NATIONAL TV is coming to Halesowen this afternoon to canvas the views of the town’s business people on Britain’s role in Europe and the Prime Minister’s referendum announcement.
Channel 4 News cameras will be rolling at Lapal House residential care home recording the thoughts and opinions of company bosses, Rotarians and Conservative councillor Ken Turner which will be screened tonight at 7.30pm.
Lapal House owner Tony Billingham, who has hastily gathered the group, said Halesowen had been chosen because it is a marginal constituency whose Tory MP James Morris was one of the “rebels” who voted in the House of Commons in favour of a referendum.
Mr Billingham said turning the national spotlight on Halesowen would help put the town on the map and he expected a “lively” discussion.
“I think we will support our MP - calling for a negotiation of better terms and then go for a referendum on the terms we have negotiated on,” he said.
The local views will follow an interview of Mr Morris in London during which he will say that most people can see some economic benefits to being in the European Union, with thousands of people’s jobs in Halesowen and Rowley Regis depending on the international trade that being in the EU makes easier.
He will say: “About half of our international trade is with other EU countries. However, people are fed up with the European Union seeming to want to meddle in every nook and cranny of our lives.
“They want a Europe that concentrates on the single market and keeps its hands off areas of our lives that are better decided at a national or local level – an EU that does less but does it better.
“It is essential that David Cameron, William Hague and other ministers do everything possible to negotiate a better relationship for Britain in Europe and then for the outcome of those renegotiations to be put to the British people to decide whether they want to stay in the EU or not.”