Lobby group campaigning for close EU links launched in Shropshire

A lobby group has been launched in Shropshire to campaign for close links to the EU amid the looming Brexit deadline.

Chairman Saffron Rainey of European Movement Shropshire
Chairman Saffron Rainey of European Movement Shropshire

European Movement Shropshire has been created after two groups - European Movement for North Shropshire and Open Britain Shropshire, joined forces with representatives from Telford, The Wrekin and Ludlow.

A virtual meeting was held last week to solidify the formation of the group, which will lobby the county's MPs.

The group fears a weak Brexit deal, and plans to argue for strong links with the European Union.

A committee has been elected that represents all the five parliamentary constituencies in Shropshire.

Chairman Saffron Rainey said: “We need a comprehensive relationship with our neighbours and largest trading partners, the EU. It is crucial that these negotiated agreements are allowed to be fully realised. A deal is vital for Shropshire, our NHS, our industries, our farms and all its citizens. A ‘No Deal’ or ‘Australian type deal’ are not options that will benefit the British people.”

Linda Bradbury, deputy chair, added: “We are campaigning for a good deal that will protect the vital supply of medicines and medical equipment that comes from the EU to the UK.”

Mark Fermor, treasurer said. “For Shropshire’s farming community to thrive it is crucial that we maintain the standards of animal welfare and environmental protections that have resulted from the UK being integral members of the EU for the past forty plus years. To lose these standards will have a very detrimental impact on farming in Shropshire.”

Anthony Lowe, mayor of Wellington and committee member highlighted the importance of smooth customs arrangements and the minimising of non-tariff barriers with the EU that allow ‘just in time’ supply chains to operate.

He said: “If we don’t have an agreement that allows for goods to freely move from the UK to the EU and from the EU to the UK, this will have a negative impact on the businesses based in Telford and the rest of Shropshire. It will result in less trade and with that fewer jobs.”

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