Whether you like it or not, we’ve still got another five weeks of the Euro referendum campaign to go before polling day on 23rd June. This week, I helped launch the Vote Leave Peterborough campaign at the Town Hall.
Given my record as a long standing Eurosceptic, I still meet local people who ask me which way I’m going to vote!
By and large, when I’ve been knocking on doors for the Brexit campaign, people seemed keen to discuss and debate what is the most important vote in a generation and what is, in my opinion, the only chance we’ll have to restore democratic self-governing democracy to the UK. They appear to have disregarded the hysterical nonsense and scare stories of the Remain campaign, which seem to suggest our country is weak, vulnerable and unable to cope outside the anti-democratic, bureaucratic political entity and shrinking market that is the European Union, even though we managed quite well prior to 1973.
Quite rightly, as I have pointed out before in this column, they also believe the Prime Minister’s so called “EU renegotiation” was a charade for PR purposes only and so it was.
People know the referendum is a big deal: Some issues are above party politics and you have to trust the people to make the right choice and so they therefore want facts and they want time to consider the risks of remaining in the EU, as well as leaving: Another migrant crisis, the accession of Albania, Serbia and Turkey and the free movement of their peoples and the pressure on our local public services, terrorism, security and border controls, another Eurozone crisis, low growth and extremism in Europe and a new Greek bailout? The risk isn’t just from leaving, by any measure.
They also want to know that there will be more jobs and opportunities for young people when we leave (there will).
I’m struck by how many Labour and left of centre voters in our area are voting to exit the EU: Worried about immigration, school places and the NHS and suspicious as to why the Bank of England, IMF, multinationals, investment banks and others who failed to spot or contributed to the financial crash in 2008, are so keen on staying in the EU: Unlimited cheap labour, a cosy relationship with Brussels via lobbyists and keeping wages low maybe?
Britain is a proud, outward looking global trading nation with a great future ahead of her, whatever the result next month. My own party will have a tougher time kissing and making up after the polls close.
June 23rd is an historic date and I feel sure and hope that people in Peterborough will do their democratic duty as patriotic citizens – and vote to Leave.