Cambridge for Europe Steering Committee

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The Cambridge for Europe campaign is guided by a steering committee made up of a combination of Cambridge residents, political representatives for Cambridgeshire, and representatives of Cambridge's Universities. The members of the committee are as follows.

Robert Lowson

Co-Chair

Much of my career has been focused on relations with the EU, since before we joined, with most of this experience being in areas which are vital to individual citizens – including food production, environmental standards, and public health.
I have seen:
- a genuine appetite for collaboration among all EU partners, and a strong recognition of the contribution that the UK can make
- the value of sharing ideas, experience and good practice
- continuous adaptation to changing circumstance and pressures
I have learned:
- that we don’t have all the answers to most problems, and that searching for shared solutions can lead to better outcomes
- that collaboration doesn’t dilute essential national differences, and that trying to understand these differences can be enormously rewarding
- that more work needs to be done to help British people to understand how the EU works
I can be contacted at chair@cambridgeforeurope.co.uk.

Rod Cantrill

Treasurer

I am an owner of a financial advisory company with clients across Europe and a Cambridge Liberal Democrat councillor as well as a passionate believer in the European project, which has brought stability and security to a continent for 70 years. 
On a business level, the lack of barriers enables me to work on a seamless basis from Helsinki to Bologna, one of the many examples that illustrate the economic value that the UK and Cambridge derive from being part of the European Union.
On a political level I have seen the aspects of Cambridge life that are enriched by our membership of the  European Union.  This ranges from:
- the extensive academic collaboration that assists Cambridge in maintaining and enhancing its world leading status in many areas of research, to
- the quality of life that results from the positive policies that influence areas such as employment rights and environmental laws, to
- the economic and cultural value the city benefits from as a result of an element of its residents originating from other European countries
A ‘Yes’ vote in the referendum will ensure that Cambridge and the surrounding area continue to benefit from this important relationship.
I can be reached at treasurer@cambridgeforeurope.co.uk.

Lord Richard Balfe

I am a member of the House of Lords where I serve on the European Union sub-committee. I am also President of Cambridge Conservative Association.
From 1973 to 1977 I represented Dulwich on the Greater London Council and from 1979 to 2004 I represented the same area in the first to the fifth directly elected European Parliament. In the early 1980’s I was part of the team led by the late Altiero Spinelli that drew up and had adopted by Parliament the blue print for what became the fundamental treaties that extended the powers of the Parliament and laid the foundations for the Treaty of European Union.
During my time in the Parliament I served for a long time on the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Security and Defence sub-committee. I saw the benefits of EU co-operation which whilst not always fully present meant that at least one tried to get agreement on a common position and in my experience often succeeded.
In 2001 I was expelled from the Labour Party and some months later in 2002 joined the Conservatives a move I have never regretted though I still have many Labour friends and do not doubt their commitment or sincerity.
From 2008 to 2012 I served as David Cameron’s envoy to the Trades Union movement. I am pleased that the great majority of Unions are supporting us remaining a member of the European Union.
I can be contacted at richard.balfe@cambridgeforeurope.co.uk

Clodagh Barker

I am a citizen of Cambridgeshire, a citizen of the United Kingdom, a citizen of Europe and I believe that it is important that we all feel that we are citizens of the World.  I am also a mother of three children and a member of a large family, which is spread around the world.  I feel passionately that we must not damage our children’s futures by shrinking the horizons of the world in which they live. We must remain part of the European Community.

In a World where communications are increasingly global, the idea of retreating back onto our small Island fortress and leaving this Community of Nations makes no sense to me. We should be expanding the family we belong to not reducing it. We must remain a key participant in the decisions that are made about Europe. As with all families there will be differences of opinion and differences of need, however these can’t be resolved unless we are part of the negotiations. We must not expose ourselves to the painful and long drawn out problems, which would result from the U.K leaving the Union.

Alex Mayer

As a Labour politician, I sit on the foreign policy section of Labour's national policy making body. In 2014 I stood in the European Elections and am now the chair of the East of England group of the Labour Movement for Europe. I strongly believe that Cambridge and the East of England are stronger in Europe. I'm voting to remain in the EU for jobs, rights at work and our environment. Let's not take peace in our continent for granted either - my grandparents fled the Nazis and made their home in our tolerant country - peace and stability matter.

Carol WrightAfter spending much of my career outside the UK and with friends in many EU member states, I firmly believe in the advantages of voting to stay IN. 
I have observed the increasingly influential role of the UK, together with the Scandinavian countries, in driving reform in what was once a heavily French bureaucratic system. English now predominates. Red tape continues to be reduced. 
There is a significant decrease in new legislation along with reform or withdrawal of existing rules and regulations. The UK with the 3rd largest EU population and thus one of the highest numbers of democratically elected members in the European Parliament and weighting of its vote in the Council of the EU, is well placed to lead from the front to speed up change and further simplification.
Freedom of movement has enabled my sons and many of their friends to receive part of their education in a different EU member country and has bettered their chances of employment.
Thousands of UK nationals enjoy improved rights for health care (EHIC) and access to reliable medicines; in and out of work benefits when living in another EU country; the opportunity to work or just to travel in the EU. Many of those who have grown up since 1973 have assumed those rights were always there, which was not the case.
I believe that the UK has the potential to lead in Europe, it should not forfeit this chance.

Mark SladeI am a Cambridge Green Party co-convenor, executive partner of Deleted Scene and history graduate from the London School of Economics. With increasing international problems crossing traditional state borders, I believe that remaining an active and cooperative partner in the European Union is the most effective way of working towards a positive and peaceful future.


Sarah Squire

Co-Chair 

Cambridge has been home to me and my family now for over 30 years so we’ve seen the legendary ‘Cambridge phenomenon’ as it surged ahead. This city and its region is a shining example of the benefits of stability, open markets and the freedom to attract talent.  What Cambridge needs as it grows and consolidates is the continuity of a strong British voice at the heart of Europe – and NOT the massive uncertainties and diversion of national energy which would hit us if we voted to leave the EU. 

Cambridge is one of the powerhouses of the UK and I’d love to see this city lead in giving a strong ‘Yes’ to Europe.
I can be contacted at chair@cambridgeforeurope.co.uk.

Damiano Sogaro

Secretary

I am finalist law student, attending Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. Although I have held a range of varied positions during my time at university, from the first term of my first year I have been involved with the university’s European Society on which I now serve as Vice-President (Internal). As a member of that committee, and as an author of a blog which seeks to find themes in today’s political landscape, I advocate a position of involvement, not isolationism, in world affairs. Why?

On the personal level I have received the full benefits that a society which encourages integration can offer. After having been born in Italy, and moving to the UK when I was five, I experienced inclusion in the form of entry to the state school system and the society in which I lived. But it goes beyond the personal. The EU represents the banding together of very many similar political interests, allowing them to be magnified for maximum impact on the international world stage. Interest which are similar but not the same will naturally pull in different directions at certain junctures. The EU is about being able to step back, when we reach those junctures, and realise that the 21st century is our chance to combat inequality and raising the living standards of all through compromise. Dissolving the EU is the first step away from that road. I can be reached at secretary@cambridgeforeurope.co.uk.

 

Ben Gallant

As a third year Natural Sciences student at Jesus College born in Leeds you’d be forgiven for wondering why I've opted to become president of the Cambridge University European Society, and also involved in Cambridge for Europe. That I was actually raised not in Leeds but in the Shetland Islands perhaps gives me not-quite-international-but-trying-his-best status but is still far from conclusive. In fact the answer does not lie anywhere in my upbringing or origin, as it does not for most Brits who describe themselves as pro-European. Instead it is the world I see around us which instills my internationalism. International cooperation as we know it is necessary in the world we see today, but over the coming decades as we, as a planet, face some truly global problems, a new form of cooperation will be required, an even closer form. This kind of cooperation is facilitated by bodies such as the EU but it is embodied by the cultural cooking pot which is Europe. Cultures know no borders, boundaries, countries nor flags, and thus it is at the overlap between cultures where cooperation and companionship are bred; companionship strong enough to hold us together as we face the problems of the future together.

Mark Argent

As chair of Cambridge Liberal Democrats, and having stood for parliament in 2015 as well as previously being secretary of the East of England Faiths Council I bring experience of the high tech sector and of the links between faith, governance and psychoanalysis.
My involvement in regional governance in the East of England has done a great deal to shape his view of the European Union as an umbrella which creates the peace and stability needed to let powers be devolved and local diversity flourish. 
Time spent in the Far East has changed my perspective and made me aware of the richness of the European cultural heritage, which feels diverse from the inside, but actually gives us a great deal that is shared and distinctive.
Friendships with people whose lives have been affected by the long shadow of the Second World War also remind me of the profound value of the peoples of Europe working together.

David GraceI run the consultancy Inside Europe helping people deal with the European Union, which I've have followed since I was 12 years old, when I debated at school in favour of British entry.  My experience includes standing for the European Parliament in 2009 and lobbying on behalf of local and regional government as well as environmental groups in most member-states. I'm also the Secretary to the James Madison Trust which promotes Federal Studies and have lectured on the EU at several universities, and was President of the Young European Federalists and have been awarded the Robert Schuman Silver Medal for work for European Unity. I sit on the Council of the European Movement, representing the Eastern Region. I believe the European Union isn't just a market and social and environmental legislation, vital as these are, but essentially a peace process daily solving conflicts between countries which have fought each other for centuries.  Peace is not just the absence of war but a democratic structure of law which replaces war.  We need the union not because we are all the same but because we are different and need to resolve our differences peacefully.