‘The people have spoken’ says South Suffolk MP after decision to leave the EU

Suffolk Free Press EU referendum debate

Pictured: James Cartlidge MP ANL-160606-093223009
Suffolk Free Press EU referendum debate Pictured: James Cartlidge MP ANL-160606-093223009
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South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge, who backed the campaign to remain in the EU, said it was now time to work together following Babergh and the country’s decision for Britain to leave the EU.

“I congratulate the Leave campaign for a very strong result. The most important point here is that the people have spoken and it is now up to all of us involved in politics to come together and try and deliver that choice.

“Of course, I campaigned for Remain and I tried to make the positive argument at the various hustings I attended that Britain actually had a potentially very strong position being a major nation in the EU not in the Euro, offering a unique platform for prosperity going forward.

“However, the public took a different view and it’s clear that very deep and legitimate concerns about unrestricted immigration from the EU spurred much of the support for Brexit.

“It is a matter or regret that so much of the campaign on both sides seemed very negative but we must now move on and try and make the most of the hand we have irrefutably been dealt by the people of the United Kingdom. There will inevitably be some instability ahead, and we now know a second Scottish independence referendum is highly likely, whilst we have seen ructions in the stock market and of course, the resignation of a great Prime Minister whom I have been honoured and privileged to serve alongside.

“Nevertheless, in a democracy the people have the final say and their message is clear – we are to leave the European Union; the challenge is to deliver that in the most effective way possible.”

Fellow Remain campaigner Sandy Martin, Labour Group Leader at Suffolk County Council, said: “At the labour party conference last autumn we discussed whether we should campaign in the Europe referendum. In many ways I could understand and sympathise their [Labour Party Leave campaigners] arguments. The EU is too bureaucratic. We hoped to change it so elected MEPs would have more power, but we understand why so many Labour supporters wanted all our laws and regulations to be the responsibility of Britain alone.

“We will just have to hope that the Conservative Government will not now use leaving the European Union as an excuse to water down our legal rights.

“We believe that working people have benefitted from the minimum wage, health and safety at work, guaranteed holidays and limited working hours.

Mr Martin added: “If there is now an massive rise in unemployment you will know who to blame.

“There is a real problem with immigration. Bad employers have been using cheap labour from abroad to undercut normal wage rates here. If we had stayed in the EU Labour would have worked with other European countries to prohibit the recruitment of workers by agencies in Eastern Europe.”

“Whether you voted for Leave or Remain, we know you wanted to vote for a better life for yourselves and for your children and we will continue to fight alongside you to achieve that.”

Following the announcement of the Babergh result, which saw voters decide to leave the EU as mirrored across the county, UKIP South Suffolk chairman Steven Whalley reacted to the decision and explained how the referendum had ‘ignited’ politics in Britain.

To read that story and for more comments and details on the Babergh election result click here.