Whilst we won't be able to definitively answer the question of staying or leaving at this event, we should be able to perhaps answer some of the hot topics of the day with our panel members.
Dr Alan Bullion lives in Tunbridge Wells and works in London as Principal Analyst and Special Reports Publisher for Informa Agribusiness intelligence.
Alan stood as a Lib Dem European parliamentary candidate in 2014, and for Sevenoaks in the 2010 and 2015 general elections. He is a member of the National Executive of the European Movement and often speaks on the EU to local schools and colleges. Alan studied as a mature student with the Open University and completed a PhD on the Tamil Tigers at the University of Southampton. He is also an active member of the Campaign for Real Ale and United Nations Association.
1965-1973 Ministry of Defence
1973-1980 Department of Trade & Industry
1980-1985 Foreign Office (attached to UKREP to the EU, Brussels) - Counsellor, Internal Market
1985-1998 EU Council of Ministers (Director, Internal Market)
2000 - 2007 Borough Councillor, Tunbridge Wells (Rusthall, Culverden)
2014- present Chairman, West Kent European Movement
James arrived recently in Tunbridge Wells having lived previously in North London and Essex. He lives with his partner and between them they have six children, a dog and two cats. His preference for Brexit is driven by his skepticism in the ability of governments generally to act on behalf of the people they are meant to serve. The bigger such governments are, the more inefficient and more distant they will be from the needs of the people and governments don’t get bigger or more distant that the EU. This is a once-only opportunity to rid ourselves of a big bureaucratic inefficient distant layer of government; we’d be fools not to take it. He is a fierce champion of individual rights and freedoms and describes himself as a Libertarian. He supports free trade, which might indicate support for the EU but, as we know, the EU is a protectionist organisation against the wider world. James supports free trade globally. Such is his passion for personal freedom and liberty that he, with friends, created a registered political party called Pro Liberty. The party is currently dormant, but when the time is right….
Tim Pendry is co-founder of the Democratic Left Network - http://www.democraticleftnetwork.com – and on the Advisory Boards of the Democracy Movement and Leave.EU He is also a resident of Tunbridge Wells. He has a long history of involvement in both international business and in British grassroots politics.
He was twice Deputy Chair of the Labour Finance & Industry Group and was Co-ordinator of the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance within the Labour Party in the mid-1990s as well as being involved in projects such as the foundation of the think-tanks Demos and Catalyst and the refinancing (through the trades unions) of Tribune. He founded the controversial investigative journalism website – www.exaronews.com
His position on the European Union is fundamentally based on criticism of its undemocratic nature, on the illusion of peace and security it offers now that it is part of the forward march of neo-liberal imperialism, the incompetence of its elites at everything they touch (notably over migration) and its systematic buying up of special interests at the cost of long term sound economics.