CAROLINE ANSELL MP: EU vote will be decided by the '˜undecideds'

The EU referendum on June 23 will be one of the most important opportunities to have our say, in our lifetimes. At this stage, I have not declared my position, for very good reason.

Friday, 4th March 2016, 7:00 am
Caroline Ansell, MP for Eastbourne SUS-160224-134501001

I have recently taken the temperature of local business and constituents in separate surveys, and the overwhelming statistic is that 82 per cent of people feel they would like more information before making an informed choice.

Of course there are plenty of people on both sides of the argument who are vehemently on one side of the debate or the other, and no amount of discussion or persuasion will change their minds.

I respect those views, and it is nice to have such certainty. But from the discussions I have been having around town, I have no doubt that most people are undecided, and want to hear the debate.

Clearly, this isn’t the major talking point in the pubs of Eastbourne at the moment, but as the date draws near, and the campaigns on either side up their game, there will be plenty of information out there.

I want to make sure that information is a balanced and factual as possible.

This issue will be settled on the ‘swing vote’ - the undecideds at this stage, and as such it is vital that the facts are presented in an unbiased way wherever possible. There is important information yet to come that needs to be fully considered before making final decisions.

On May 26 I am holding a public meeting at the Winter Garden, open to all constituents and I will post more details about this on my website and in the paper in due course.

There will be speakers from the Remain and the Leave campaigns, as well as from business and journalism.

Attendees will need to book in as I anticipate it being a popular event, but there is no charge. Questions can be submitted to me in advance (to [email protected]) The booking line will open on March 15.

Also, I have launched a new feature on my website, where I am making a genuine attempt to present as many facts as possible to this debate. This page is not taking a position, but the purpose is to try and inform. The page will be updated regularly for the next few weeks, and is not intended to be an exhaustive list, but will cover the main points that people are talking about.

Whilst I can’t guarantee absolutely accurate in every regard as it is almost impossible to get solid facts on every detail, it is a genuine attempt to be accurate and balanced with facts.

So far I have covered how much membership of the EU actually costs the UK and issues around immigration. The facts and figures are sourced and referenced and there are also some useful links which make interesting reading.

If you have something to contribute to the page, in the spirit of being balanced and unbiased at this stage, then please email me at [email protected]