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Phil Wilson MP, paid a visit to Stiller in Newton Aycliffe to talk to employees about the upcoming EU referendum.

Mr Wilson spoke to employees about the importance of the EU to jobs here in Newton Aycliffe, as well as the North East and the UK. He highlighted the impact leaving the EU single market would have on employers across the country, with businesses such as Hitachi and Nissan having recently warned that leaving the EU could force them to rethink and scale back their investment in our region.

Many businesses who come to this region state it is in part because of our EU membership. Whilst businesses acknowledge the attraction of the skilled workforce, but it is our access to the EU single market of over 500 million consumers that continues to seal the deal.

During the session Mr Wilson also highlighted the fact the North East is a net beneficiary of EU funds receiving nearly £600 million in EU structural funds alone. The money the North East receives from the EU helps create jobs and provide investment into the region, and it is unlikely that this government which continually cuts funding for councils and public services would realistically replace the North East’s EU funding.

Mr Wilson said “Voting to remain a member of the EU is a vote for jobs, prosperity and security. I want to ensure that companies like Hitachi are able to expand, creating more jobs for my constituents, leaving the EU would jeopardise this. Even those campaigning to leave have admitted doing so would have a negative impact on jobs and the economy.”

He added, “This decision is final. We will not have the chance to change our minds in 5 years’ time. On Thursday June 23rd I will be voting to remain a member of the EU because I believe it is in the best interests of not only my constituents, but the country as a whole.”

Phil Wilson MP visits Stiller to urge employees to vote to remain in the EU

Phil Wilson MP, paid a visit to Stiller in Newton Aycliffe to talk to employees about the upcoming EU referendum.

By Phil Wilson MP.

(Originally on in the Independent)

Leading figures of the Leave campaign are really free-market anarchists at heart who want to scrap regulation, even if it protects the rights of the people they encourage to vote their way.

According to the Leave campaigners, they are the champions of the people, standing against the elites by defending the NHS and all things working class. In the tradition of populism through the ages, they offer the people what they want to hear with a good dose of nationalism thrown into the mix. Leave campaigners rail against elites, without any sense of irony.

So let's take a look at a few of them.

There's Iain Duncan Smith, for example, who is the son-in-law of the fifth Baron Cottesloe and resides in a 16th century Tudor house. This is a man who apparently resigned, on principle, over cuts to welfare - despite being the architect of the bedroom tax, and under whose tenure at the Department for Work and Pensions foodbanks flourished.

Then there's Liam Fox, the millionaire who called for an end to the protection of NHS spending.

And as for Michael Gove, suddenly he wants to spend money on the NHS, but once called for it to be dismantled because he considered it no longer relevant in the 21st century. This is probably why he had no difficulty voting for the Health and Social Care Act. He also says people are 'sick of experts'. I don’t know about you, Michael, but if I had an ailment, I would rather speak to a doctor than a quack.

How about Jacob Rees-Mogg? He's a former Rothschild investment manager, who took his nanny canvassing, and consistently voted against spending public money to create guaranteed jobs for the young unemployed.

And then, of course, there is the Tory leadership contender who four months ago saw leaving the EU as "diverting energy from the real problems of this country”. But I suppose personal ambition is more important than the economy and the nation’s security. So much for patriotism.

As for Nigel Farage: he’s supposed to be the real voice of the people. But he fails to tell you he was educated at public school and made his fortune as a stockbroker. And at no time have I heard him say in this referendum campaign what he really believes about the NHS: that it should be replaced with an American-style private health service.

And I’ll end with Arron Banks, a multi-millionaire supporter of Ukip who’s on record as saying that, if it was down to him, he’d privatise the NHS.

Now, I have no problems with people making money and getting on in life, as long as they are honest about it and don’t hide it like some inconvenient truth.

But here lies the untold truth of the leading figures of the Leave campaign. They are really free-market anarchists at heart, who believe in minimal regulation, even if that regulation protects the rights of the people they encourage to vote their way. Their smoke screen is nationalism and the hollow ring of “taking back control”.

To paraphrase George Orwell’s Animal Farm, Leave campaigners start off by saying all people are equal. But if they get their way, and Britain leaves the EU, it will soon change to all people are equal - but some are more equal than others.

The Leave campaigners are scary people, so do not fall for their scary future. Their future is a Brexit world with Trump in the White House, Putin in the Kremlin and the UK out of the European Union with Boris Johnson as prime minister. Now that is a scary future.

So you believed Brexit MPs when they said they were on the side of the people? Here's the truth about that claim

By Phil Wilson MP. (Originally on in the Independent) Leading figures of the Leave campaign are really free-market anarchists at heart who want to scrap regulation, even if it protects...

Phil Wilson, MP for Sedgefield, went head to head with Northern Powerhouse Minister James Wharton in a debate about whether it is better for the North East and the rest of the UK to remain or leave the European Union.

The debate, organised by the North East Economic Forum, came less than a month before the electorate will go to the polls.

Phil Wilson delivered a passionate speech of why the North East are better off in the EU.

Not only has the EU contributed to continuing peace in Europe, but as net beneficiaries of EU funding, the North East has gained a lot from the UK’s EU membership.

It has played an important role in attracting companies like Nissan and Hitachi to the region, bringing with them jobs, investment and growth. The Nissan plant alone employs 6000 people, with a further 36000 in their supply chain.

Mr Wilson acknowledged it is highly unlikely that these businesses would close overnight, but said it was inevitable that leaving the EU would impact future investment by companies already in the North East and companies looking to move here. A view which is supported by comments Nissan, Hitachi and other companies across the North East and the UK as a whole, who have said they will reconsider future investments should voters opt to leave the EU.  

Whilst Mr Wharton repeatedly told those in attendance that it was their decision to make, he continuously failed to offer an alternative to our current EU membership. Like many campaigning to leave, Mr Wharton rejected the very realistic notion that the EU would place tariffs on the UK should voters opt to leave, unless the UK agreed to abide by EU rules and to contribute to the EU budget, as we do now.  

Mr Wilson challenged Mr Wharton, the Northern Powerhouse Minister, asking him to address the implications of Brexit on the North East. Mr Wilson demanded Mr Wharton explain how EU funding to the North East, which will equate to nearly £1bn by 2020 should Brexit occur. Mr Wilson highlighted the continuous Tory cuts to public services and our councils, with Durham County Council set to loose £380m by 2020. Mr Wilson is rightly sceptical about whether a Tory government who is financially strangling councils, especially those in the North, would really invest the equivalent sum on money which we get from the EU in our region.

You don’t have to look far for evidence that the Tory government consistently favours constituencies outside of the North East. Of the funding government made available to councils suffering from government cuts, only one North East council received funding (Northumberland) and the majority of the councils were held by Tories.

On the question of where the money to make up for lost funding would come from, Mr Wharton gave no response.

Overall, the passionate case for remaining in the EU was put forward by Mr Wilson who urged those in attendance to stay in the EU where the North East can continue to grow and prosper.

Phil Wilson MP takes on James Wharton MP over the EU referendum

Phil Wilson, MP for Sedgefield, went head to head with Northern Powerhouse Minister James Wharton in a debate about whether it is better for the North East and the rest...


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