EU Referendum debate takes off in Lancashire

With the Conservative Government having pledged a referendum by the end of 2017, Saj will join Labour and UKIP MEPs in front of an audience of Lancashire businessmen and women to discuss the UK’s role in the Europe Union.

Sajjad along with Labour’s Theresa Griffin and UKIP’s Steven Woolfe will be grilled during the two-hour event at Preston’s College on Friday, 18th September.

The North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce (NWLCC) who are hosting the event, are expecting a big turnout from their members at the free debate, which will follow the format of the BBC’s Question Time.

The event has been organised as part of the Chamber’s delivery of Europe Direct Lancashire, which aims to provide local citizens with information, advice and assistance for all matters relating to the European Union, shaped around local and regional priorities.

NWLCC chief executive Babs Murphy said: “The issue of Europe has become a real political hot potato and, with the Prime Minister’s pledge of a referendum, will no doubt continue to be.

“This event is a chance for our members to meet with and speak to our MEPs up close and personal to get any answers they have been looking for.

“Our free event is their chance to quiz the MEPs on how they see the relationship between the UK and the rest of Europe developing. And, importantly, how it will affect their business.

“With a cross-section of the parties represented on our panel, this could become quite heated and certainly promises to be a lively debate with a variety of differing opinions and views.

“We are grateful to our patron member Preston’s College for hosting the event, which promises to be lively and extremely interesting.

“We would urge members to book their place quickly as we don’t want anybody to be disappointed.”

The event will be chaired by Blackpool Gazette business reporter Tim Gavell, who will put questions to the MEPs and also open the floor to those in the audience.

Preston’s College principal and chief executive Lis Smith said: “We are delighted to be hosting this event as our partnership with the Chamber of Commerce goes from strength to strength.

“The issue of the UK in Europe is one of massive importance and for us to play a role in the debate around it with three of our region’s MEPs and the business community is absolutely appropriate as we continue to develop as an Enterprising College for the region.”

Commenting Sajjad said: “North West England is a dynamic force in the British and EU economy and our SMEs are the backbone.

“A European referendum provides a much-needed opportunity for an informed debate.

“Having led on EU reforms for many years in the European Parliament, I know the complexities and welcome the chance to discuss, in my constituency, what is at stake, hopefully on the detailed issues and away from simple populist soundbites.”

To book your place on this event, call 01253 347063 or email