Conservative county councillors are calling for a debate on membership of the EU, claiming the UK should get out unless a better deal can be reached as past policy has “undermined social cohesion and confidence”.
Ahead of the full council meeting of Lincolnshire County Council on Friday (February 19) Conservative County Councillor for Louth Rural North Tony Bridges is proposing a motion on behalf of the Conservative group for debate on the draft EU/UK deal.
This motion is being seconded by Boston Rural Conservative Councillor Mike Brookes and has the backing of council executive member Coun Marc Jones, in which Coun Bridges says: “It is vital that this country is able to control its borders before the situation becomes untenable.”
In their motion they call for the county council to welcome the Prime Minister David Cameron’s achievement in delivering an ‘in-out’ referendum on UK membership of the EU for all to have a vote on this issue.
But Coun Bridges states: “In the ensuing negotiations the Prime Minister identified some clear objectives covering matters such as immigration, welfare and sovereignty which could form part of a revised relationship if we were to remain in. Unfortunately, due to continental intransigence the current ‘deal’ offers very little in terms of delivering a sustainable and fair welfare and immigration policy for the UK or the ability to repatriate some powers back to this country.”
He goes on: “Lincolnshire, particularly on the east coast has seen an unprecedented rise in economic migration which inevitably has put pressure on public services, many of which this council provides. It has also undermined social cohesion and confidence in some areas.
“It is accepted that most migrants come to provide necessary labour and contribute in many ways. However, as the EU has totally failed to deal satisfactorily with mass migration from outside Europe it is vital that this country is able to control its borders before the situation becomes untenable.”
Coun Bridges adds that they also need to reduce unnecessary interference and bureaucracy from the EU, in order to successfully grow the Lincolnshire economy, which does not seem currently likely in the negotiations.
He will call for the council to resolve that the current EU deal does not offer a good opportunity for Lincolnshire and unless a better arrangement can be negotiated, the United Kingdom would be better placed to grow and develop outside the European Union.
County Council Executive member and Conservative candidate for the role of Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire, Coun Marc Jones added: “I fully support the motion being put at full council on Friday by the Lincolnshire Conservative Group and will be voting for it.
“Also as a Police and Crime Commissioner candidate I fully support the need for proper border controls and a managed immigration system for everyone not just those outside of the EU.
“We must ensure that public service budgets including police, schools, councils and the NHS can be managed and I don’t believe that this can be achieved within the EU.”
Lincolnshire Conservatives hold 36 seats on Lincolnshire County Council and run the authority in coalition with Liberal Democrat Councillors and Independent Councillors.