Write You launches today with a Brexit special. The site gives prominent people the opportunity to write about anything they think will be interesting to you, but today our contributors are fully focused on the EU referendum taking place in just over two weeks time.
Our Conservative MPs are appropriately split. Our Leavers came out in force today…
Dominic Raab, the shadow justice secretary, says immigration will surge as soon as another Eurozone country suffers economic crisis.
“Any new flare-up of the Eurozone’s problems, particularly if it spreads to a major economy like Italy where the banking system is in serious difficulty, is likely to lead to another upsurge in migration as people head for Britain, which is one of the few places in Europe where there is a plentiful supply of jobs.”
Graham Brady, the chairman of the powerful 1922 Committee, says the shock of Britain leaving is the only thing that can rescue the EU.
“The Brexiteers have all the romance of democracy, independence and self-determination. The Remain camp adopts the role of Jeremiah.”
James Cleverly, the former deputy mayor of London says Lord Kinnock’s assertion that the Leave campaign will win “by default” if young people don’t vote is typical of his ‘particular brand of arrogance and ineptitude”.
“Remain’s lazy assumption that they have the youth vote leaves an exposed flank which could be their undoing.”
But there’s plenty of fight among our Conservative Remainers…
Robin Walker, Parliamentary aide to education secretary Nicky Morgan, says Brexiteers should “know better” after the Government’s efforts to put the economy back on track.
“Representing a constituency where unemployment has halved since 2010, youth unemployment fallen two thirds, and investment remains strong, I can see that companies from around the world value the UK’s unique position of being in Europe but not run by Europe.”
Mark Garnier, a long-time member of the treasury select committee, recounts how his late mother was a founder member of Ukip who would have loved the referendum battle.
“I loved her dearly, but that didn’t make her right.”
Talking of Ukip…
Suzanne Evans, Ukip’s Parliamentary spokeswoman and the party’s former deputy chair, says the EU issues nine edicts every day and that the UK has never managed to stop a single piece of legislation it has contested from becoming law.
“It [EU membership] reminds me of the story of the baby elephant, chained to a post, unable to escape, and conditioned to the point where it stops trying, despite the fact that in adulthood it could easily rip the post out of the ground and free itself.”
Surprisingly enough, the Greens disagree with Ukip…
Caroline Lucas, the MP for Brighton Pavillion and former Green leader, says the Left has a duty to vote for Remain.
“The truth is that our best bet of defeating TTIP is by staying in the EU – and working with the 3 million people who have signed a petition aiming to stop the deal, the hundreds of thousands who have marched against it and the French Government who look like they're going to block it altogether.”
But the SNP wish David Cameron had never held the referendum in the first place…
Pete Wishart, the chairman of the Scottish Affairs select committee and the SNP’s shadow leader of the House of Commons, says there is “deep resentment” in Scotland for bringing the country to the brink of Brexit and that this version of the Conservatives is “toast”.
“Little wonder that so many people are predicting a further Scottish independence referendum if Scotland is dragged out of the EU against our national collective will.”
Neil Gray, the SNP’s employment spokesman and member of the House of Commons finance committee, says both the official Remain and Leave campaigns have failed to learn the lesson of the Scottish referendum and have been guilty of “scaremongering”.
“Very little commentary has been dedicated to the impact these negative and uninspiring arguments are likely to have on voter turnout.”
The pro-EU Liberal Democrats might have been battered to the canvas at last year’s general election, but the prospect of Brexit has at least roused them back to their feet…
Tim Farron, leader of the Lib Dems, says it isn’t the economy, stupid, but the need for cross-border co-operation on climate change, people trafficking and international crime that will win the referendum for Remain.
“This election is not about Britain’s past and, after decades of brutal conflict, the EU has proven to be the most successful peace process in the world.”
Plaid Cymru is fervently pro-EU, but there are other pressing matters…
Jonathan Edwards, Plaid Cymru’s former Westminster leader and its treasury and transport spokesman in the House of Commons, says the UK needs an Economic Fairness Bill.
“As exchequers are set up to manage devolved and localised taxes, the Treasury needs to lose its judge and jury role over UK finances with the setting up of an arm’s length Funding Body to determine allocations across the State and arbitrate on future fiscal disputes.”
While over in our business section…
Lord Karan Bilimoria, founder of Cobra Beer and chancellor of the University of Birmingham, argues “brand Britain is on the rise” – but is still suffering a productivity crisis.
“We need to make sure we are still making the products that the world loves, rather than leaving this to overseas suppliers.”
We also a number of pieces from Labour figures.
Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, ponders the future for workers when an “automaton revolution” threatens to put millions out of work.
“I believe the consequences of the automaton revolution will be as profound and far-reaching as the industrial revolution that shaped our nation, from the town halls and public spaces in our great cities to the railways that created new towns.”
Carwyn Jones, the Welsh First Minister, argues for the case to keep Wales in the EU so the country’s economy continues to grow and improve - just like the hopes of the national football team.
"I've stood up in recent weeks to advocate for Wales’ continued membership of the European Union. Ensuring that companies like Ford, which makes engines for cars all over the world at its base in my home town of Bridgend, still sees the town as an attractive place to invest and do business."
Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON, the public services union, believes leaving the EU would see the NHS prone to further cuts.
“The Vote Leave campaign argues that there would be more money for the NHS. That’s a dangerous lie.”
Tim Roache, General Secretary of the GMB union, argues that blaming Britain’s problems on the EU is “politically convenient” for the government.
“So many of the big issues people are concerned about aren’t to do with Europe at all, they’re down to austerity and the political choices made by David Cameron and George Osborne.”
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