On 23 June the UK will decide whether to stay part of a united Europe.
I passionately believe it is best for us all and our country if we remain a member of the EU – to take advantage of our special status within the Union giving us access to the world’s largest trading bloc. Membership of the EU brings Hastings and Rye local employment opportunities and job security, and it is a vital foundation of the strong economy this government has built which funds our public services, keeps us safe and enables vital infrastructure projects.
Some of my friends and colleagues have already told me they disagree with the view that Britain should remain in the union and they will be voting to leave. These positions are honestly held and it is right that everyone should hear them.
I will be using my social media accounts to highlight the key pieces of evidence I have found which show how beneficial EU membership is for the UK and how damaging it would be to leave the union. Please see my Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/amberruddmp/ - and Twitter - https://twitter.com/AmberRudd_MP - for further information.
Many constituents have contacted me to say that they’re not sure of the facts and would like to hear further information before they make up their mind. To help with this I have organised a Referendum debate to take place at Sussex Coast College from 10am-12noon on Friday 3 June.
At this event, I will argue the case for why Britain should remain a member of the EU alongside Cllr Peter Chowney, Leader of Hastings Borough Council, and a student from the college. Making the case for leave will be Andrew Michael, who stood as the UKIP candidate at the last General Election, a further student from the college, and an additional representative of Vote Leave who I am working to confirm.
Questions will be taken from the audience in combination with questions previously submitted by college students. In addition, both official campaigns - Britain Stronger In Europe and Vote Leave - will have stalls at the debate and campaigners will be on hand to answer any further questions not discussed by the speakers.
As we face the decision of what the UK’s place in the world will be, along with the effects this will have on all of us at home, my most important piece of advice is: Register to vote. You must have registered by Tuesday 7 June – or Friday 3 June if you plan to vote by post or proxy. To register, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
The decision made on 23 June will be momentous. I hope you will support the view that membership of the EU is better for us, for Hastings and Rye, for our country and for the wider world. If you disagree, I certainly respect your choice and, if you’re still uncertain, I urge you to attend the debate on 3 June or to seek out further information from the Government website - https://www.eureferendum.gov.uk/ - or the websites for the official campaigns: Britain Stronger In Europe and Vote Leave.
This is probably the biggest vote of our lifetimes and I would like to urge everyone, irrespective of view, to turn out, vote and have your say.