On Thursday 09 June, two weeks before the European referendum vote, Farnham Maltings will host a free debate on whether the United Kingdom should remain in the European Union or leave. The line-up for the event has just been announced to include a range of views from across the political spectrum and also to consider the wider range of issues in the debate.
Following the success of the General Election Hustings in April 2015, it was thought it an important civic event to give people of the town the chance to hear from a panel representing both sides of the debate, Britain Stronger in Europe and Vote Leave as well as provide the chance to offer their own thoughts to the floor.
The panel for the debate will feature Robert Evans CC & Baroness Parminter on the remain side of the debate and Sir Gerald Howarth MP and John Petley on the leave side.
Robert Evans was a Member of the European Parliament for the Labour and Co-operative Parties, representing London from 1994–2009 and is now Surrey County Councillor for Stanwell and Stanwell Moor. In the European Parliament he had a focus on Transport and Tourism, Citizens’ Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs and was Chairman of the European Parliamentary Labour Party from 2004 to 2007.
Baroness Parminter was created a life peer in July 2010. She is the Liberal Democrats spokesperson on the Environment and Rural Affairs and was a member of the House of Lords EU Select Committee on agriculture, fisheries, environment and energy until May 2015. She was a trustee of the think tank, IPPR and the former Vice-President of the RSPCA.
Sir Gerald Howarth MP has been Member of Parliament for Aldershot since 1997 and is a key spokesperson for Vote Leave. Sir Gerald has opposed our inclusion in the EU since the UK first joined in 1975 and claims to have voted against every single European treaty in Parliament ever since. His particular focus will be on the role of the European Commission & UK Sovereignty and will also use his experience as the former Minister for International Security Strategy to argue against the EU’s ‘defence identity’.
John Petley is the Operations Manager for the Campaign for an Independent Britain and formerly worked as a researcher for UKIP in the European Parliament in Brussels. He is also author of the book, Top 10 reasons to leave the EU.
Tony Pryor CBE has spent his whole career in engineering and project management both in the UK and overseas. His last post was as CEO of Hafren Power a company dedicated to the construction of the Severn Barrage. He was appointed CBE in the Birthday Honours 2001 for Services to Defence. He is currently Chairman of the European Movement in Hampshire and an experienced debate Chairman.
Just like the format of last year’s hustings, once the speakers have given their initial arguments, there will be the chance for people to have their own questions debated by the panel. Firstly these will be selected from questions which have been sent in advance for the debate and chosen by an independent body to make sure a wide range of topics are discussed. There will also be a chance for audience comments and further questions on the night with roving microphones going around the hall.
The debate will be free to attend but tickets will be required. They can be obtained by visiting the event page. If you would like to ask a question at the debate night, please drop them in at the box office or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org before 12pm on the day of the debate.