A few local residents have asked me how I intend to vote in next week’s referendum. I will be voting to remain and I hope that you will join me in doing so.
I appreciate that quite a few people reading this will disagree with me, and that will include some of my close friends and those who share my politics. I don’t think that is anything to despair about – it is what democracy is all about.
To be honest I’ve been greatly underwhelmed and disappointed by the tone of debate on both sides of the campaign. Our relationship as a country with our neighbours in a globalised world is hugely complicated and nuanced and can’t possibly be boiled down to a soundbite or a catchphrase.
When I put my name forward to be the local MP for Worsley & Eccles South last year, I said that my top priority for our area was a strong local economy. Only a strong economy will provide jobs for local people and allow us to fund the public services we expect and deserve. Nothing has changed since – it is still my view.
There is no one magic bullet that has encouraged me to vote remain but on balance I believe that we’ll be better off remaining in the EU. That’s not to say that the European Union is perfect. Far from it – I’m as frustrated as anyone with many of the failings of the EU. However I’m not persuaded that we’ll be better off out and almost every respectable forecast suggests that we’ll be worse off – fewer jobs, fewer opportunities and higher prices in the shops for us and for our families.
I’m glad that we’re having this referendum. The British people haven’t had a direct say on our relationship with Europe since almost a decade before I was even born. The beauty of the referendum is that my vote and your vote count just the same as those of David Cameron, Michael Gove or Jeremy Corbyn.
On 23rd June we are all equal and I will respect whatever the people of Britain decide. There are principled arguments on both sides although I have become increasingly frustrated with the misleading and over-simplistic arguments put forward by Vote Leave recently. I’d highly recommend the impartial guide provided by Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert.
I hope that you will vote to remain next Thursday but I would love to hear your views regardless of how you intend to vote – if there is anything you would like to discuss please don’t hesitate to get in touch!