Thames Valley business Forum debate

I have been sent the results of the votes held at the Thames Valley Business Forum yesterday morning where I spoke for Brexit against a Labour MEP for Remain:



Arrival poll:-


OUT – 34%

IN – 43%

Don’t know – 23%


Exit poll:-


OUT – 58%

IN – 37.5 %

Don’t know – 4.5%


It shows the Business community does have plenty of supporters for Leave who see the damage the EU is doing to many businesses in the UK, or who like many of us want our democracy back.



  1. DaveM
    June 3, 2016

    Not only the business community but in many other spheres. I have been very critical of the Leave campaign here, but for the past week I have seen a definite change. The Remainiacs on QT last night lacked any coherent argument whereas Frank Field (whom I have always liked mainly for his pro-English stance) came across in the same likeable, sober manner as Vince Cable did during the 2010 GE campaign.

    The Remain campaign has lost the initiative and are beginning to look desperate to get their scare stories over. Keep going John, only a couple more weeks!

  2. Lifelogic
    June 3, 2016

    Indeed small business especially is almost exclusively for out an subsequent bonfire of all the damaging red tape. It would be better for almost everyone. For saver, more secure, democratic and rather better off vote Brexit.

    June 3, 2016

    Shouldn’t get big-headed about it JR. You had the advantage. You were right.

    Reply I do not. I am always glad if people feel better informed after a talk or debate I have participated in. I just try to set out the facts and arguments as I see them, and respect people’s right to come to a different conclusion if they think I am wrong.

  4. alan jutson
    June 3, 2016

    Thought your short presentation was spot on.

    Clear, concise with plenty of facts and references.

    Your Labour MEP in opposition was rather vague, and very fond of giving her own opinion, and with questionable figures.

    A stunning turnaround from the audience, which just goes to show how people, (in this case business owners) can be moved with reasoned argument and facts when it is presented in sensible terms.

    We even had an English Breakfast to start before the debate.

    An excellent morning all round.

    Re[ly Thanks for your kind words. I am glad I helped them think it through. The problem I find with many business audiences is they have been kept in the dark for years about just how much the EU does, and how damaging some of it is.

  5. Lifelogic
    June 3, 2016

    It rather suggest that without the BBC bias leave would win by a huge margin. I suspect they still will win as the remain lines of argument are so absurd.

    Democracy and nimble government, acting in the interests of (and accountable to) the British voters or serfdom under anti-democratic, non British bureaucrats with little or no interests in the UK and with an appalling record over 40+ years.

    It seems a fairly simple choice to me.

  6. Denis Cooper
    June 3, 2016

    You’ve done well, there, JR. But I do notice that so far in this generally poor referendum campaign there has been relatively little mention of the damage constantly being done by EU over-regulation, especially to small businesses which cannot afford to employ staff either to keep up with the latest regulatory twists and turns or to lobby for changes which would be to their advantage. There was a time when the Tory party in particular was hot on this, right to the top of the party, but now apparently as far as Osborne’s Treasury is concerned there is nothing significant to be gained by freeing ourselves from EU diktats because they are all good and useful and we would wish to keep them anyway. There is lipservice paid to “competitiveness”, indeed one of Cameron’s false claims for his “deal” is that he has won a new commitment to improving EU regulation, when they have already been talking about that for years with little being accomplished beyond the talk.

    Reply All UK parties now accept EU employment rules and will keep them. I did answer at some length on harmful regs when asked at the OMFIF debate and will reproduce my answer as a future blog

  7. David Price
    June 3, 2016

    From the polls it looks like you persuaded many of the “don’t knows” and some of the “ins” as well to support OUT – well done!

  8. Denis Cooper
    June 3, 2016

    Off-topic, apparently it’s costing UK taxpayers nearly £0.5 billion a year to keep foreign nationals in prison and the EU is impeding their deportation:

    The question is how much of this should be put on the “net cost of EU” account and how much on the “net cost of mass immigration” account …

    1. Anonymous
      June 3, 2016

      … and how much does EU free movement cost in terms of police, intelligence services and military costs ? Should these be added ?

  9. Anonymous
    June 3, 2016

    Well done ! We need you on TV debates !!!

    Neil Hamilton was blustering on QT yesterday. Frank Field was much better at representing Leave.

  10. Jagman84
    June 3, 2016

    Excellent! It shows that a well structured argument beats fear and bluster. I believe that people are finally waking up to the enormity of the choice we face.

  11. Kenneth
    June 3, 2016

    I’ve seen similar results report for other real-life events where the vote swings to Leave after a proper debate.

    It’s a pity the media cannot allow more of these forums without the producers and presenters putting their own slant on it.

    There were a series of forums on BBC’s Newsnight recently but the BBC hijacked it for themselves, insisting on showing their own films and strictly sticking to their agenda instead of letting the protagonists talk.

    Things were more confused at the end than they were at the beginning.

    The BBC gave us a master class in how not to run a forum on eu membership.

  12. Bert Young
    June 3, 2016

    I am very familiar with the business activities in a large part of the Thames Valley and I am not at all surprised at the outcome of the vote in favour of “Brexit”. Many of the businesses are the result of entrepreneurs who have built their activities from spin-offs and initiatives from Oxford . They know full well that their leading edge products and services are in demand and are well placed to obtain markets and customers around the world . They need no trade shield to make them successful – certainly not from the EU .

  13. Dunedin
    June 3, 2016

    Excellent work Mr Redwood.

    Today we have Mr Osborne appearing alongside Jamie Dimon addressing staff at JP Morgan’s Bournemouth offices. Mr Dimon (who I believe is of Greek heritage?) says he will not tell British people how to vote, then goes on to say that 4000 JPM jobs could be lost if we leave the EU. As I understand it, JPM UK based jobs would only be lost if EU passporting required the jobs to be physically moved to Paris or Frankfurt rather than JPM operating on a brass-plate basis from one of its European offices. What are your thoughts on EU passporting for financial services?

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