Bristol and Bath politicians sign open letter urging remain vote

Bristol and Bath politicians have joined forces to urge their constituents to vote remain in the EU Referendum.

In an open letter the 14 MPs, MEPs and councillors said a Brexit would be bad for the area.

The listed the amount of money given to the region's universities by the EU, adding, "it is thanks to our EU membership that the Bristol and Bath area is home to world-class universities".

The Leave campaign points out this is a national - not constituency vote - with opinion polls suggesting it is a very close contest.

In the letter they wrote:

Last year, we were all campaigning against each other.

This year, we are united in our view that Brexit would be bad for Bristol and Bath.

You might care about the environment, or the fact that our economy is still fragile after the great financial recession of 2008.

You might value your rights as workers, or the education and research opportunities available to you as a student or young person. Bristol University and UWE combined have received £129 million in funding from the EU in the last 3 years alone, and Bath Spa and Bath University have also benefitted a huge amount. It is thanks to our EU membership that the Bristol and Bath area is home to world-class universities.

You may enjoy our clean beaches and bathing water or visiting some of the UK’s precious wildlife habitats, protected thanks to EU regulations.

You might remember the sacrifice of European war, or value the cooperation and arrest powers available to Britain across Europe.

You may have children or grandchildren whose future is your priority, whom you want to have the choice to study, work, travel and do business anywhere in the European Union, or you may be thinking about your own retirement plans.

You may enjoying travelling around the European Union without visas, with free health care thanks to the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), and enjoying ever - lower roaming charges on your phone, thanks to our European Members of Parliament.

You might work in one of the 45,000 jobs in Bristol that will be at risk if we leave the EU, or you might run your own business selling your products and skills to the largest trading block in the World. South West businesses export 55% of their total exports to the European Union, which makes clear what an important trading partner the EU is.

Bristol is a leading European city. Our local economy is strong, in part, because of our strong trading roots with the continent.

We have come together, as political foes, to ask you to vote for Bristol. Next Thursday your vote will have an impact of our city for generations to come.

Bristol is stronger, safer, and better off with Britain as a member of the European Union.

We ask you to stand with us to vote for that future. Vote Remain on Thursday 23rd June.

– Open letter
Credit: PA

Is your politician on the list? Here's who signed the letter:

  • Marvin Rees – Mayor of Bristol
  • Clare Moody – Labour MEP for South West England and Gibraltar
  • Darren Jones – 2015 Labour Parliamentary candidate for Bristol North West
  • Thangam Debbonaire – MP for Bristol West and Shadow Culture Minister
  • Ben Howlett – MP for Bath
  • Karin Smyth –PPS to Shadow Health Secretary and MP for Bristol South
  • Kerry McCarthy – Shadow Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs and MP for Bristol East
  • Helen Holland – Bristol Labour councillor and cabinet member for Place
  • Tony Dyer – 2016 Green candidate for Bristol Mayor
  • Brenda Massey – Labour councillor
  • Mark Bradshaw – Labour councillor and cabinet member for Transport
  • Clare Campion-Smith – 2015 Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Bristol North West and Lord Mayor of Bristol
  • Justin Quinell – 2015 Green Party Parliamentary candidate for Bristol North West
  • Molly Scott-Cato – Green Party MEP for South West England and Gibraltar