HAMPSHIRE NEWSLETTER - August 2015
“Should Britain remain a member of the European Union?”
That is the question! June 2016 is expected to be the date – less than a year to go.
The result of the General Election in May made the holding of a referendum a near certainty. The necessary legislation is already on its way through Parliament. The question is known and No 10 is briefing journalists the date will be in June 2016, less than a year from now.
What we don’t know is the outcome of the negotiations being held by David Cameron as these are ongoing but the plan is to have them completed and approved at the EU Council of Ministers meeting in December.
Local member Mike Biden has been invited to join the Senior Advisory Group of the European Movement and we plan to kick off the new season of events with an open meeting for all members at which Mike will give a brief talk to bring us up to speed with the latest developments and news on plans for the Yes campaign. We will then have an open discussion on the future activities within the branch. We urge all members to come along and join in the discussion and give some thought to the question of what you can do and how you can best make a contribution to the campaign.
EVENT: Tuesday 8th Sept at 18.30hrs in St. Peter’s Rooms
(Further details at end of this newsletter)
A talk by Mike Biden entitled “What do we know about the “Yes” Campaign?” followed by an open discussion with members on future activities in Hampshire.
Last year saw a debate held in Barton Peveril College, a classroom session delivered to Peter Symonds AS politics students and a series of three seminars moderated at St. Swithuns. We also arranged a lecture by Sophie in’t Veld to a student audience at Winchester University which resulted in an article in the New Statesman magazine. We are building links with the student organisations at each of the four Hampshire Universities; Southampton, Solent, Winchester and Portsmouth and a range of activities are being discussed.
Portsmouth is home to one of the Jean Monnet Centres of Excellence for European studies. They are holding a regional conference at the beginning of September with members of SELP – the South of England Local Partners who collectively pay for an office in Brussels to help them gain EU support and finance for local initiatives. They have more plans for workshops and a series of talks.
Prof Mike Mannin from the Centre has also agreed to give an evening talk at St. Swithuns early next year. So we have made good progress at building a network of supporters and collaborators in the field of education and using it to encourage activities. But we need to do more! Please think if you can help us.
- Do you know someone who is a teacher at one of the sixth form colleges?
- Do you know someone who works in one of the Universities?
- Could you possibly give a talk or participate in a schools debate?
- Do you know anyone who does know someone or can do any of these things?
If you do – PLEASE TELL US !! We need to build our network and number of volunteers.
RECRUITING BUSINESS PARTNERS
Another important target group for us are business people. Senior corporate executives or local business owners are powerful influencers and we want to ensure that they understand the issues and are encouraged to firmly support continued membership. The great majority do but there are some who remain to be convinced.
Peter Wilding, Director of British Influence – see www.britishinfluence.org - has very kindly agreed to come to Winchester to speak to an invited audience of Hampshire businessmen on Thursday 24th September. There will be opportunities for networking and the subject is “The EU Referendum – A Briefing for Business”.
Our Vice President Roy Perry is issuing the invites and hosting the event. If you are active in business or have current business contacts who would be interested then please email our events organiser:- firstname.lastname@example.org and he will send you and them an invitation.
The local papers are carrying a number of letters regarding the EU and the referendum. The ‘Kippers’ are sustaining a regular barrage of absurd allegations and a valiant few EM members are endeavouring to ensure it is not all one way traffic. Particular thanks to Richard Grant in the New Forest and Linda Nadolny for their sterling efforts.
Anyone can join in and contributions would be appreciated. If you need advice or suggestions then it is available but the more we can widen the participants the better our coverage will be and this is important because the volume of letters influences editorial coverage. Have a go and add your voice to the debate.
ON-LINE RESOURCES AND PARTICIPATION
Much of the debate is going to be held on-line and again we are encouraging people to participate. Many of us now use ‘facebook’ for keeping in touch with family and friends and it is easy to show ones support by ‘liking’ good posts and following interesting groups or individuals. This will keep you up to date and can be a great source of help. Why not visit our own local facebook page – see “European Movement – South East Region”. This is a closed group so we do not suffer trolls and is for us to discuss the campaign amongst ourselves or share interesting items we have read.
The European Movement has recently launched its new web site and whilst it is early days please register your support on the site at www.euromove.org This will ensure you are registered with the “Yes” campaign. The more registered supporters we have the better and the easier it is to raise money and find volunteers. Ask your friends to join too.
We look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday 8th September 2015 access from 18.30 starting at 19.00 hrs in:
St. Peter’s Rooms, Jewry Street, Winchester SO23 8RY
Car parking opposite or in the Tower Street Car Park no charge after 18.00 hrs