A debate on Britain’s future in the European Union will be held in Peterborough.
A series of nine ‘Democracy Roadshow’ debates across the East of England will begin at the Key Theatre at 7.30pm on Wednesday, September 2.
The first debate with have Patrick O’Flynn (UKIP East of England MEP) & Suzanne Evans (UKIP Deputy Chairman) against Julian Huppert (Former Lib Dem MP for Cambridge) & Laura Sandys (Former Tory MP for Thanet South). It will be chaired by Peterborough Telegraph editor Mark Edwards.
It will be a fast paced debate with opening speech from each side and then short cross examination before lots of quick questions from the floor and a wrap up speech at the end from each side. There will be a ballot at the start and end to gauge the vote and see who wins the debate.
Patrick O’Flynn MEP said: “The EU referendum, when it takes place, will be one of the biggest decisions the British public will have been asked to take about their country in living memory.
“Whichever side of the debate people are coming from, it is in the interests of democracy that the issue really captures the imagination of the electorate.
“These democracy roadshow events will give people a first taste of the arguments that will be used by both sides to win people over and will also give audiences a chance to have their say and ask the questions that most interest them.
“I am delighted that Telegraph editor Mark Edwards has agreed to chair our inaugural debate in Peterborough and the Key Theatre is a fantastic venue.”
“Peterborough has long been a bellwether parliamentary seat and how the people of Peterborough vote in the EU referendum itself will probably be a strong indication of the overall national result.
“I am very grateful that two such passionate and articulate advocates of EU membership as Julian Huppert and Laura Sandys have agreed to come and debate against me and Suzanne Evans, on the Better Off Out side of the argument.
“The debate format we have chosen will be fast-paced, with lots of audience participation. But I certainly intend that the argument will be civilised and good-humoured too. The EU referendum has the potential to energise British politics and re-engage millions of people who have switched off from the political process.
“Whichever side comes out on top in each of our roadshow debates during the autumn, the biggest winner can only be democracy.”
Julian Huppet said: “We benefit massively from our membership of the EU - it helps us economically, socially and culturally. If your company exports to other EU countries, if you travel throughout Europe, if you plan to live in Spain when you retire - or just don’t want your relatives there now to come back and live with you, you benefit.
“However, for years no one has been prepared to talk about the EU and its benefits, allowing myths to take hold. I’m really pleased that we now have a chance to make that positive case for membership of the EU - and to reforming it so it works better for all of us.
“Laura Sandys and I are looking forward to making that case to the people in Peterborough.”
Tickets can be booked by clicking here.