Harpenden pro-EU campaign group holds lively Brexit debate

PUBLISHED: 15:59 16 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:59 16 July 2019

Harpenden for Europe held a debate event. Picture: Picasa

Harpenden for Europe held a debate event. Picture: Picasa

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A Harpenden pro-EU campaign group hosted a lively debate on what the future holds for the UK with regards to Brexit, MP Bim Afolami and Boris Johnson.

There were 270 people at the Harpenden for Europe event. Picture: Paul GloessThere were 270 people at the Harpenden for Europe event. Picture: Paul Gloess

Remain campaign group Harpenden for Europe is made up of local residents fighting for voters to get a final say on the Brexit deal. They represent 62 per cent of Harpenden residents who voted to stay in the EU.

The event, which featured pro-EU leaders and campaigners from national and local level, had a turnout of 270 residents, including many teenagers from local schools.

The debate was hosted in a Question Time style, with the audience being asked to submit questions in advance.

Notable political leaders at the event included former Conservative Secretary of State for Health and chair of European Movement UK, Stephen Dorrell; former East of England Labour MEP Alex Mayer; and prospective Parliamentary Lib Dem candidate, Cllr Sam Collins.

Councillor Sam Collins, Liberal Democrat prospective Parliamentary candidate for Hitchin and Harpenden. Picture: PicasaCouncillor Sam Collins, Liberal Democrat prospective Parliamentary candidate for Hitchin and Harpenden. Picture: Picasa

Also present were Femi Oluwole, co-founder of Our Future Our Choice, and a data privacy and constitutional lawyer from Harpenden, Elizabeth Campion.

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Discussed widely during the debate were the perceived problems of a No Deal Brexit under a potential new leadership, and the probability of the vote going back to the public.

Elizabeth said: "If we do nothing, we are out on October 31 by default. Parliament must take decisive action or that will be the outcome."

There were 270 people at the Harpenden for Europe event. Picture: PicasaThere were 270 people at the Harpenden for Europe event. Picture: Picasa

There was also a concern raised about where the UK would find themselves after Brexit, with it being noted that a lot of the focus goes towards the process of leaving, rather than the outcome.

Femi said: "The UK is much stronger at the head of Europe than at the feet of Donald Trump."

Cllr Collins added: "People don't want to talk about Brexit or Remain, but about school funding, the NHS, our terrible rail services.

"We need to show why the EU is good for all these things - that's what's going to make the difference."

Stephen Dorrell, chair of the European Movement UK.  Picture: PicasaStephen Dorrell, chair of the European Movement UK. Picture: Picasa

The debate took place on July 2 at the Harpenden Public Halls.

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