The European Referendum on June 23rd will be an historic event. For much of the last Parliament I campaigned for an in/out referendum. The last time we had a vote was some four decades ago. Since then the EU has changed greatly. What was a Common Market has become a much expanded affair. So I believed it was right that we should have a national debate and a national vote on whether we want to Remain as part of the EU or to Leave.
Ahead of the referendum I have organised public meetings in Dover and Deal. There will be speakers for Remain and for Leave. I will chair each meeting. The public meeting in Deal will be held on 19th May at the Astor Theatre, starting at 7pm. The speaker for Leave will be Gordon Henderson, Conservative MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey. The Remain speaker will be Peter Kyle, Labour MP for Hove. The public meeting in Dover will be held on 1st June at Dover Town Hall, starting at 7pm. The speaker for Leave will be Chris Heaton Harris, Conservative MP for Daventry. The Remain speaker will again be Peter Kyle MP. This is a chance for everyone to come along, listen to the case for Leave and the case for Remain. It is a chance to ask questions and for everyone to have their say.
Now, I have always been highly sceptical of the European Project. Yet it is my belief that the deal David Cameron did won significant protections for jobs and our finance expertise. We got rid of ever closer union and we will never have to join the Euro. It's also very important we see our border remain in Calais. The French on both the left and right sides have been pretty clear that if we vote to Leave they will return our border to Dover. We're that to happen it would be a disaster. We all remember how things were before the 2003 Treaty that brought in juxtaposed controls. It would be an ill wind that returned us to those dark days.
That is my thinking. In this referendum my vote counts the same as yours. Each of us will need to make our decision. To decide what is best for us, our family and our great nation. We must think of the future we wish to build and the kind of country we want to hand over to our children and grandchildren.
I hope these debates will be useful for everyone to get a better understanding of the issues and hear what both sides have to say. These should be interesting evenings in Deal and Dover. Do come to these debates, ask questions and have your say. Above all make sure you vote on June 23rd and have your say on the future of Great Britain.
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