West Norfolk campaigners prepare for EU referendum vote

EU flag. EMN-160223-103536001
EU flag. EMN-160223-103536001

With four months to go until voters decide whether to stay or leave the European Union, politicians on both sides of the debate in West Norfolk are gearing up for the battle.

As national campaigning intensifies, Labour party activists will be taking to the streets of Lynn this weekend to lobby for public support to remain in the union.

North West Norfolk constituency party secretary Jo Rust compared the benefits of EU membership to those of a trade union.

She said: “Every month I pay my union fees. I don’t get that money back in cash but I get benefits, some of which are difficult to quantify, but some are very clear.

“I hear people say we’re strong enough, we can get by ourselves.

“People think like that in the workplace as well and then, when they need help, they realise they’re not as strong as they believed.”

She also called for more to be done to explain the benefits of membership, particularly to undecided voters.

But Toby Coke, who leads the UKIP group on Norfolk County Council, said he was hopeful voters would be persuaded that they would be “better off out” over the coming months.

He said it was “great news” that the public were finally getting the chance to vote on Britain’s future in Europe.

He added: “What we’ve got to get across is that what Mr Cameron did in Brussels is a complete waste of time.

“This is our one chance to get out. Parliament is not sovereign while we’re in Europe. I think we have to be in charge of our own destiny.”

He also rejected concerns about the impact on trade of a vote to leave, arguing: “European businesses will still want to trade with us.”