More than 200 people packed a Yorkshire venue today for an information event about the European Union and the forthcoming referendum.
The event at the Carllise Business Centre in Manningham, Bradford, was organised by Amjad Bashir, Conservative MEP for Yorkshire and The Humber.
As well as Mr Bashir, speakers included the high-profile Conservative MEP for the South East of England Daniel Hannan, Conservative MP for Morley and Outwood Andrea Jenkyns and Carl Chambers, Yorkshire Regional Chairman of Business for Britain.
Mr Bashir said: “This was an opportunity for people to have their burning questions about the EU answered… how its bureaucracy operates, how much it costs, how it affects trade and jobs.
“My own view is that the EU is undemocratic, restrictive, unfair and bad for the economy. If we vote to leave on June 23 we can decide our own laws, keep our own money to spend as we wish and set our own immigration policy instead of having all these things dictated by Brussels.”
Mr Hannan said: “The EU has many faults, one of them being the way it cuts across our ties to the Commonwealth.
“That damages us in two ways. It harms our ability to make trade agreements across the globe and to make the most of our historic links with Commonwealth nations.
“Secondly it means we have an unfair immigration system which discriminates against citizens outside the EU who may have very good reason to come here, even those with close relatives who are already British citizens.”
Miss Jenkyns said: “Leaving the EU is about returning to true national sovereignty. We have to be governed by people we elect rather than a remote elite in Brussels.”
Mr Chambers said: “Yorkshire and The Humber gives about £1.1 billion a year to the EU. That is 25 times what we spent on flood defences and enough to build four district hospitals per year.
“This is a country of small businesses and our jobs growth comes from them. Only five per cent of businesses in this country actively export to the EU but 100 per cent have to comply with its regulations.”