#EUYourChoice – robust debate in Belfast across Tory and Labour lines

EUYourChoice panel - Owen Paterson, Kate Hoey, Jeffrey Peel Angela McGowan, John Stevens, Vernon CoakerTonight’s EU Your Choice debate began with ten minute presentations from the four GB political panellists before moving into a Q&A. The full event was live-streamed and should soon be available to replay.

  • Kate Hoey (Labour MP) – leave
  • Vernon Coaker (Labour MP) – remain
  • Owen Paterson (Conservative MP) – leave
  • John Stevens (former Conservative MEP) – remain

The panel was co-chaired by Quadriga Consulting’s Jeffrey Peel and Danske Bank Economist Angela McGowan, making it an interesting format given their differing voting intentions!

There were arguments from the heart as well as from the head. There was talk of competing visions, contradictory facts and figures, scare stories swept away (on both sides). One of the more memorable lines was when Owen Paterson assured the audience that the morning after Brexit it would not be a case of “dragons are going to come up the Lough and mice will come out of the taps”!

Having covered six or more EU Referendum debates over the last few months, this was the first in which I’ve heard Leave campaigners who were more logical and reasoned in their arguments than those speaking in favour of Remaining. [Ed – they’re wearing you down!]

EUYourChoice Final pollIpsos MORI’s polling app was used to determine the level of innies and outies amongst the in-room and online audience. By the end of the night, there was a swing (in terms of what was in the best interests of the UK) from remaining to leaving the EU.

Alan Meban. Normally to be found blogging over at Alan in Belfast where you’ll find an irregular set of postings, weaving an intricate pattern around a diverse set of subjects. Comment on cinema, books, technology and the occasional rant about life. On Slugger, the posts will mainly be about political events and processes. Tweets as @alaninbelfast.