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Thousands of jobs in Kent and Medway would be at risk if the UK left the European Union, according to the Liberal Democrats.
The party launched its campaign for the elections in the south east region (Monday 12) at an event in Maidstone designed to underline its claim that the economy would suffer if the UK left.
Activists and supporters gathered on a field in Coxheath with a large map of the south east revealing how each individual constituency benefited from EU membership through jobs, according to an independent economic study.
The party, which currently has two seats in the south east, is facing an uphill battle at the election on May 22, with opinion polls suggesting they are in for a battering.
But MEP Catherine Bearded was bouyant and denied the party’s pro-European stance was out of step with popular opinion.
“The Liberal Democrats have always had stiff fights. But we fight on the things we care about and the things voters care about. A referendum would allow us to debate the issue and demonstrate that is the best thing for us to stay in.”
Leaving the EU would mean Britain would forfeit any influence on how the single market was regulated, she said.
“You need politics to regulate the market and we see that on a daily basis. It is vital to stay in. The EU is not going to go away. There are thousands of jobs right across Medway and Kent that depend on imports and exports within the EU.”
For details on all candidates and parties standing, see our online election special here: http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kent/news/euro-special-167/83
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