Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Newspaper column 25 May 2016 - The EU referendum

With the deadline for registering to vote in the upcoming EU referendum fast approaching, I wish to take this opportunity to clearly set out my position on the matter, as well as clarify some confusion surrounding the issue. 

Firstly, following a number of enquiries from constituents, I wish to make it absolutely clear that if you are already registered to vote for regular elections – you will be registered to vote in the Referendum. You do not need to take any further action. If not, you have until June 7 to register.
If you wish to vote by post, you have until 5pm on June 8 to complete, sign and return your application form to your local electoral registration office. If you are one of those many people who choose to vote in this way, please make sure you exercise your democratic right and return your ballot paper. This is your chance to be part of one of the most important choices to face the UK in a generation.

I have always made my Eurosceptic views clear; I believe our relationship with the EU is no longer working in Britain’s best interests and on June 23, I will be voting to leave the European Union.
One of the key issues for me is Parliamentary sovereignty; who decides how our country is being run. I strongly believe we should be able to make our own laws and run our own society and the UK would be a better place free from restrictive EU rules and regulations.

Another area of concern for me are the costs involved in being a member state. We send around £19 billion a year to Brussels, but only get around £9 billion back. Far from EU funding being an extra pot of money that we would be detaching ourselves from upon a Brexit, it’s just a small proportion of our money being handed back to us with strict conditions attached on how we can spend it. While I recognise Cornwall has benefited from EU financial support, if we voted to leave, the Government would be able to better manage and target areas, such as St Austell and Newquay, which need support, without being constrained by EU rules.

However, by far the biggest risk in my opinion is staying in an EU which is increasingly having to deal with crisis after crisis. In recent times we have seen the Eurozone meltdown and a migration crisis. I have genuine concerns that if the EU cannot cope with these issues now, how is it going to tackle even bigger issues in the future and for me, there remains a very big risk that the EU will pull us and our great country down with it.

It is important to remember however that the ultimate decision does not lie with politicians. This will be an opportunity for the people of this country to have their say on our future relationship with the EU for the first time in 40 years and I strongly believe voting to leave is the best way forward for our nation.

Cornwall Council run elections in Cornwall and for more information on registering to vote or to vote by post or proxy, call them on 0300 123 1115 or see their website

As always, my team and I are here to serve the whole constituency and work hard to make a real difference to the lives of everyone needing support. If there is an issue you would like my assistance on then please contact me on either 01726 829379 or Additionally, I hold regular, appointment only, advice surgeries across the constituency. Dates of these can be found at: