Case for Brexit in focus as EU vote nears D-day

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With less than two weeks to go until the EU referendum, Wiganers can expect campaign pressure to peak in the coming days.

The borough will be paid a visit by the Ukip battle-bus today and a poll conducted by the Evening Post’s digital team suggests the case for Brexit is being taken on board.

A Wigan Today poll conducted just after the referendum date was set earlier this year had residents split down the middle.

Another taken this week has seen a sway towards leaving the European Union by 61 to 39 per cent.

The future of the NHS has been a frequent topic of debate with regard to EU membership on our Facebook page.

Jay Wilson said: “NHS privatisation and the trans-Atlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP) trade deals will open the floodgates for American ownership if you remain.

“They could also sue the government if a policy is put in place that affects a company’s profits so we would lose out heavily in the future.”

Daniel Morris added: “(I’m voting) In, I trade with Europe and elsewhere. It’s a lot easier and cheaper to trade with Europe, I can see our prices going up on June 24 (if we vote to leave).

Charlotte Gore posted: “Voting out, I’m a student nurse and my career is with the NHS, if we stay in I guarantee it will be privatised.

“We were absolutely fine before we entered the EU, so why can’t we go back to being independent?”

Phil Leyland said: “In, anyone who thinks voting out stops us being governed by un-elected faceless bureaucrats is naive. Yes Minister was truer than you think.”

The borough’s four parliamentary representatives are split down party lines with Labour’s Lisa Nandy, Yvonne Fovargue and Andy Burnham firmly in the remain camp while Bolton West’s Tory Chris Green is backing Brexit.

National polls also suggest Brexit campaigns have narrowed their deficit in recent days with experts predicting the result will go down to the wire.

The visit of the Ukip battle bus today in Leigh follows on from the Labour In campaign’s own battle bus visiting Wigan last month.

Leading Ukip MEPs Paul Nuttall and Stephen Woolfe will be present.

Trevor Bell, leader of cross-party group Leigh Leave, said: “I think a lot of people are baffled by how the EU actually works so it will be good for them to be able to directly ask questions of MEPs. A lot of ordinary people in the borough realise the EU is very much for the Eurocrats, banks and multi-nationals and Leave is on their side.”

Labour’s visit brought former leader Ed Miliband to Wigan town centre with the Doncaster North MP telling the Evening Post: “The key message for people here in Wigan is I’m not arguing to stay in the EU because I don’t want the country to change. I think the country has to change.

“I think people realise there are complex issues here but I would say the principles and traditions, the traditions of the Labour movement which are very much embodied in Wigan, are around solidarity and looking after each other and that’s true within our country and also working with other countries to tackle the problems we face from within the EU.”