Welcome to the Lincolnshire EU Debate liveblog. On The Lincolnite team this evening is Stefan Pidluznyj, Steve Smailes, Sarah Barker and Emily Norton.
The Lincolnite and BBC Radio Lincolnshire have brought you the #LincsEUdebate, a special programme ahead of the EU Referendum on June 23.
With the latest polls almost neck and neck, the campaigns from each camp are reaching climax. The key arguments were debated by six panellists and an equally divided audience.
The debate has been organised in partnership with BBC Radio Lincolnshire and will be simulcast online and DAB radio.
On the panel tonight in the remain camp:
- Finbarr Dowling from Siemens UK – He is Project Director for the new wind turbine manufacturing facilities at Green Port Hull
- David Prescott – A former Labour MP candidate for Gainsborough and the son of former deputy PM John Prescott, he is a communications consultant and digital strategist
- Sue Liburd MBE – A businesswoman, executive personal strategist, author and human capital consultant
In the leave camp:
- Karl McCartney – The Lincoln MP, first elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2015, is a strong Brexit campaigner
- Victoria Ayling – UKIP Lincolnshire County Councillor and former candidate for Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner
- Peter Davis – Lincolnshire businessman based in Louth
The debate will be chaired this evening by BBC presenter Rod Whiting and is scheduled to last 90 minutes.
The Lincolnsire EU debate is now live.
First question from Martyn Green, Lincoln. How will leaving the EU make my life better?
Karl McCartney: 56% of our laws imposed on us by EU – this will end if we vote to leave on June 23.
David Prescott: Things like the venue we’re in tonight were part funded by the EU – secures 35,000 jobs in Lincolnshire alone.
Peter Davis: None of my partners in Europe would stop trading with the UK if we decide to vote to leave. Holland will follow if we leave.
Sue Liburd: EU allows us to train and develop our workforce which is a priority. Some angry reactions to her response. Audience member who is a small business owner slams “bureaucracy of the EU”
“Small businesses in the country are affected by the bureaucracy from the EU”, says an audience member who is a businessman. He’s met with a round of applause in the audience.
Finbarr Dowling: Siemens as an organisation will vote to remain in EU – staying in Single Market critical.
What will happen to Siemens UK? Finbarr Dowling: “That’s the point in taking a risk. It’s the uncertainty.”
Already quite a heated start to the debate. Audience member and Victoria Ayling now clashing, with the UKIP panelist gaining a mixed response.
“Siemens get EU money to sell us renewable energy and our bills go through the roof.” Victoria steers up aggression from from some members of the audience.
Jeers by some of the audience in response to Victoria’s forthright comments. However, some cheers as well.
Passionate audience member blames Thatcher government and Conservatives for Steel crisis, not EU.
McCartney: audience member “not talking sense”
“Maybe you should have an open mind, not an open mouth.” Karl McCartney not holding back in his description of a member of the audience.
A heated debate already. Check out some of the pictures so far.
“We did not tell our employers how to vote”, Finbarr insists. McCartney claims they sent an email out.
Prescott claims it is “remarkable” that a Conservative MP who is “slagging off” Lincoln’s biggest employer.
You will see more job opportunities if we vote to leave, claims McCartney.
A second question from David Shaw, Gainsborough. Can Lincolnshire’s infrastructure cope with the projected increase in the population if we vote to stay in the EU – i.e. schools, health service, policing, housing etc
Jeers from the audience before next question about migration is finished.
David Prescott: Net contribution to British economy of migrants is £20bn. My kids aren’t going to be treated as second class citizens just because my wife is Irish and from the EU.
Peter Davis: Worked with Germans – their house had been “raided” by immigrants. Same situation in Spanish towns – taken over by immigrants.
Inflammatory language regarding immigration, says Sue. Claims it is deeply disturbing.
Peter Davis’ warns “If we’re not careful we”ll allow a flood to come in and ruin our children’s chances for the future.” Language describes as “inflamatory and disturbing by Sue Liburd
Victoria Ayling: People displaced from work in my patch because migrants undercut the locals.
Audience member asks: “How would the NHS cope if we didn’t have people coming over from the EU?”
“A lot of Polish gave their lives for us in World War Two”.
“We don’t need to hear any more from Project Fear”, Karl McCartney responds.
“We should be able to choose who comes into our country” say Karl.
Lithuanian woman in the audience: “We’re not here to steal your jobs”.
Immigrants multiply when they come over here and have families, claim Leave audience member.
David Prescott getting heckled by some of the Leave members of the public. He says the government needs to sort out schools and the NHS. “We call Brits who retire abroad Expats but people coming here migrants.”
Prescott and Peter Davis now holding their own personal mini-debate.
While Victoria sarcastically calls him, “the Red Prince”.
Question three: Richard Hall, Lincoln. What are the real British values revealed by this campaign – tolerance, open mindedness and a sense of fair play or selfishness, xenophobia, hypocrisy and double standards?
Both sides are not showing the UK at its best in the debate, suggests Sue.
The Remain campaign has been trying to use Project Fear to make the voting (and non-voting population) vote, claims McCartney.
EU referendum so far dominated by “psychodrama” within the Conservative Party, claims Prescott.
“Vote Leave has run a very positive campaign”, McCartney says. Also claims that Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor will vote to leave.
Karl McCartney defends clash with the Prime Minister last week. It won’t affect his influence as an MP, he says.
Is leaving the EU a risk worth taking, asks Finbarr.
“We are a proud, sovereign nation”, McCartney asserts. NATO not the EU has kept peace in Europe since 1945.
A new question: Julie Davies, Waddington. Every economic organisation has said that brexit is going to be bad for the economy. I haven’t yet heard any evidence to suggest that a positive result for brexit will stop the economy going into recession again. What evidence does brexit have to support a positive outcome for the economy should they win?
Victoria Ayling: “EU is a declining market. Out there is the rest of the world.”
Finbarr Dowling: “Doing a trade deal with Canada in five minutes is ridiculous.” Hits back at Victoria’s previous claim.
“If we leave the European Market It’s a risk”, says Finbarr. But Karl says nothing will happen if we vote out on June 23.
Voice your opinions on Twitter with the hashtag: LincsEUdebate
“Britain has stood on its own before and it can again”, a statement from Karl awarded with cheers from the audience. But David Prescott says: “It’s not the 1940s anymore.”
David Prescott: “We live in a globalised world. This is not 1945…not 2016.” Days are gone of Little England standing on its own and warm beer.
David Prescott pulled up by one audience member: “I think you’re very false.”
“Our money” shout the vociferous Leave audience members over discussions about how much money we give to the EU.
A question put to Victoria and Sue.”What does the decision mean for women?”
Victoria begins with one word “Corruption”, the EU is a “bottomless pit”.
Sue: “We do live in a truly interconnected world and live in a global village. Next generation has grown up online and is sourcing money from around the world. This is about the future not short-termism.”
To be a part of the European union is a “vote for the future and the next generation”, says Sue.
Next question: Michael Jarmuz, Scampton. How does the panel believe British agriculture would be affected in the case of a leave vote?
Farming subsidies won’t go through the “bureaucratic nightmare of the EU” says Karl, EU has made sure vested interests have done well – these haven’t been British farmers though.
David Prescott: £8.7m for Greater Lincolnshire for farming investment. If you agree with the National Farmers’ Union then vote remain.
Rebates that farmers get now may not continue if we leave, claims Peter. Put British farming first.
Victoria: NHS at risk from TTIP agreed with EU – American companies can take chunks out of it. Presenter says TTIP excludes health organisations.
“We have to make products that we can sell into Europe”, argues Finbarr. There has to be regulation.
Debate steered towards regulation and its impact on business.
Karl McCartney claims that the EU is going to force us to give the vote to prisoners.
More audience reactions now from both camps, as well as undecideds.
“I can never see the European army happening”, says Finbarr. Generates an angry response from one half of the audience.
A few of the undecideds have made up their minds, split almost equally between Remain and Leave.
A few undecideds now revealing the discussions have swayed their decision.
Thank you to all who took part in the Lincolnshire EU Debate. That’s a wrap for the liveblog. Catchup on The Linconite soon.