STEPHEN HEPBURN: Act in haste, repent at leisure over EU

Boris Johnson won't lose his job, but you might
Boris Johnson won't lose his job, but you might

Act in haste, repent at leisure is a good old piece of advice that has stood the test of time. I hope people think of it when we vote today, Thursday 23 June, on the important decision of EU membership which will effect Tyneside, North East England and Great Britain for generations to come.

We each have one vote in our democracy and I will be casting mine for our area, region and country to Remain in the European Union. I hope you do too and here’s why.

Lashing out by Leaving, quitting the club instead of fighting for our interests, would be a disaster.

Despite its problems – and reform is essential going forward – the EU is crucial for jobs, prosperity and security.

As part of Europe, this country is in the world’s biggest trading block with 3m-plus UK jobs relying on EU membership. And like I said, one of the reasons I’m voting to Remain is the North East benefits hugely from the UK’s ties.

Our region receives substantial European grants, investing millions. Pulling out could see the likes of Nissan rethink future plans, whatever the hucksters trying to con a Leave vote would have you believe.

Nearly half of all of our exports go to the EU,with around 160,000 North East jobs supported.

If we voted to Leave, those private schoolboys Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage won’t lose their jobs but you or a neighbour might. I don’t believe anybody’s job is worth paying for Johnson to get the job he covets as the next Tory Prime Minister.

So voting out over, say, immigration when the Leavers have no plan to cut the numbers coming to our country would in my opinion prove a hasty act we’d spend decades regretting when to quit would inflict an irreversible wound.

The Leavers plotting our exit wouldn’t have money to spend on an NHS they anyway want to privatise when recession would more than wipe out whatever was saved on our membership fees for the European club and the lost benefits prove expensive for families.

I fear that leaving the EU would give the green light to a Conservative Government now free to scrap jobs rights such as paid holidays and better treatment for agency workers, rights currently guaranteed by Europe.

The lies and deceit from both Tory sides in this referendum campaign were depressing but I’m a Remainer because I believe it is best for Tyneside, the North East and Britain.

Leading not leaving Europe offers the best hope for the young and future generations so let’s unite and Remain today.