Fylde Euro Debate: “If the UK leaves, Europe will be weaker”

Sajjad went head to head with UKIP Leader and MEP Nigel Farage in a debate on the UK’s membership of the EU. The event in Lytham St Annes, was arranged around the Lytham Festival and St George’s Day.

Held at the Lowther Pavillion, an audience of around 250 mostly local small businesses and residents, turned up for the breakfast debate to hear what membership of  the EU means for North West and British businesses.

The breakfast debate was chaired by Chris Maguire, editor of BusinessCloud magazine. A panel, of NW businesses people, including Sajjad, put the case for staying in the EU. This was followed by a panel for Leave with Nigel Farage.

Supporting Staying IN with Sajjad were:David Judge, Managing Director, Cormar Carpets , Paul Bailey, Managing Director, Optimum Coatings and Mark Blackhurst, COO / Founder, DigitalNext

 

Backing Leave with Farage were  David Haythornthwaite, owner of Tangerine, Scott Fletcher, MBE, Founder, ANS Group and Andy Holt, Owner / Founder, What More UK

For ‘Leave’ campaign, both Farage and Haythornthwaite said they felt sovereignty was the key issue of the debate.

“I genuinely believe that nation state democracy is the safest form of government,” said Farage. “The UK needs to be able to look at building its own relationships around the world.

But Sajjad said that 47% of exports from the North West are to EU countries and that a vote to leave the EU would result in lost jobs and higher prices saying “Membership of the EU allows us to take products to a much bigger market,”

“Access to a single market is very different to accessing markets through trade agreements. If we were to leave the EU, exports and imports would all go up in price.”

 

Sajjad summarised the importance of the referendum by saying: “It is a momentous decision we have to make - not just for we Brits but the outcome of the vote will have ramifications right across Europe. If the UK leaves, Europe will be weaker - and a weaker Europe is not in the UK’s interests at all.”

Saj went on to criticise the Leave campaign saying:

"Those who want Out are saying that the deal negotiated by Prime Minister David Cameron is not legally enforceable. This is fundamentally not the case and the Leave campaign are making a lot of promises that simply cannot be fulfilled and then say it's for the Prime Minister to deliver!"

Sajjad summarised the importance of the referendum by saying: “It is a momentous decision we have to make - not just for we Brits but the outcome of the vote will have ramifications right across Europe. If the UK leaves, Europe will be weaker - and a weaker Europe is not in the UK’s interests at all.”

 

Nigel Farage said it was vital for the Leave campaign that it reflected ‘a broader canvas of voices’ if it was to win the referendum vote on June 23.  “There needs to be a broader canvas of voices, from Labour and other parties across the board - otherwise we will lose.”

 

You can listen to Sajjad's interview with Mike Stevens on BBC Radio Lancashire after the debate here: https://youtu.be/LyG1BfQTzn4 

Extracts from the debate can be watched here: https://youtu.be/BU06V1NbBgE