EMPLOYMENT is at the heart of the European issue, according to a Liberal Democrat MEP candidate for the South East.
Antony Hook has spoken out about why he thinks we should vote to stay in Europe in the elections on May 22.
The Lib Dems, who currently hold two of the 10 MEP seats for the South East, have selected Antony, 34, as a candidate.
He is a barrister specialising in criminal law and has spent 11 years as a lawyer focussing on crime.
He spent the last four years working with police to prosecute serious and organised criminals, in particular international fraud and money laundering. He has obtained court orders leading to the seizure of more than £3.5 million.
Antony said: “If I am elected MEP, I will speak up in Brussels for people in Woking and throughout the South East.
“My focus is on employment and the economy. Three million jobs are linked to our trade with the EU. We must not put those at risk and we must pursue policies, like deals with other parts of the world, that will create more jobs in Britain.
“Recently the Confederation of British Industry concluded that UK households benefit from the EU by nearly £3,000 a year. I very much believe in our EU membership and ask everyone who shares that view to vote for me on the May 22.”
Antony, who went to Dover Grammar School for Boys in Kent followed by University College London, takes a pro-European stance. He added: “I am also concerned by climate change and international crime.
“We need countries in Europe to co-operate with these problems closely. The Lib Dems are the only part of ‘in’. Other parties are prepared to gamble without membership and will put livelihoods at risk.
“Jobs are a central issue as we choose our MEPs in May. Major employers and businesses overwhelmingly agree that we need to be in Europe. The EEF – who represent UK manufacturers – reported that 86 per cent of their members say it is vital we stay in the EU.”
Antony, who lives in Kent, hopes to become one of the 10 MEPs representing the eight million residents in the South East.
He said: “Eight out of 10 firms in the Confederation of British Industry and the Federation of Small Businesses are also behind membership. Being ‘in’ means we can sell goods and services into Europe without barriers. It attracts investment and means we have a say in making the rules. I care about people’s jobs. That is why I support us being in.”
Leader of the Lib Dem group on Woking Borough Council, Ann-Marie Barker, said: “Antony will make a great European representative for Woking.
“As a criminal barrister, he has the legal mind to tackle legislation, he will protect British jobs by keeping us in Europe, and continue the good work of other Lib Dem MEPs by protecting our environment.”