It was the largest debate in The Spectator’s history: we sold out the 2,200-seat London Palladium for our debate on whether Britain should leave the EU, sponsored by Rathbones.
The lineup: Dan Hannan, Nigel Farage and Kate Hoey vs Nick Clegg, Liz Kendall and Chuka Umunna. Andrew Neil chaired.
Here are summaries of all the speeches, as well as the full audio:
Daniel Hannan for Out.
Tonight, I’m inviting you to make me redundant – and, into the bargain, make Nigel redundant. And I wouldn’t be doing if I were not confident that there will be plenty of openings for newly-unemployed MEPs in the boom that would follow our exit from the European Union. Why do we tie ourselves to the one part of the world that is not experiencing significant economic growth? The eurozone, incredibly, was the same size at the end of last year as it was in 2006. Every continent on this planet has grown over the past decade except Antartica and the European Union. We are a trading people. We dont sit on great natural resources here, we have to make our way by what we by and sell, that means we have to be where the customers are. And that means as long as we’re in the European Union, we cannot sign independent trade deals with non-EU countries.
The EU deal with Australia is being held up because some Italian tomato-growers are challenging it. The EU deal with Canada is being held up due to an unrelated dispute about Romanian visa. How have we put ourselves in a position where we can’t do those deals? Liz Kendall quotes some Davos men telling us that we can’t leave because we’d be worse off – but wages would rise, prices would fall. If we stay in, neither will happen.
It’s not just the financial price of EU membership – it’s the democratic price.