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Secret ballot over Europe to take place at three debates

PUBLISHED: 12:18 19 May 2016 | UPDATED: 12:18 19 May 2016

UCS said it had not been made aware of any staff participating

UCS said it had not been made aware of any staff participating

Picture:James Fletcher

University Brexit debate is one of three special events across the county

Three special Brexit debates are being held across Suffolk, with the third taking place at UCS on the Waterfront on June 9.

Sarah Howard MBE, president of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce said: “We hope that these three events will not only allow both sides in the EU debate to put their case, but will give Suffolk’s businesses the chance to cut through the spin, get to the facts and help them make up their minds as to what is best for their businesses”.

Hosted jointly by Suffolk Chamber and the East Anglian Daily Times, sponsored by Parker Communications and chaired by Inspire Suffolk’s Terry Baxter, the three debates are taking lace in Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich and Lowestoft.

Those attending the debates will be joined by speakers from Britain Stronger in Europe and Business for Britain, the two business-focussed organisations representing each side of the debate.

After the speeches have finished, there will be ample time to raise questions of - and make points to - the speakers.

Atttendees will also be able to anonymously ‘vote’ electronically where they stand on staying in or leaving both before and after the speeches and discussions, with the result posted up on screen.

“As such we will be able to see instantly not only where businesses currently stand on this key issue, but how their opinion shifts based on what they hear” explained Amanda Ankin, head of chamber services at Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.

“We expect each event to be packed out and so the total numbers attending is likely to reach 150 businesses – making the votes a significant snapshot of current business opinion in the county”.

John Dugmore, chief executive at Suffolk Chamber, added that: “although our organisation remains neutral on the issue of the EU Referendum, we know that our members and indeed the wider Suffolk business community hold a range of views on this key topic. But all are in agreement that businesses need to hear clear and coherent arguments from both sides of the debate. That is why we believe that these three debates will be the definitive chance to listen, question and vote.”.

The details of the three events are:

May 25, 5.30pm: Ashlar House, Bury St. Edmunds

June 7, 5.30pm Hotel Victoria, Lowestoft

June 9, 5.30pm University Campus Suffolk, Ipswich

More information at: http://www.suffolkchamber.co.uk/events/suffolk_chamber_events/

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