On Friday 5 June Anneliese Dodds, Labour’s MEP for the South-East region spoke at our fund-raising supper club in Adderbury.
Anneliese guested with John Howarth at our supper club in September 2013 as candidates in the European elections, and many of our members got to know Anneliese well tramping the streets of Bicester, knocking on doors, during the Euro campaign.
On Friday Anneliese said we can use the In/Out referendum campaign as an opportunity to re-build and re-energise the Labour Party.
She said, “Labour is pro-Europe therefore pro-business and we want more focus on jobs and growth, and the budget spent in an appropriate way.
We are supporters of Europe for what it can deliver on workers’ rights – for example, the social chapter and working time directive, and Labour can deliver on green issues too”.
She continued, “We need to dispel some of the myths about Europe and recognise our advantageous it is for our country. Europe costs taxpayers 1p in the £ but provides 15% of the UK’s total research funding”.
On the vexed subject of immigration she said, “There is no evidence for welfare tourism – we are on the side of business and all working people, and want the best of what mobility within Europe means for everyone”.
She said Labour’s pro-European campaign should start now and it was important to push the message at a local level – highlight businesses and individuals who have benefited from us being in Europe”.