03:36PM, Monday 16 May 2016
Arguments to remain in or leave the European Union were put forward at a debate aimed at informing Maidonians on the benefits and drawbacks of membership.
Two passionate members of the community led the debate at the High Street Methodist Church, which was chaired by Advertiser editor Martin Trepte on Tuesday.
Christopher Glover, a retired accountant, is in the Remain camp, while Sal Pinto, a management coach, spoke for Brexit.
The pair were each given the chance to give opening statements, covering their chosen areas of concern.
Sovereignty, the economy and migration were the main areas raised.
Arguing to remain, Mr Glover said: “We have made huge differences to the EU and we have made a huge impact. You have to look at who is against remaining, the Euro-phobes. They are scared to be a part of something that is bigger than ourselves. A United States of Europe is not and will not happen; it is not in the founding papers of the EU.”
In response, Mr Pinto said: “We would be able to pick and choose which countries we trade with.
“We can still be a great nation and negotiate our own terms with countries like USA, Canada and Japan.”
Members of the audience were also given the chance to speak, many voicing their support for the leave side.
Another debate will be held on Tuesday, at St Luke’s Church in Norfolk Road at 10.30am where Mr Glover will be arguing to remain, and Matthew Shaw, the organiser of the debates, arguing to leave.
Mr Shaw said: “I always felt that the national campaigns left an important gap, which these local debates have helped to fill.
“It is very encouraging to hear the diversity of views put forward, some quite unexpected. People may not change their minds by attending, but they are taking part in the national debate.”
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