During Prime Minister's Questions on May 15th Edward Leigh, Gainsborough's Tory MP displayed a 2008 Liberal Democrat election Focus and criticized Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg for not sticking to his promise on a referendum on Europe.
Nick Clegg responded "This leaflet was from 2008 at the time of the Lisbon Treaty referendum vote. Completely consistent with the manifesto, this was when Britain faced a fundamental change in our relationship with the EU, and therefore we called for an in/out referendum." He also said "My party has always believed that there should be a referendum on Europe when the rules change, when new things are being asked of the UK within the EU."
Edward Leigh like many of his Tory colleagues and their UKIP chums would like Britain to cast ourselves adrift from Europe. There is much that is wrong with the EU but change can only come from within the club. Both Labour and Tory governments have failed to take a lead in Europe and make the Britain, as the third largest economy in Europe, influence its direction and administration.
Even the threat of leaving the European club could harm our economy just when politicians should be focussed on economic growth. Does Mr Leigh think Siemens would have built a second factory in Lincoln and financed a school of engineering at Lincoln University if Britain was outside Europe. Does he think Ping would have chosen Gainsborough for their European factory if we were not part of Europe?
Europhobes need to stop and think what damage they are doing. Pull out of the EU and Britain will run out of jobs. Lincolnshire with its agrarian economy needs the EU. Much of the land, especially the Wolds, so beloved by Mr Leigh, would now be scrub land without the EU.
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