After months of talking about In or Out, Leave or Remain, it’s almost time to cast our votes.
In the words of one of our most successful European exports, 80s Eurovision winners Bucks Fizz, it’s time for Making Your Mind up (we are so very, very, very sorry!)
If you’re not quite decided, after you’ve enjoyed the fabulous video above (*cough*), have a read of these short 100 word contributions from some of our local politicians, explaining why they’re LEAVE or REMAIN. (More will be added as they come in.)
“We pay billions to be a member of the EU as well as the cost of regulations on small businesses. Our money should be kept for the NHS, housing, education. It should be our Government’s choice where it is spent.
“I have no problem with immigrants or immigration but our Government should say who comes and how many. We are currently discriminating against people from outside the EU.
“Britain could be so much better off controlling its own affairs.” Take our poll
“Voting to leave will come with a heavy price such as rising unemployment, deeper cuts to public services and spending. This will mean job losses and less money in your pocket, fewer opportunities for your children and their children.
“Voting to leave will damage our economy and hit the people of Birmingham. We are stronger together and a vote to REMAIN is the best option.
“Vote on Thursday to REMAIN!!!”
Richard Burden, MP for Northfield, Labour: “I will vote to remain part of the EU on Thursday. I will do that for local people’s jobs, for our security and for future generations. It makes no sense to risk their future.
“In the 21st century, big issues such as migration, climate change or terrorism, cannot be tackled effectively by countries on their own. That’s not a choice. It is reality. The EU is far from perfect but by leaving the EU we would be left on the side lines – affected by the big decisions but not able to influence them. Confidence in our country means leading in Europe, not leaving it.” Take our poll
Cllr Ian Cruise, Longbridge, Independent: “People comment on how much money we give to the EU – but what do we get in return. Being in the EU benefits Birmingham. The Convention Centre, Barclaycard Arena, Victoria and Centenary Square’s and the Bull Ring were built thanks to large amounts of EU funding – money we would not have received from UK government. The Council receives a lot of skills and training funding from the EU, helping many people in Northfield and Birmingham gain qualifications and skilled jobs. EU funding has helped the city become world class, attracting tourists and new businesses. Birmingham has a lot riding on the referendum results. I’m voting to REMAIN.”
Cllr Peter Douglas Osborn, Weoley, Conservative: “I am sympathetic to the Brexiteers and understand their motivation. They are proud of the country that we used to have, but forget the enormous changes that have occurred – changes we were frequently warned about. Now we have a different state with areas that are unrecognisable to its original inhabitants. Today we are faced with different problems, and Europe is the bond that is strong enough to fight against the proven enemies of peace today – Russia, and the militant “Islamic state”. Our city’s middle letters give us a clue – BirmINgham! Our country predicts: BRITA – IN” Take our poll
“Security is best if we remain.
“The 48% of our exports go to the EU. We receive fair prices for our imports that come from the EU.
“We need to balance the autonomy we desire with the co-operation we need.
“Many of our great UK companies will suffer if we pull out. This will leave us with less businesses and choice than before.
“We need to be part of the EU and trade with the world. Be part of a big organisation instead of a tiny Island.
“We need to negotiate a better deal from within, not outside.” Take our poll
Margaret Okole, Secretary, Birmingham Green Party: “EU “red tape” actually protects workers’ rights, maintains high standards on safety and pollution. Leaving the EU risks taking us down the American route of total dominance by corporations. Our present government is the worst in the EU for pussyfooting round tax avoidance and courting the Chinese rather than defending our steel industry. We have the most centralised and unrepresentative government of any EU country and it’s our own government’s policies which have caused our problems, so leaving won’t solve them. We need to join forces with the peoples of Europe to defend our public services and restore democracy.” Take our poll
How are you likely to vote?