Federation of Small Businesses hustings

The hustings debate with candidates from each party, organised by the Federation of Small Businesses in Sheffield on Wednesday, was exactly what a debate should be: about different options for policies and where the parties stand on them, rather than on the existence of the EU and our membership of it — this is a matter for our national parliament, not the European Parliament. Only the UKIP candidate tried to divert discussion into that particular dead end.

Interestingly, a big part of the discussion was on energy and climate change, and the different options facing Europe for security of supply, cost, and environmental consequences, with some recognition that the market alone won’t solve all our problems.

The UKIP candidate was laughed out of court when he revealed that he hadn’t read his party’s policies, and was unaware that that they proposed to end the ban on certain types of asbestos.

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