Pro-Europe leaflets have been dropping on Cestrians’ door mats hard on the heels of Nigel Farage’s ‘Say No to EU’ tour which came to Chester late last year.
The debate is hotting up over whether the UK should stay in or get out of the European Union ahead of David Cameron’s promised referendum which must take place before the end of 2017 at the latest but could well be this year.
The pro-European leaflets delivered in Chester were produced by the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign backed by notables including Stuart Rose, the former executive chairman of Marks & Spencer, Labour peer Peter Mandelson, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and Tory baroness Karren Brady, who is also an aide to Lord Sugar on BBC’s The Apprentice.
The leaflet states: “This year, every voter in the UK will get to vote on whether we remain part of Europe – or leave to be on our own.
“The vote will be final: if the UK decides to leave, we will leave. There will be no going back. And there is so much at stake: jobs, the prices in our shops, rights in the workplace, our national security and the opportunities for future generations.
“The Prime Minister is renegotiating in Europe to get a better deal for Britain. This newsletter gives you the facts so you can make the right choice.”
UKIP leader Nigel Farage gave a very different view when he addressed a rally for 670 people at Chester’s Crowne Plaza hotel last November. And the party leader said it was the growth of UKIP that had pressured the Tories into reluctantly agreeing to hold the EU referendum.
He said: “What has been done in our name is they have literally given away our country. Our message is loud, simple, clear - and I believe, absolutely right - our message is we want our country back, we want out country back, we want our country back.
“We want our country back because it’s the right thing to do, we want our country back because we believe in self-government, because we believe in ourselves as a nation, because we believe that democracy is better than bureaucracy or autocracy and because we believe the best people to govern Britain are the British people themselves.”
“And, despite all the lies about economics, we believe Britain would be better off economically running its own affairs.”
But Mr Farage, who is married to a German woman, said he was not anti-Europe.
He said: “Europe is the most fascinating continent on the planet because of its diversity of language, of culture, of wine, of cheese and everything else.
“I’m actually very pro-European. I love Europe. I mean, I married somebody from Europe. I’ve drunk more Spanish wine than is good for me. I like to holiday in France. I love Europe but I hate the European Union.”