The EU: Should the UK remain, or leave?
10:01am Thu Mar 24, 2016
 
David Prescott (left) at the stall on Newark Market Place with Zena Sanigar, chairman of Newark Constituency Labour Party, and party members Darrell Pointing and Glenn Johnson.
David Prescott (left) at the stall on Newark Market Place with Zena Sanigar, chairman of Newark Constituency Labour Party, and party members Darrell Pointing and Glenn Johnson.
In June Britain will be voting to either remain in the European Union (EU) or opt out.
Barry Carter believes the UK should leave the European Union; June Adcock said there was not a great deal of information available to make a decision on which way to vote.
Barry Carter believes the UK should leave the European Union; June Adcock said there was not a great deal of information available to make a decision on which way to vote.
The EU referendum centres on the question that has been debated for many years — could the country go it alone or would it be safer to stay in the economic and political union of 28 countries?

No country has left the EU, established under its current name in 1993 following the signing of the Maastricht Treaty.

Newark Advertiser reporter Maryam Qaiser talked to local people, business owners and politicians about the arguments on both sides of the debate, ahead of the vote on June 23.




Members of the Newark branch of the Labour Party manned a stall on the town’s market on Saturday to support the Labour In For Britain campaign.

Collingham businessman Mr David Prescott, who stood as the Labour Parliamentary candidate for Gainsborough at the last General Election, was among those urging people to vote to stay in the EU.

Mr Prescott, the son of former deputy prime minister Lord John Prescott, said around £266bn a year came into the country through EU investment and 66,000 people in Nottinghamshire, including 5,500 people from Newark, relied on the EU for jobs.



“1,700 firms in the East Midlands are reliant on trade from the EU. To me it is a no-brainer that we are better off in the union,” he said.

“It is important for security that we stay in, while many British workers’ rights, such as holiday pay and maternity and paternity leave, have come from our EU membership.

“This is going to be one of the most important elections.”

Mr Barry Carter who was in the Market Place on Saturday, said: “We should come out of the EU. We are putting too much money in.

“The money could be better spent.

“We hardly have anyone sweeping the streets, very few police officers left and fewer staff in hospitals.”

Mrs June Adcock who was concerned about the cost of leaving the EU, said: “We should not have been in it in the first place, but now it would cost to come out.

“As a country we don’t have much money to offer the EU any more. People are coming into the country and there are no more jobs for them or us.

“It is a very complicated issue and there isn’t a lot of information on which way to vote.”

Roger Helmer said leaving the EU would save money.
Roger Helmer said leaving the EU would save money.



"Country is better off out of the union"



AN East Midlands MEP representing Newark said Britain would be better off outside the EU.

UKIP’s Mr Roger Helmer, an MEP since 1999, said: “I have devoted the last 18 years to getting us out of the EU.

“The country would be better off outside and we would be free from its excessive costs.

“The EU is undermining our democracy and taking away powers from our Government.

“Every year we put £6bn into the Common Agriculture Policy but we only see £3bn back.

“George Osborne (the Chancellor) wants to make £4½bn savings in the next five years, but by leaving the EU we would save that in three months.”

Mr Helmer said last year the UK paid £13bn to the EU, but EU spending on the UK was £4.5bn.

“Leaving the EU would not be a leap into the dark and unknown,” he said.

“We don’t know what would happen, but negotiating (trade)deals would come after an agreement to leave the EU.”

Mr Helmer said trading would not be adversely affected by leaving the EU.

“We buy double the number of cars than other countries, but they buy cars from us too,” he said.

“Our motoring industry is doing well.

“We are one of the biggest single markets and other countries could not afford not to have our business.”




EU grants helped town business



Tom Blakemore, owner of G.H. Porter Provisions, said leaving the EU would mean great uncertainty.
Tom Blakemore, owner of G.H. Porter Provisions, said leaving the EU would mean great uncertainty.
The EU operates a single market, which means no tariffs are imposed on imports and exports between its member states.

Many businesses argue that is vital for job security and the economy, and some have benefited from EU funding.

One such firm is G.H. Porter Provisions on Bridge Street, Newark,

Owner Mr Tom Blakemore said: “I bought Porters two years ago. It needed significant investment and one way this happened was through an EU grant.

“It enabled us to buy new refrigerators and upgrade and buy new equipment to become more energy-efficient.

“I am anxious about what the implications would be if we left.

“Newark has not fully recovered from the recession, but positive things are happening in the town and its economy.

“Leaving the EU would mean great uncertainty.

Mr Ian Sharman, owner at New Holbeck Farm, Halam, said: “The problem is we have no idea what would be put in place if we left the EU.

“If we don’t have any idea what will happen after (a no vote) I want to stay in.

“There are lots of ifs and buts at the moment.

“We need to know about any legislation and regulations that would be place.

“We are snowed under with red tape on how we operate our farms, such as how high we can cut our hedges at certain times of the year.

“But if the Government doesn’t have a concrete plan in place (for a no vote) I will be voting to stay in.”




MPs set to vote to remain



Newark MP Mr Robert Jenrick will be voting to remain in the EU because he feels it is the best option for the country.

But he said he nearly reached a decision to vote to leave.

“I know many people who will take the opposite view and feel we should leave. I completely understand and respect that,” he said.

“There is a lot still wrong with the EU and a lot that needs to change, but I am prepared to keep trying to achieve that from within the EU for the time being.

“Access to a single market of 500m people is not something that we should walk away from lightly.

“British businesses, such as the small manufacturing one my family has run for many years, would continue to make products and services to European common standards regardless of whether we were in or out of the EU.”

Mr Jenrick said leaving the EU posed a risk to jobs and prosperity.

“The new EU deal appears that it may give us the best of both worlds,” he said.

“We will be in the parts of Europe that work for us — the single market that makes us more prosperous, and co-operation on crime and terrorism that makes us more secure.

“But we will be out of the parts of Europe we don’t want, such as the Eurozone, the borderless Schengen area, a European Army and a European super state.

Mr Mark Spencer, MP for Sherwood, said there would be economic benefits through maintaining close relationships with trading partners if the country voted to remain in the EU.

“My initial reaction was to look at the implications for leaving and to look at the results.

“I found we were better off staying in. It has many benefits. Staying in the EU allows free movement of people as well as supporting agriculture.

“However, if we left the EU it is not very clear what would be in place to help people like farmers.”

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