Remain campaigners set out stall in Hastings

Pro-EU campaigners during the Stronger In launch
Pro-EU campaigners during the Stronger In launch

The campaign to remain in the European Union believes Hastings would be ‘stronger in’ as it launched in the town centre on Saturday (May 21).

Campaigners spent the day trying to persuade shoppers and visitors it is in Britain’s national interest to be a member of the EU and vote remain in the referendum on June 23.

Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd also helped launch the Conservative party’s regional remain campaign with fellow MPs Greg Clark, Damian Green and Damian Collins at Hastings railway station.

“The local reaction to remaining in the EU was positive with lots of residents signing up and supporting the Stronger In campaign,” she said.

“I support the UK remaining in the EU and I look forward to continuing to put this message across to local residents as June 23 gets nearer.

“However, whatever your choice, it is vital you have registered to vote by June 7.”

Leave campaigners believe the UK would be better off outside the EU as it would mean ‘taking back control’ of Britain’s borders, budgets and governance.

Fisheries minister George Eustice, who supports Brexit, said: “From the point of view of the fishing industry, the case for leaving the EU is overwhelming.

“There are already well established conventions in international law that govern the approach to fisheries management between independent nation states which we see working elsewhere.

“We already have huge amounts of free trade in cod with Iceland which is not a member of the EU so we know that free trade will never be a problem.

“And, at the end of the day, fishermen are just not the sorts of people to be spooked by trite, pro- EU campaigns that try to tell them they should be scared of the open sea.

“Freed from the hindrance of the EU, the UK would assert itself as the lead power in the North East Atlantic to deliver fairness and sustainable fishing.”

Remain campaign co-organiser and businessman Bob Lloyd said it would be ’stupid’ to leave the EU.

“There are so many reasons that we need Britain to be a leader in Europe, but the key issue for Hastings and St Leonards is jobs and prosperity. That’s why I believe we are stronger in,” he said.

“We would be stupid to throw away hundreds of years of British involvement in Europe and 40 years of EU membership at a time of so many shared challenges, from climate change to Russian expansion and crisis in the Middle East.”

One of the coordinators, A-Level student Oliver Marks, said: “I am so glad to see people from across the political parties putting aside their tribal loyalties and coming to help us as we reach out with a message of hope about the future of a reformed Europe, working for Britain.

“Personally, I want to ask young people across Hastings and St Leonards to make sure they get registered to vote by June 7. This will be one of the most important votes that they will ever cast.”

The group has set up a Facebook page called Hastings Stronger in Europe and communications lead Sophia Bartleet encouraged people to tweet #StrongerIN.

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