Will Wigan vote leave or stay?
If the early polls are to be believed, there is still everything to play for - our latest twitter vote showed 60 per cent of Wigan people support exiting the EU - and both sides of the referendum debate will be fighting for every vote.
With the scrupulous neutrality the Wigan Evening Post and WiganToday has maintained throughout this campaign, we have given an equal amount of space to those in the Remain and Leave camps.
IN THE LEAVE CAMP
Paul Nuttall, Ukip deputy leader and North West MEP
There have been a lot of ludicrous scare-stories thrown around over the possibility of Brexit, not least on immigration.
Even the former, failed PM Gordon Brown was wheeled out to say it is only illegal immigration, or immigration from outside the EU, that is the problem.
What absolute nonsense. The Labour Party when in government infamously admitted opening our doors to almost endless immigration to annoy the Tories.
That wasn’t entirely true – is it ever with Labour? What they wanted was a grateful new workforce who would then vote Labour, and to hell with the British workforce.
Free movement between EU states is one of the principles of the organisation that like many socialist ideas looks great on paper, but not in practice.
Wigan can only organise itself better if it knows the numbers it is planning for. Until we leave the EU, it will never be able to.
David Earley, Wigan and Makerfield Vote Leave constituency co-ordinator
I believe the referendum is vitally important for the people of Wigan and that we should vote to leave the EU.
It is about who has the right to make our rules and therefore shape the future for our children and grandchildren.
Given the devolution plans for Greater Manchester, if we vote to leave it will mean we can have a greater say in democracy, be clear who is accountable, and the money we send to Brussels can instead go directly to where it is needed locally for schools, public services, the NHS, and to tackle poverty.
Wigan will benefit as we will be able to trade more freely with the rest of the world and we can protect our environment.
Leaving will see a rise in wages and homes will become more affordable for first time buyers. Wiganers should vote to leave to take back control on June 23.
Chris Green, MP for Bolton West
The Referendum is almost upon us and people are finally making up their minds. There have been many scare stories about Britain once again being an independent sovereign state but these arguments are now failing.
The government spent millions of your money on a propaganda leaflet but it failed to mention their Vote Fear agenda of World War 3, global economic meltdown and, as Donald Tusk said, the end of western civilisation.
In desperation, the Remain campaign hope you will vote in fear.
Britain has a great history to be proud of and have incredible global influence. We have the world’s fifth largest economy, fourth largest military and a seat on the UN Security Council. English is the global language of commerce, science and diplomacy and our culture is world leading.
We have a fantastic future so let’s take back control of our borders, our money and our democracy.
IN THE STAY CAMP
Lisa Nandy, MP for Wigan and shadow energy secretary
From global companies like Heinz to local firms like Kings Quality Foods, trading freely in a market of 500 million customers has helped our economy. 350,000 North West jobs are linked to trade with the EU.
The EU invested in us even when government wouldn’t, rebuilding Manchester after the bomb, funding Wigan and Leigh College and supporting our regional universities to lead the world in cancer research.
Together we’ve agreed rules to clean up our beaches, air, and rivers, to stop climate change and prevent more flooding across our region.
And by agreeing EU wide rights at work, against asbestos exposure, for part time workers, and on maternity and paternity leave, we’ve stopped big companies playing us off against each other and driving down working conditions here.
Most of all the EU has helped bring peace to Europe for decades. Let’s not throw all of this away.
Yvonne Fovargue, MP for Makerfield
Women could hold the key to the EU Referendum result. There are a million more women than men eligible to vote and polling shows that almost twice as many women as men are undecided about how they are going to vote on Thursday.
Whether it is equal pay for equal work, rights to minimum paid leave, maternity rights, and paternity rights, equal rights for those in part-time work or agency work - predominantly women - health and safety in the workplace, and anti-discrimination laws, the EU has had a positive impact on the lives of British women and their families every day.
Brexit would put this all at risk, allowing a Tory government to strip away protections for women in a race to the bottom on workers’ rights.
Will Patterson, Green Party member and remain campaign local representative
The referendum this coming Thursday provides us all with a clear choice, and it’s important to know what EU membership offers.
The EU has delivered the right to paid annual leave and maternity leave. It’s delivered equal rights to agency and temporary workers, and the Working Time Directive, protecting workers from exploitative bosses.
It’s not only our rights at work that are supported in Europe: our beaches and rivers are cleaner thanks to EU standards, and the most effective way to tackle climate change and pollution is by working together with our neighbours.
And Wiganers benefit from visa-free travel to Europe: not just for a holiday, but to live, study, work, trade and retire across the continent.
So whether it’s our workplace rights, our environment or our broader horizons, we’ve come a long way since 1973. Instead of taking our country back, let’s keep taking it forward, and vote Remain.