Suffolk Chamber and EADT team up to offer local firms their say in the EU referendum debate

John Dugmore, chieif executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, and Sarah Howard, president.

John Dugmore, chieif executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, and Sarah Howard, president. Photo: David Garrad - Credit: Archant

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and the East Anglian Daily Times are teaming up to hold three EU referendum debates around the county.

The events, which are taking place in Bury St Edmunds, Lowestoft and Ipswich, and are being sponsored by Parker Communications, will be chaired by Terry Baxter of Inspire Suffolk.

Representatives from Britain Stronger in Europe and Business for Britain s, the two business-focussed organisations representing each side of the debate, will speak at the events, with guests then having the opportunity to raise questions and make points of their own.

They will also be invited to vote electronically (and anonymously) where they stand on staying in or leaving the EU, both before and after the speeches and discussions, with the results being posted on screen.

Sarah Howard, president of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, which represents more than 1,400 businesses in the county, 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.”

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber, added: “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.”

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The dates and venues for the events, all of which start at 5.30pm, are: May 25, Ashlar House, Bury St Edmunds; June 7, Hotel Victoria, Lowestoft; and June 9, University Campus Suffolk, Ipswich.

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