How will YOU vote in today’s EU referendum? Huntingdonshire political figures give their view

Remain: Jonathan Djanogly MP and Leave: Councillor Paul Bullen

Remain: Jonathan Djanogly MP and Leave: Councillor Paul Bullen - Credit: Archant

The EU referendum has been described as one of the most important votes of the millennium.

Are you voting In or Out of the EU?

Are you voting In or Out of the EU? - Credit: Archant

And now the day has come for voters to have their say. With polling stations open till 10pm The Hunts Post has asked two of Huntingdonshire’s political figures why the country should remain in the EU or leave.

Remain - Jonathan Djanogly MP

After weeks of Brexit arguments, for and against, many of my constituents may be confused by conflicting positions and passions. At the very least I think we can all agree that everyone will be happy to have a break from the relentless flow of information, after voting on June 23.

And yet this issue is most certainly one of the most important decisions for us collectively to take as a nation since the end of the Second World War.

To my mind, the overwhelming evidence points to our future trade, prosperity and job creation prospects to be maximised by remaining in the EU.

Even pro-Brexit economists admit that Brexit would result in a lower level of growth, albeit on their hope that we would restructure and then prosper through trade with the wider world.

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On the Remain side, there is predicted a fall in the currency and the immediate possibility of recession. In either case, the national pot will get smaller – meaning less money for public services, such as the NHS.

Within the EU, the British consumer has more choice of products and is able to buy from a wider range of suppliers, which in itself drives down prices.

EU air and rail policies have resulted in cheaper travel and the scrapping of mobile roaming charges. Products bought across the single market are of the same high standards.

Environmental standards mean that the water we drink and the pollution, say, going out over our beaches, is highly regulated and clean. Not only does the EU provide us with tariff-free access to more than 500 million customers within the EU, but also across the world with more than 50 preferential trade access agreements signed.

On immigration, there are clearly strains on our society that need to be addressed, as they are being to a great extent by this government; not least through our recent changes to stop immigrants instantly accessing our benefits system. Let’s keep in mind though that more than half our immigration is non-EU, so I simply don’t accept that the issue will go away post Brexit.

Finally, on immigration, give a thought to the two million British workers living in the EU, who are rightly extremely concerned.

Leave - Paul Bullen, county councillor

It has long been the right of every freeborn British person to grumble about our leaders and rulers, our managers and others ‘in authority over us’. We call it freedom of speech. On May 6, the EU removed that right, not that many would know it from the silence.

The European Court of Justice ruled that the right to complain about, or otherwise point out, the failings or wrongdoings of the EU Commission is illegal and gave the Commission the right to legally punish “individuals who damage the institution’s image and reputation”.

Interestingly, from an historic viewpoint, almost the same words were used in the Enabling Act of 1933, which allowed the German government to “abolish civil liberties” including rights of free speech which were not restored in that country until 1945. Don’t take my word for it; the complete transcript of the Act, in both German and English, is available online.

‘We have an amazing country, brilliant economy, we can find our way whatever the British people choose, the list continues to include talented business people, great universities, brilliant scientists and much more’.

So who was saying all this? Nigel Farage? Boris Johnson?

No, David Cameron summing up all that is great about our country.

So why, after all the humiliation and defeat he suffered over the winter when EU leader after EU leader said he won’t get the reforms he wants, does he still insist that we can reform the European Union?

The EU cannot be reformed, that much should be obvious even to its greatest supporter.

Every PM since Ted Heath has tried and failed. It’s time to stop pretending we can do it and take not only the easier course, but the one which will, in the long term, be of greater benefit to our nation and leave the EU.

It’s time we British put all those marvellous advantages we have to good use by re-joining the world community.

Those who wish us to remain in the EU are fond of pretending we would be voting for things to remain the way they are now. In this they are either blatantly lying or simply deluded.

If we make the huge error of voting IN on June 23 we will see much change, in particular with our laws, personal freedoms, sterling and our democracy will vanish.