THE true British national interest is to remain in the European Union not walk away from it, was the strong message as Thurrock Labour Party held a special meeting in Grays last night (Tuesday 14 March) to prepare for the EU referendum campaign.
Launching locally their "Labour In For Britain" slogan for the campaign, Thurrock Labour heard Euro MP Richard Howitt explain how European Union membership is bring multi-million investment in to the Borough, which those campaigning to leave the EU would put at risk.
Thurrock Labour appointed leading local activists Richard Smith and David Hann as two special ‘Referendum Champions’ to lead the local campaign for Britain to remain in the European Union, alongside the important preparations for forthcoming local council and police and crime commissioner elections.
Richard Howitt MEP told the meeting at St Thomas Of Canterbury Church in Grays:
"Those who argue to remain in the European Union are the true patriots. It is not in Britain’s interest to opt-out from shaping the rules in Britain’s major export market – it would still be a big table but we would leave an empty seat.
"Britain is stronger in the world by being part of Europe and Thurrock in stronger and more prosperous because of the jobs and investment which European Union membership brings."
Citing major European-funded projects like the Royal Opera Costume Centre at the High House Production Park in West Thurrock and new crane facilities at the Port of Tilbury, the Labour MEP said after all the cuts in Government grant to Thurrock’s budget, the Borough could not afford to walk away from access to millions from Europe.
Richard Howitt MEP added:
"The regional local enterprise partnership covering Thurrock is due to receive Â£165million in the next five years, while the my own parliamentary amendment as a Labour MEP working with a Labour-led Council, has given the Borough access to a further Â£300million for partnership projects across the English Channel.
"That is helping Thurrock school children get access to the highest standard of music education, Thurrock unemployed youngsters to find a career and Thurrock small businesses to find cost-cutting energy efficiency solutions.
"British business says quite clearly we get three times more back from Europe than we put in, and all Labour voters in Thurrock are hearing the message tonight that their party believes your job, your security and your rights are better with Britain as a member of the European Union."