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University of York Labour Club votes to remain in the European Union

Image credit: Callum Shannon, Chairman of the University of York Labour Club (via Twitter)
Image credit: Callum Shannon, Chairman of the University of York Labour Club (via Twitter)
Image credit: Callum Shannon, Chairman of the University of York Labour Club (via Twitter)

The University of York’s Labour Club has voted to campaign for Great Britain to remain in the European Union in its first club policy debate under the new 2015/2016 committee.

The university’s Labour Club hosted a debate between two speakers on Great Britain’s membership in the European Union. Aiming to persuade the audience to campaign for Britain to stay was Jake Strong, a last-minute substitution for Akul Pankhania, while calling for us to leave the European Union was Huw Davies. The winning side would decide the Labour Club’s policy toward the European Union from now until the referendum.

The Labour Club has recently become the biggest political society at the university. The event was open to both members of the university’s Labour Club and anyone else, concluding with an external vote on the debate on behalf of everyone attending the event and an internal vote for Labour Club members only, upon which the policy would be decided.

Jake Strong opened with a brief examination of the economic benefits and trade partnerships that the country is set to lose if we decide to depart the union. He praised the European Union for guiding the nations of Europe with common agreement over differences. Whether we depart the EU or not, we will still be following EU regulations, he argued, so it doesn’t seem to be that profitable for us to leave it.

Huw Davies asked the audience if there really is a price for democracy, calling for us to leave the European Union to preserve our democracy and national sovereignty in the face of a mostly-unelected body over which Great Britain does not have enough say. Funding that the EU would usually allocate to our local communities would be replaced with the funds that we pay the EU ourselves.

In the external vote, forty votes were cast in favour of remaining in the EU against eight, with nine abstentions including the chairman. In the internal vote, for Labour Club members only, thirty-two votes beat three to decide the Labour Club’s policy, with the chairman making the only abstention. The Labour Club’s policy will for the next two years be in favour of Great Britain remaining a member of the European Union.

On Friday the Labour Club hosts Richard Burden MP, Shadow Transport Minister and former student at the university, at 7:15pm in ATB/042.