The great in out debate: Local leaders share their views on Brexit

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Are you in or out of the EU? Well our local leaders have a range of views, and they are not afraid to express them. This week The Bucks Herald asked the leaders of all parties at the council and our MPs for their personal views...and the results were, unsurprisingly, a mixed bag.

Neil Blake, leader of Aylesbury Vale District Council, says that he is as yet undecided on whether Britain should cut ties with Europe.

He said: “My main issue is with the information that we are getting, there has been very little debate where both sides have been speaking at the same time.

“Whatever the outcome of the vote the future is an unknown. I am still undecided but am tending towards voting out as I would like us to have more control over our laws.”

But county council leader, Councillor Martin Tett is for Brexit, claiming that it offers a better option for Britain.

Speaking in a personal capacity, he said: “The 1975 referendum was my first opportunity to vote. Then I not only voted to stay but campaigned actively for the Common Market.

“Today, however, I realise how essential it is that we take back control of our money and borders and will be voting to Leave.”

MP John Bercow, who is also speaker of the House of Commons, said that while he would be voting on June 23, he would not would not publically express a view. But David Lidington, who is Minister for Europe has been actively campaigning on the issue.

He said: “I shall vote to remain in the EU. Jobs and businesses in Aylesbury benefit from Britain being part of a single market of 500 million people in 28 countries. And because we’re in that market, firms from Japan, India and America have invested and created jobs in Britain: we get more than a quarter of inward investment into Europe. I’ve also seen as a minister how we’ve used the EU to protect British interests and British citizens.”

Councillor Chris Adams, group leader for UKIP on both councils and former Aylesbury Parliamentary candidate, is also campaigning hard for Brexit.

He said: “UKIP strongly suggests that everyone vote to leave on June 23 because David Cameron’s flawed HS2 rail project is in doubt is you vote Brexit, he has said it himself. Every poll that we have done for three months has shown that people want out.”

Avril Davies, Lib Dem councillor and opposition leader for both authorities says that she will vote to remain.

Speaking in a personal capacity she said: “I don’t want to plunge my family into the dark ages by coming out and I feel that the out campaign will lead us into a very right wing neo Conservative administration. I don’t think that the economy will recover enough either if we vote to leave.”

District council Labour group leader Robin Stuchbury says that rural concerns should be taken into account when people are deciding how to vote.

He said: “Because of the uncertainty I am going to vote to remain, there is too much confusion and uncertainty over what it would mean to leave.

“My constituency is in a rural area and many of the farmers say that a leave vote would affect them and their industry dramatically.”

Bucks County Council’s 
Independent group spokesman Phil Gomm says he is voting out because he thinks that there has to be a better way.

He said: “I feel that the country could be in a better place.

“I don’t think that the EU is going particularly well for us and that the whole system needs reforming, that’s why I will be voting for Brexit.

“I like people from the European Union, but I don’t like the European Union and what it does.”