Political leaders clash over real impact of EU on Notts household budgets

Video: The panel made a last-ditch bid to win over Notts voters

Political figures from both sides of the EU Referendum debate have clashed over the true impact of Britain’s membership on Nottinghamshire households.

Leaders from both the Remain and Leave campaigns argued over the consequences of leaving the union in a special edition of the Notts TV Debate on Tuesday.

Lilian Greenwood, Nottingham South’s Labour MP and Shadow Transport Secretary, and Mark Spencer the Conservative MP for Sherwood, appeared in favour of staying in.

Nottingham businessman Ewan Lamont and Roger Helmer, a UKIP Member of the European Parliament, argued Nottinghamshire people should vote for leaving the union.

Britain will be asked to finally decide in Thursday’s ‘Remain’ or ‘Leave’ vote, with polling stations open from 7am to 10pm.

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And all four panellists were involved in heated exchanges as they fought to secure Nottinghamshire votes in the closing stages of the debate.

When asked how Nottinghamshire household budgets would be affected by a decision to leave, Mr Helmer said: “All the Remain case is based on wild assumptions about economic damage; we believe that Britain as an independent global trading nation will perform much better than an off-shore province in a dysfunctional European Union.”

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Roger Helmer claimed the Remain campaign’s arguments were based on wild ‘assumptions’

Mr Lamont, the chief executive of Legendary Games, said he believed big financial services firms based in Nottingham such as Capital One and Experian could face a more uncertain future if Britain remains in the union than if it backs an exit.

“We are quite unique in Europe as regards to the level of dependency on those type of services,” he said.

“The chances of us being hammered by European legislation, which nobody else in Europe will care about, the chances of us being out-voted on rules and regulations which could negatively and adversely affect that industry is very, very, high – it’s very risky remaining for those industries.”

Both the Remain and Leave campaigns have frequently accused each other of making inaccurate claims over the financial impact of an ‘out’ vote on the UK.

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Lilian Greenwood said a ‘Leave’ vote would ultimately hit people’s finances

And there was little agreement between the panel on Tuesday night’s programme, with Mr Spencer arguing the threat of a Brexit was already having a negative affect.

“You just have to see what happened when the (opinion) polls narrowed,” he said.

“You just have to see what happened to the financial markets. There was £100 million wiped off the FTSE, the value of sterling plummeted.

“That means your holiday costs more, it means your food basket costs more your fuel goes up, it has a direct impact on people’s ability to manage their household budgets.”

And Mrs Greenwood also said she believed financial uncertainty was a possibility in the event of a decision to leave.

She said: “There will inevitably be a short-term volatility if we vote leave, the question is about what happens in the medium to long term.

“Most economists believe this will have a long-term chilling effect on our economy, there’s absolutely no doubt that in the short-term it will cause people enormous problems.”

The hour-long programme will be repeated on Wednesday, June 22, at 8pm on Notts TV on Freeview channel 8, Sky 117 and Virgin 159.

 

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