IN or OUT? EU Referendum Debate Uckfield 3 June

EU_Ref_3June_UckfieldBring your questions to the debate at the Ashdown Room, Uckfield Civic Centre  Friday 3 June, 6:30 pm for free drinks with meeting starting at 7:00 pm and concluding by 9:00 pm. This event is to be chaired by Uckfield FM founder Mike Ziolek.

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Eddie Izzard – Stand Up for Europe

Comedian, actor and writer Eddie Izzard is setting off touring 31 cities in 31 days campaigning for Britain to Remain in the EU.

He is especially concerned to make sure young people entitled to vote actually register and do vote.

The deadline for registering to vote in the EU Referendum is TUESDAY 7 JUNE. You can register to vote here.

Eddie says

“I’m doing it because I believe passionately we are about to take the biggest decision of our lifetime.

I am positive and passionate about Europe. Not just because of the positive economic case – which is persuasive – but because of what Europe stands for. I can’t believe we are in the situation where we could soon be financially and politically separated from our continent.

“My main reason for dashing to all parts of the United Kingdom – and I will be running across all our borders to keep myself up to speed – is that I want to help persuade people, particularly young people, to vote.

“The polls show the elderly are more likely to vote than the young but that they are more likely to vote leave. Therefore the young must register and vote to correct that age range imbalance. If they don’t I believe a whole generation will regret it forever. Wherever I go I will be telling young people make their voices heard and vote to have the option to choose how they want to work and live in our continent.

We are British people and we shouldn’t run and hide from Europe. We should stand up and fight for our place in Europe.

“Bill Shankly said that football was more important than life and death. Our future in Europe is more important than politics.

We must not turn our backs on a European Union that has helped us keep the peace since the dark days of the Second World War and which, working together, has a better chance of staving off the threat from terrorism. Only by working together in Europe can we avoid something terrible happening this century.

“Of course Europe has faults. But while there are many good economic reasons for staying – leaving will hit every one of us in the pocket – I’m driven because I believe in Europe and the solidarity between nations.”

Read the whole of Eddie’s article here.

Follow Eddie on Twitter Twitter_logo_blue
and follow #STANDUPFOREUROPE on Twitter Twitter_logo_blue

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EU Basics – Your Guide to the Referendum

The European Movement has published a very useful guide covering how the EU works and the benefits for Britain of remaining in the EU.

You can download the guide here.

European MovementEuropean Movement Sussex

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Even the leave campaigners don’t believe their own propaganda…

Conservative MP and former GP Sarah Wollaston is reported as refusing to hand out NHS leaflets published by Vote Leave, describing them as “deliberately misleading”.

Dr Wollaston, who chairs the House of Commons Health Select Committee, ridiculed claims that leaving the EU would free up millions of pounds each week to spend on the NHS. As Wealden LibDems pointed out the figure constantly cited by the Leave campaigners is factually WRONG! – and confirmed as WRONG by the UK Statistics Authority.

Dr Wollaston also supported the NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens in pointing out the dependence of the NHS on overseas staff. She says

“As many have commented; if you meet a migrant in the NHS they are more likely to be caring for you than ahead of you in the queue.”

“In my view, it is an increase in the percentage of our national income that we spend on health and care that will save the NHS, not Brexit”

Sarah Wollaston has more than twenty years experience as a doctor.


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LibDems campaign in Uckfield to STAY IN the EU

LibDems STAY IN EU in UckfieldLocal Liberal Democrats were out campaigning to STAY IN the EU at their street stall in the High Street in Uckfield on Saturday morning 14 May. This was part of a national campaign with LibDem street stalls being run in many towns across the country.

If you would like to help at future IN campaign events in Wealden constituency please see the
list of dates, times and meeting places.

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Local benefits of EU membership

Our LibDem colleagues in Brighton and Hove have produced a very useful report on how being in the EU has benefited the area. Some examples:

  • Between 2006 and 2014 the EU provided £9,194,853 for projects run or supported by Brighton & Hove City Council
  • At the University of Sussex, there are currently eleven Biological Sciences projects receiving total EU funding of £5,845,000; and six Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology projects receiving total EU funding of £2,030,000
  • Hove beach was ranked ‘poor’ by DEFRA in 1995 but is now ‘Excellent’ for water cleanliness thanks in large part to tough EU standards
  • Brighton and Hove City Council along with Oxfam received £180,000 from the EU to “engage and inspire residents to take practical action and prepare for the impacts of climate change locally and globally”

More on the Brighton and Hove LibDems website and you can download their report here.

In 2015 more than £5 million in payments to local rural business, farmers and our environment were made by the EU to organisations within the Wealden District Council area.

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Police & Crime Commissioner election result

In the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner election on 5 May the LibDem candidate James Walsh received 29,550 first choice votes across the whole of Sussex, of which 2716 were cast by voters in the Wealden District Council area.

No candidate obtained a majority on first choice votes, so there was a run-off between the Tory and Labour candidates, with the second choices of voters supporting the three eliminated candidates being counted.

The incumbent Tory Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne was re-elected to the post.

Full result on the BBC website.

Our candidate James Walsh says

“I just want to thank you all for the tremendous efforts you and your teams in each of the council areas put in towards todays results. It is no exaggeration to say that we have begun the Liberal Democrat fight back after the nadir of the awful General Election results in 2015. Nationally our share of the vote puts us back in 3rd place, with Labour on 31%, Tories on 30%, Lib Dems 15% , UKIP on 12% and others 12%. In other words virtually double our General Election share last year.”

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Don’t forget to vote – for JAMES WALSH – on Thursday 5 May

James WalshWe hope that if you have not already voted by post you will be able to go to vote for our candidate, James Walsh, this Thursday.

James has had considerable experience as a County, District and Town Councillor, and previous experience on the Sussex Police Authority and its Chairman. He would make an excellent Police & Crime Commissioner for Sussex and fully merits your support on Thursday.

If you have a postal vote but have not yet used it you can still take it to the polling station on the day. Polls are open from 7 am to 10 pm.

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Cheaper roaming charges a “huge win” for British consumers

There is good news for smartphone users heading to the continent this bank holiday weekend. From April 30th  new EU rules cap the cost of using your phone when abroad in Europe at 4p per minute, 2p per text and 4p per MB of data (excluding VAT), around four times cheaper than current limits.

Three UK’s rate is dropping from 16.6p per minute, 5.2p per text and 17.4p per MB to 4.3p per minute, 1.5p per text and 4.3p per MB. Tesco Mobile has announced it will drop roaming charges altogether in more than 30 European countries between May and September this year. From June 2017, all phone companies will be required to scrap roaming fees for phone users travelling within the EU.

Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder commented:Catherine Bearder

“We are now one step closer to a roaming-free Europe.

“This is a huge win for consumers, making it easier to keep in touch and share your memories while abroad.

“Staying in the EU will mean lower prices, easier travel and more money in the pockets of British holidaymakers.”

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Brexit campaigners in denial says Alan

Alan WhittakerLibDem Chair Alan Whittaker says

The to Brexit or not to Brexit campaign has now officially started.

President Obama says, diplomatically, that the EU is good for the UK and the UK is good for the EU, for US/UK relations and for the wider world generally. Ulrich Speck of the Transatlantic Academy says that Britain’s liberal global outlook is needed by the EU.

Those wanting Brexit, principally Ukip, the loony Tory Right and those  who seem to think the globe is still painted imperial pink, are effectively in denial.

They say Britain is not in control of its borders.

Wrong. It is not party to the Schengen Agreement promoting the free movement of peoples.

They claim the UK can go it alone economically.

Wrong. China and India both have populations of over a billion  and growing, sophisticated work forces. The UK has sixty-four million. As part of the EU it has a home market of half a billion – a home market without trade barriers and  with some of the richest customers in the world.

Brexiters claim Britain would be safer outside the EU.

Wrong. General Sir Michael Jackson, former Chief of the General Staff states that we are safer In than Out. He should know.

It is tedious and unappealing to many people to trade statistics. However, the Treasury  says the economy would be 6 per cent smaller if Britain were to leave the EU. The hard-headed business men of the CBI like the single market. The City enjoys being Europe’s financial centre. Perhaps they know the value as well as the cost of the EU membership.

Campaigners for the Out brigade are effectively declaring war on  their children and grandchildren. The young overwhelmingly support Remain. Locally, in Wealden, this was borne out by sixth formers at Uckfield Community Technology College and Bede’s School. During MEP Catherine Bearder’s recent visit to the two schools the sixth formers  overwhelmingly wanted the UK to remain in the EU.

Unfortunately they have no vote even though the result of the summer Referendum poll will affect them for the rest of their lives. They are encouraged to persuade their grandparents to vote with their interests in mind. After all, the effects, no matter the referendum result, will not be felt by the Oldies for decades!

The Referendum is vastly more important than a general election. People must
vote, particularly the under-35s who, according to a recent poll, support
Remain, but are not committed to turning out to vote. The Oldies are

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