Business leaders had their say on Europe at a lively EU referendum debate held by Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI).
They questioned ‘Stay’ and ‘Leave’ panel members at the Dorset EU Referendum Debate at the Cumberland Hotel in Bournemouth.
More than 50 senior executives, partners and owners attended the event, which was the latest DCCI Business Leaders Forum. It was independently chaired by former DCCI president and educational consultant Richard Dimbleby.
The Stay panel consisted of Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood; Sir Graham Watson, who is a Lib Dem and former MEP; and Alfatronix Ltd managing director Keith Reilly.
They were lined up against a Leave panel of Christchurch MP Chris Chope; Caroline Stephens, who is activist support manager of the Brexit Campaign; and Simon Boyd, contracts director of REIDsteel.
Red tape and regulations, exports, consumer benefits, employment, investment, immigration, labour pools, fishing, trade agreements, business confidence, security and British influence in Europe were among the subjects to come under the spotlight.
Former DCCI president Malcolm Scott Walby of Scott Walby LLP raised the issue of business uncertainty while others to pose questions for the panel included Duncan Johnston, development director at Morgan Sindall, Emma Martineau of Phones 4 Business Ltd and Scott Sinclair, a director of Deep South Media.
DCCI chief executive Ian Girling said: “This was a lively and informative debate which focused on a number of issues.
“There were convincing points made with passion by members of both panels as well as intelligent questions posed from the floor.
“As a non-partisan organisation, DCCI’s role is to give members the support they need to make an informed decision.
“This debate offered plenty of facts, figures, analysis and food for thought for members to digest before the vote on June 23.”
Ian added: “Our sincere thanks to Richard for his adept and authoritative chairing of the debate as well as members of the panel and all of those who attended.”
DCCI Business Partners attended the event along with DCCI president David McNair, senior vice president Vincent Boni, board members and ambassadors.
DCCI, voice of business in Dorset, has around 800 members employing more than 37,000 people.
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