Grantham businessman says Britain must remain in the EU – a view not necessarily shared by local politicians
A leading businessman in Grantham says Britain must stay in the European Union.
But opinions are split and even members of the same political party cannot agree on whether to stay in the EU or get out.
Chairman of Grantham Business Club Darren Joint said: “As the owner and managing director of a UK manufacturing business, exporter, employer and proud citizen of a great Britain, I have a clear personal view which I’m happy to share.
“I haven’t heard a single argument for leaving which bears scrutiny or is worth the associated risks. I’m firmly for remaining as a key player in an economic union with our closest neighbours, geographically and politically.”
Mr Joint, owner of Viking Signs in Grantham, added: “In a conversation at the dinner table the other night with my nine-year-old, she asked: ‘Why do we want to leave Europe Daddy?’ So what do I tell her, since she’s the one most likely effected by the fallout? ‘Hmm, some people think that European human rights are too strict.’
“‘So we want to have less human rights than France and Germany then?’ she asks. In my opinion, anyone who thinks leaving is a good idea needs a five-minute chat with a nine-year-old about it!”
Prime Minster David Cameron has announced a referendum on whether to stay in or leave the EU will take place on June 23.
Coun Ray Wootten (Con), county councillor and chairman of South Kesteven District Council, said: “On June 5, 1975, I voted to join the Common Market (EEC) as I believed at the time that trading with Europe was good for this country, and still do. However, over the years we have lost the ability to take control of our own destiny and decisions made in Brussels are not in the interests of this country. That is why I will be voting to leave the EU.”
Even East Midlands MEP Emma McClarkin (Con) says it is time to leave. She said: “Now with the skeletons of the renegotiated EU deal laid bare, we can see just how little is on the table. This deal, unfortunately, falls far short of addressing the very real concerns I and the British people have with our membership of the EU.”
Grantham MP Nick Boles (Con) says he will fall in behind Mr Cameron and vote to stay in as he is “convinced that the Prime Minister has secured a good deal for Britain”.
Stephen Phillips (Con), MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham (includes the rural area north of Grantham), said: “I sat for five years on the European scrutiny committee, and so I have seen at first hand the waste and unnecessary regulation for which Brussels is responsible.”
He said he would vote to leave with a “heavy heart”.