With less than a month to go until the EU referendum, campaigners urging people to vote to stay in have made their case in Sheffield.
A pro-EU discussion featuring MPs Nick Clegg and Caroline Lucas, Baroness Shirley Williams and others took place at Sheffield City Hall in front of about 80 people today (Wednesday, May 25).
The event was organised by the European Movement, for which chairman Laura Sandys and chief executive Matthew Fulton also took part.
Earlier in the day, Ukip leader Nigel Farage toured the city in a bus to argue the case for the leave campaign.
Challenged to make an emotional argument by a member of the public, Sheffield Hallam MP Mr Clegg said it was about ‘safety in numbers’.
“When faced with insecurities and challenges we are just safer when we do things together with others,” he added.
Mr Clegg urged young people to vote, saying it was their future that was at stake. He also criticised those leading the leave campaign, saying they would not feel the economic effects themselves.
Mrs Lucas, the Green Party’s only MP and former leader, acknowledged the EU needed to be reformed, but said the UK would be in a better position to lead that from within.
She spoke about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, which aims to reduce the regulatory barriers to trade for big business, and has caused concern across the world.
“The best way to fight it is by fighting it in the EU,” said Mrs Lucas. “We could stop it tomorrow if we pressed out European Parliament members to do it.”
Baroness Shirley Williams, a former leader of the Libl Dems in the House of Lords, said if Britain left the EU it would turn into a ‘small, inward-looking, sour nation’.
She said the EU was the best way to come up with big solutions to big problems such as the refugee crisis, and pointed to the success of the nuclear weapons deal signed with Iran, led by the EU.
And she said certain areas such as the NHS, which has 135,000 foreign workers, would suffer hugely if the UK left the EU.