On 14th May, the Brexit campaign kicked off in the North West, with hundreds of activists attending an outdoor Grassroots Out rally in Chester city centre.
I was be joined by former Conservative cabinet minister Owen Paterson in making a case for a Leave vote on June 23rd.This referendum is not about whether you are on the right of politics or on the left, whether you are Tory, Labour, UKIP or support no party at all. It was a pleasure to share the day with Owen.
This referendum is about taking back control of our country. And it is a vote that could be won and lost in my region.
There are seven million people in the North West. The EU affects our lives day in, day out. On Saturday Owen and I will be saying to each and every one of them - let’s take back control of the £350m a week we send to Brussels and invest it in our local public services, let’s take back control of our borders and let’s get our freedom back.
In Cumbria and other parts of Lancashire, our farming and fishing industries have been disadvantaged by top down EU regulations.
In Manchester and Liverpool, open borders with the EU have placed untold strain on communities.
In Chester, my home town, financial services will be encumbered by planned EU-wide taxation and excessive regulations.
And across the region, the proposed TTIP deal with the United States threatens to privatise our NHS if we remain in the EU.
This referendum is a once in a lifetime chance to take back control of our country. Unlike a General Election, every vote matters.
I am delighted to be joining people from all political persuasions and none to campaign for a more democratic, secure and prosperous Britain.
Thank you to everyone who supported the event.