Last night in Peterborough saw the first of nine EU Referendum Debates across the East of England. This was the first event held by either side in the run up to the EU Referendum. UKIP's Patrick O'Flynn MEP and UKIP Deputy Chairman Suzanne Evans faced off against Julian Huppert, the former Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge and his teammate Laura Sandys, former MP for South Thanet and current Chairman of the European Movement.
It was a fast paced debate with opening speech from each side and then short cross examination before lots of quick questions from the floor and a wrap up speech at the end from each side. A ballot was taken before the debate and one at the end to see the outcome. People were asked: 'Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?' Results were as follows:
The pre debate ballot was: YES 11%, NO 67%, DON'T KNOW 22%.
The post debate ballot was: YES 11%, NO 88%, SPOILT BALLOT 1%.
Patrick O'Flynn MEP: "Our Referendum Roadshow got off to a really great start in Peterborough. People seemed to enjoy the fast pace of debate. It is great to test our arguments against those advocating for staying in the EU. I am grateful to Laura Sandys and Julian Huppert for taking part and glad that they seemed to enjoy the format as well. This event showed that UKIP politicians and supporters are ready to debate with anyone, we are confident of our case and confident that we can carry the country with us when the referendum comes."
Deputy Chairman Suzanne Evans: "The fast-paced debate format worked brilliantly; we covered a lot of ground and I think that helped sway the 'don't knows' to our side. The fact is that when you start to drill down into the detail of how the EU operates it's nigh on impossible not to see how utterly unnecessary it is to Britain's success. We also managed to blow apart some of the 'in' sides sound bites which don't stand up to scrutiny. Many thanks to Julian & Laura for taking part and to my fantastic team mate Patrick who had the economic arguments completely nailed down."
Tickets for the other eight debates can be found here.