Both in Westminster, and across the country, the word of the moment is undoubtedly ‘Europe’. As readers will now know, a referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union will be held on Thursday 23rd June and campaigning for both sides is well underway.
Like many others, I welcome the fact that there is to be a referendum, not least because nobody born after 5th June 1957 has had the opportunity to have a say on this matter. Europe is, without a doubt, a subject which divides opinion and it is only right that the British people’s voice be heard. However, in order to have your say, you must be registered to vote; the deadline for registering to vote in the referendum is 7th June and you can do so by visiting www.gov.uk. If you are unsure as to whether you are registered to vote, I would encourage you to contact your local Council – either Aylesbury Vale or Wycombe – to clarify.
Having listened very carefully to the concerns of my constituents on the matter of EU membership, I am fully aware of the strength of feeling on both sides. As a result, I have decided to chair a local debate on the matter which will provide an opportunity for constituents to put questions to a panel of national journalists and politicians. The debate, which is being held solely for the benefit of Buckingham constituency residents, will take place on Thursday 2nd June at 7.30pm in Buckingham. More information, including how to apply for tickets, can be found on my website or by contacting my office directly.
Although I will not be campaigning for either side of the argument, I am very much looking forward to following the wider debate over the next two months and exercising my vote, along with the rest of the country, on 23rd June.
This article was first published in the Herald on 27th April and the Advertiser on the 29th.
Geographically, Buckingham is a rather large constituency but in spite of its rurality, and the great distances which sometimes separate one settlement from its nearest neighbour, I am repeatedly struck by the strong sense of community I observe when I visit local towns and villages.