Last Friday evening, an EU debate took place at Billingborough Village Hall. The impression I came away with was this.
Just like the national trend, probably 15 per cent of those people in attendance favoured leaving the European Union, citing various reasons, such as the amount of money the UK pays in order to be a member and the high number of migrants moving to these shores.
I would estimate that a further 15 per cent were in favour of remaining in the EU, with most citing reasons such as safety in numbers, the financial risk associated with leaving and not wanting to lose our biggest trading partner.
The majority, I believe, were still very much undecided and confused, which seemed to be the position held by one of the future candidates for mayor of Greater Lincolnshire, who was in attendance.
I personally believe that the close partnership with mainland Europe has contributed to keeping the peace within our part of the world and, as a 59 year old, I am only too glad that I have not had to go to war.
As an NHS campaigner for patient safety, I regard future funding for our health service as an important factor in deciding how to vote.
The big boss of the health service, Sir Simon Stevens, has made some very valid points regarding funding.
He points out that during times of austerity, less money is available for health provision.
In fact, the latest offer of £10 billion from the ‘Vote Leave’ brigade will fund the NHS for less than one month.
So if, as they wish, we leave and, as the Bank of England predicts, we go into recession, it is going to be a massive struggle to find the other £100 billion. People will suffer, I have no doubt.
I can’t help feeling that previous English governments appear to have not fought hard enough for our national interests in Europe – a bit like the weak leadership here in Lincolnshire.
As a consequence, we are in a weak position, but leaving will not, in my opinion, improve matters.
My gut feeling tells me that we should remain a member of the EU on the condition that our representatives work much harder in fighting for and protecting the interests of the people of Great Britain.
If this final big push fails, then we can have a further referendum to finally withdraw.
Think very carefully as, should we decide to leave and it turns out to have been a mistake, to be accepted back as a new member would inevitably involve having to adopt the Euro as our currency.
Lots to consider, so best not to act in haste.