At Thursday’s Thanet Council meeting, we were asked by Cllr Marson to give our support to the Conservative Party’s pledge that if they are in Government in 2017 they will arrange a referendum on our EC membership.
Personally, I have no problem with a referendum, but would prefer it much sooner than 2017 as I consider the prospect destabilising to the economy when we least need it.
On Thursday I voted against debating Julie’s motion on the grounds that it would have been a self indulgent and pointless debate, precisely the sort of politicking that the independent standards board members recently warned us against.
As she is a candidate in next years Euro Elections and I assume a candidate to replace Ms Sandy’s, I can understand her putting the motion forward. I suggest though that it had more relevance to Tory/UKIP politicking than legitimate TDC business.
We have had debates on National issues before, Bedroom Tax, Animal Transportation, Equal Marriage, but in the case of Bedroom Tax and Animal Transportation, they were directly relevant to Council business. With Equal Marriage, we were asked specifically for our opinion by the Prime Minister.
The EU, and in particular the principle of freedom of movement within the EU boundaries does impact on Thanet Council and could usefully be debated. It has an impact on both areas of my Cabinet responsibilities, Planning and Housing. However, any debate needs to be informed by facts rather than prejudice and rhetoric.
I know that Will Scobie, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate has offered a debate in the New Year with Nigel Farrage and all comers. I will endeavour to obtain the relevant information to inform that debate.