MEP says he will ‘vote leave’ at EU election

Andrew Lewer MEP outside Bicker Village Hall.
Andrew Lewer MEP outside Bicker Village Hall.

A Conservative Member for the European Parliament said it ‘took him a long time’ to come to the decision to ‘vote leave’ in the European Union referendum.

East Midlands MEP Andrew Lewer faces losing his seat on the EU should the leave campaignbe successful – however, he told The Standard while visiting Bicker Village Hall on Friday that he still planned to vote that way.

He said: “It’s been difficult, but I have actually come to a decision on what I believe is best for the UK.

“It’s taken me a long time to become an MEP and it’s a job I have really enjoyed. However, I still think on balance we should leave.”

Mr Lewer was visiting the village as one of the last stages of his EU Roadshow - which despite his feelings, aimed to provide balanced information to those attending.

Mr Lewer was questioned by members of the public on a variety of subjects, including EU process, his reaction to Barrack Obama’s comments, how farming regulations would be affected and Syrian refugees.

Mr Lewer, a former leader of Derbyshire County Council, told The Standard that the East Midlands ‘seems to be particularly minded towards leaving the EU’, adding that it was reflected in the fact that four out of the area’s five MEP’s had announced their intention to vote leave.

He said Boston had experienced a ‘particularly acute’ issues with immigration.

He said: “People in Boston have it on their doorstep. On the whole people are incredibly tolerant and not being racist or aggressive, but they are expressing a view that infrastructure and local services can not stand so much migration.”

He said restricting immigration would not affect people already living here, but could slow migration and money that currently went to the EU could be used to give extra help and support to local infrastructure.

“People will feel more sympathetic if people felt it was dealing with the people already here rather than a never ending flow.”