Steve McCabe standing in front of a full room at St Joseph and St Helen Church in Bournville for an EU Referendum community event

Referendum debate in Bournville

Local residents have had a chance to discuss the issues surrounding the forthcoming EU Referendum at a recent event hosted by local MP Steve McCabe

The event on Wednesday 1st June took place at St Joseph and St Helen Catholic Church hall.

Steve McCabe stated at the outset that his event was not intended to be a traditional debate. Instead, he aimed to give residents a chance to express their views on the EU Referendum and listen respectfully to other people’s points of view.

Steve McCabe’s case for remaining in the EU
Steve McCabe standing in front of a full room at St Joseph and St Helen Church in Bournville for an EU Referendum community event

Steve McCabe MP explaining why he is in favour of remaining in the EU. Photo: @francisclarke

Setting out his position, Mr McCabe explained that he is in favour of remaining in the EU but is not unconditional in his support for the EU.

For him, the case for remaining in the EU rests on protecting jobs and economic investment, important rights at work and cooperation on crime and public safety.

Mr McCabe expressed concerns over how the EU operates at present. He argued that Britain would be better off working inside the EU to make changes happen, rather than simply walking away from the problems in the world.

Strong support for remain

Approximately two thirds of the audience favoured remaining in the EU, with a smaller proportion supporting leave.

People speaking in favour of remaining agreed with Mr McCabe’s assessment about the economic benefits of EU membership but also felt the referendum should also be about values.

Remainers spoke passionately about the EU as a key means of promoting European cooperation and advancing human rights.

Concerns over migration and EU regulations

For people wanting to leave the EU, immigration and regulations were perceived as major concerns.

Several people spoke about the negative impact immigration was already having on the country in terms of access to jobs and public services.

There was also anxiety over future EU expansion, particularly with respect to Turkey’s interest in joining, with some members of the audience citing concerns over Islamic extremism as a reason for voting to leave.

Referendum information

Mr McCabe ended the evening by thanking the audience for attending and encouraging them to seek out more information about the EU referendum from independent sources such as Full Fact.

Several members of the audience spoke to thank  Mr McCabe for organising the event and overall people were pleased to have had the chance to explore the issues.

Get involved

Mr McCabe will be holding another EU referendum event on Thursday 9 June at Maypole Methodist Church on Alcester Road South.

The author of this article is a Labour Party member and serves on the executive of the Bournville Labour Party