UPDATE WEDNESDAY 9.20AM: Holbeach Hurn farmer and ex-Tory leader differ on EU vote
The UK’s continued membership of the European Union (EU) is the “best defence” against the risk of “nationalism and conflict”, according to a leading South Holland farmer.
Mark Tinsley’s defence of the UK staying in the EU came just hours after a visit by leading Vote Leave politician and Conservative MP Iain Duncan-Smith to Holbeach yesterday (Tuesday).
Mr Tinsley, a director of P.C. Tinsley Ltd in Holbeach Hurn and board member of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, described himself as a “staunch remainer” and added that a vote to leave the EU could lead to a “shattered economy” for the UK.
“At a national level, I believe that a united Europe is our best defence against the rise of nationalism which has historically led to conflict,” Mr Tinsley said.
“Also at a national level, the business advantage of free access to the EU market and the inward investment into the UK as a result of that access are very persuasive.”
Mr Tinsley’s views are in total contrast to Mr Duncan-Smith, Conservative Party leader between 2001 and 2003, who described a vote to leave the EU as “the only way to get change”.
Mr Duncan-Smith said: “We are the most ancient parliamentary democracy on the face of the planet and the very idea now that we have to kowtow (follow) to a bunch of people who simply don’t seem to get the idea of democracy is simply beyond me.
“So why wouldn’t you vote to leave (the EU)?”
TUESDAY 8.30PM: Top Tory MP brings ‘Vote Leave’ message to Holbeach
Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan-Smith brought his arguments for the UK to leave the European Union (EU) into the heart of Holbeach today.
Mr Duncan-Smith met supporters and handed out leaflets in the town at the end of a hectic day of campaigning in which the ex-Work and Pensions Secretary also visited Chatteris and King’s Lynn.
Speaking to Spalding Today outside Holbeach Library, Mr Duncan-Smith said: “I wasn’t absolutely certain about leaving the EU about a year or two ago because I thought it just may be possible to get reforms.
“But it’s just impossible and I watched this all from inside government.
“The thing it taught me was that the EU just does not want to reform and the only way you will get change is to vote to leave.
“You’ll get back your government and that’s the one thing this is all about.
“You get back the democratic control of your own government and from that comes everything else.
“Control of your borders, control of your laws and, eventually, treaties and trade with the rest of the world.”
When Mr Duncan-Smith was asked by Spalding Today reporter Luke Williamson about how Parliament might change after the referendum result, he said: “I can’t tell you what the future will look like, but the political parties are all divided.
“They always will be divided on big things like this and I’ve been working with Labour, UKIP, Conservatives, all working together because of one thing.
“We care about the future of our country and you’ll find lots of people crossing on both sides of the issue.”