rights and conditions including paid maternity and paternity leave, four weeks paid holiday and protection for part time and agency workers.
Working together with the EU we can better protect our nation from climate change, reducing pollution and improving air and water quality.
The EU is a massive trading area providing great opportunities for our businesses and economy, why would we turn our back on Europe? We can still continue to trade with the rest of the world.
We have had peace on the continent since the 1940s, brought about by co-operating and working with the other countries of Europe.
I value our safety and security. Terrorism, crime, climate change, migration do not respect borders. They all require joined up thinking and cooperation from nations working together, not operating in isolation and acting apart.
The world is changing fast and the EU has to change with it. Britain needs to be at the front, leading the charge for reform. This means staying in and fighting our corner.
We’re a big nation who helps make the rules, not a small country looking in from the outside.
DR MIKE SEWART, CONSERVATIVE COUNCILLOR FOR POYNTON WEST AND ADLINGTON
IT’S close but my prejudices as an oldie against the mass immigration we are experiencing is not on the whole shared by younger people, the citizens of the future.
Though I would like to see immigration reduced, I am more concerned with that from places such as Sudan, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Syria than I am from the other EU countries.
Immigration aside, just about every neutral non politico comes down on the side of saying that Brexit will damage our economy. That will affect younger people.
I do not want to imperil their future because of my prejudices therefore my head overrules my heart in voting stay.
LESLEY SMETHAM, CONSERVATIVE COUNCILLOR FOR GAWSWORTH
THERE is greater opportunity to influence the decision-making process from the inside. We’ve prospered as members and we should not put our current recovery at risk.
One of the original intentions of EU membership was to stop wars between European countries, this has been successful.
People escaping from war torn countries are having an impact on migration, this would happen whether we are within the EU or outside it and is a separate issue.
When our neighbour’s lives are improved we all benefit.
The world is getting smaller: businesses are becoming more multi-national and borders are increasingly less relevant. Pollution knows no barriers. Free movement of those in the EU is preferable.
Choice of where to live in retirement or where to work may be reduced if we leave. We have to work together.
RICHARD WASTON, SECRETARY OF MACCLESFIELD LABOUR PARTY
SCIENTIFIC, cultural and technical collaboration have all been great dividends from membership of thehe EU, which has alsoso provided important grants to our needy regions.
Legislation on workers’ rights is a considerable achievement for the European Union.
The European Parliament operates consensually, which I prefer, rather than adversarially as ours does, although the EU Parliament should have more powers and the Council of Ministers less.
Immigration within the EU should be discussed calmly recognising that our population density is four times that of France but also recognising immigration’s many benefits.
If we left the EU and joined another large trading block we would still be faced with a requirement to allow free movement of labour, so this issue has to be solved by negotiation.
We are part of Europe culturally and historically and the UK would benefit even more if we had a more positive approach towards the EU to strengthen collaboration.
COUNCILLOR ANDREW ANDREWHALDANE HALDANE, CHAIRMAN OF MACCLESFIELD LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
A VOTE to leave the EU would be like driving a hovercraft flat out over an economic cliff edge, hoping we miss the rocks at the bottom, avoid drowning and sail off into the sunset pretending that Britannia once more rules the waves.
Like many of you, and local AstraZeneca employees looking anxiously over their shoulders at a similar Swedish factory, my children’s livelihoods depend on global companies trading with Europe from a UK base.
An independent Scotland, remaining in the EU, should do very nicely at our expense.
If Boris’ power grab trashes our economy, we leave and suffer, his family remain wealthy. We get more back from EU funded research than we pay in.
Premier League science often requires multinational teams and we also gain 100 per cent of the cutting edge knowledge from each project we have a stake in, helping our small country stay near the top of the hi-tech world.
Much EU funding that we don’t get back is building stronger economies on Russia’s borders so their peoples will have more jobs back home and Putin can’t stir up discontent.
That is safer and cheaper than an arms race.
Calling all this Project Fear insults our intelligence.