Young people back EU withdrawal

By Ian Dipple Tuesday 20 November 2012 Updated: 21/11 11:27

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Buy photos » Student Zak Shaaban,15, interviews the panel (left to right) County council leader Adrian Hardman, Insp Ian Joseph, panel chair Ian Dipple, Bromsgrove council leader Roger Hollingworth, Coun Jane Potter, responsible for education on the county council and Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid. Also present but not pictured were Lib Dem MEP Phil Bennion, Conservative MEP Anthea McIntyre and Nikki Sinclaire from the We Demand a Referendum Party. Picture by Marcus Mingins 4712010MMR

PLANS to claw back powers from Europe have been described as a 'dream' by the leader of the party campaigning for a referendum on Britain's future relationship with its continental partners.

Speaking at an event in Redditch, Nikki Sinclaire, who founded the We Demand A Referendum Party, said the Coalition Government's plan to renegotiate European control over areas of UK law would not work as in most cases it would require the alteration of a major treaty and the agreement of all 27 member nations.

"We can change and tweak some bits but fundamental laws you would have to get the agreement of all 27 nations including probably a referendum in Ireland to allow us to do that," she told a local democracy question time event at NEW College last Friday (November 16) which was attended by more than 100 pupils from schools across Redditch and Bromsgrove.

"If we are around the negotiating table with the EU why don't we have on that table withdrawal, because are they really going to give us any powers back unless they think we will leave?"

Sajid Javid, MP for neighbouring Bromsgrove, said renegotiation was not easy but possible.

"The starting point is to make sure we don't give away more powers without the consent of the British people. The next step is to work out what powers the EU has and that's not that straightforward as it has become very complicated over the years and then we can decide what we want to do with it," he said.

"We are a coalition government of two parties with very different attitudes towards the EU so it makes it difficult to reach an agreement and given the Eurozone countries themselves are going through a big crisis at the moment it's probably not the right time to turn up at the door and start demanding more powers but it is the right time to start thinking about what we do as the EU changes shape."

A show of hands from the crowd revealed the majority were in favour of withdrawal from the union.

The event was organised by Redditch county councillor Juliet Brunner and other topics included cuts to school funding, opportunities for young people, austerity measures and the impact of the election of Police and Crime Commissioners.

Redditch MP Karen Lumley and Coun Bill Hartnett, Labour's Redditch Borough Council leader, were unable to make the event but the fact Labour was not represented on the panel was criticised during the meeting.

Afterwards Coun Roger Hollingworth, leader of Bromsgrove District Council, said more similar events should be held.

"We should listen to young people more often."

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