People across Lincolnshire will be able to have their say in a referendum on whether Britain should remain a member of the European Union on Thursday, June 23.
The implications of the UK’s possible exit from the EU have been hotly debated and Prime Minister David Cameron will today face MPs as he presents his case for what he believes is a reformed European deal.
Politicians, leaders and Lincolnshire residents have been giving their reactions to the announcement with a passionate debate from Lincolnshire county councillors indicating that the majority will vote to leave in the referendum.
Lincolnshire politicians have been voicing their views ahead of the referendum.
In the Brexit camp is Lincoln’s Conservative MP Karl McCartney, who stated he will be campaigning to leave.
Karl McCartney said: “I have decided, due to the disappointment generated by the lack of changes renegotiated in the current European Union Deal, that I will be voting for the United Kingdom to leave in June as I feel our great nation will be more prosperous and successful outside of the European Union as it is now, and how it will be in the future.
“I realise of course that there will be a number of people across Lincoln, Bracebridge Heath, Skellingthorpe and Waddington who will campaign and vote for us to stay in the European Union.
“I am sure that some of these individuals may be disappointed with my decision, but the beauty of a referendum is that we all have one vote each. My vote counts in exactly the same way as everyone else’s, whatever their view, and mine, might be.
“Sadly, the European Union Deal, as is, does not go anywhere near far enough in addressing the fundamental change that I, and I believe the vast majority of my constituents in Lincoln, want over the way the European Union currently operates now, let alone in the future.”
MP for Louth and Horncastle Victoria Atkins will be voting to stay in the EU:
“I have given the issue much thought and consideration over recent months, as well as seeking the views of constituents.
“I judge it to be in the best interests of our country to remain a member of the European Union on the terms laid out by the Prime Minister and I shall, therefore, vote in favour of our continued membership.”
Conservative MEP for the East Midlands Emma McClarkin stated the deal negotiated by David Cameron “falls short” of addressing the concerns of British people.
She argued: “Renegotiation was always going to be an uphill struggle with other nations gaining far more from EU membership than the UK and therefore reluctant to amend the status quo. The deal contains no return of powers to the UK, no full control of our immigration policy and no treaty change. This deal is simply not going to deliver the reform the British people want and deserve. It is time to leave.”
Fellow Conservative MEP for the East Midlands Andrew Lewer has indicated he will also vote to leave. He added: “We needed fundamental reform of the EU. The EU needed to become a modern, effective force across Europe. Unfortunately, I do not believe the EU is willing or capable of delivering change and has made its priority clear – to create an ever-closer union.
“That is why on balance I have decided that the UK would be better off leaving the EU.”
University leaders, including Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln Professor Mary Stuart, have signed their support to a campaign highlighting the role the EU plays in supporting universities.
The statement signed by 103 university leaders read: “Inside the EU, we are better able to collaborate with partners from across Europe to carry out cutting edge research, from medical and healthcare advances, to new materials, products and services.”
Groups across the county have officially launched campaigns following the announcement. Lincoln TUSC has called for a left-wing backing in opposition of the EU. It’s spokesman stating the socialist group does not support “EU austerity”.
The Lincolnshire division of the English Defence League has also been hanging flags across the Peaks Parkway in Grimsby, urging people to vote ‘leave’.
Many Lincolnite readers indicated that they would be voting to remain part of the EU in the upcoming referendum.
Some decidedly backed the Brexit campaign.
Others were concerned however that the vote will be on the same day as the annual Lincolnshire Show.