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News - 6 January 2016
Caroline Lucas

Big Debate ‘Should the EU be more business friendly?’

Brighton Chamber’s first Big Debate of 2016 invites MP Caroline Lucas and MEP Daniel Hannan to the lectern to discuss EU business issues.

Brighton Chamber’s first Big Debate of 2016 is on 15 January, where we’ll take a closer look at the issues around staying in or coming out of the European Union and ask whether the EU should be more business friendly, with our speakers Caroline Lucas MP and Daniel Hannan MEP.

Caroline Lucas has been the MP for Brighton Pavilion since 2010, when she became Britain's first Green MP. She was re-elected in 2015 as the Green Party won their highest-ever share of the vote. She served as Leader of the Green Party from 2008 to 2012, and from 1999-2010 she served as one of the Party’s first MEPs.

Caroline Lucas says a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU is a vital opportunity to create a better, more democratic Europe: “I’m very much looking forward to taking part in this debate. The result of the EU referendum will shape Britain’s future and define our place in the world, and debates like this are really important part of the democratic process. “I want Britain to remain a part of the EU because I believe that we are stronger when we work together on the shared problems we face.

“But ten years working as an MEP in the European Parliament was more than enough to convince me that the EU is far from perfect. Too much power is held in the hands of the elites. It's not as democratic or accountable as it could be.

“But to make the EU better for every European we need to stay in and reform it.”

Daniel Hannan has been a Conservative MEP for the South East of England since 1999, and is Secretary General of the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists. He speaks French and Spanish, and loves Europe, but believes that the EU is making its member countries poorer, less democratic and less free. Daniel will be making the case for why Britain would be better off, economically, outside the EU. Local businesses, charities, social enterprises and public sector organisations will be attending the debate, and with the topic of whether Britain should stay in the EU becoming ever more complex, and with a business audience, it is expected to be a lively and informative discussion.

Chaired by Frank le Duc of Brighton & Hove City News, questions and issues to be discussed include:

  • What does the EU have to offer businesses right now?
  • What are the economic arguments for staying in/coming out of the EU?
  • How does the EU need to change to improve growth, create jobs and enable businesses to flourish?
  • Does the EU impose too many rules on business? Or does it protect business?
  • Is it easier to sell goods in EU countries if we stay in? Does being in the EU help us to trade across the rest of the world?

The debate will be held in the newly refurbished auditorium at the Brighthelm Centre, on North Road in Brighton on Friday 15 January 3pm – 5pm. Link to book: The debate is being sponsored by ABC Translations.

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