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Graham Watson talks flooding, crime and prosperity in Blandford

By mmanning  |  Posted: February 11, 2014

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Graham Watson MEP and Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Hugo Mieville with councillors and supporters at the Woodhouse Gardens in Blandford.

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Graham Watson, the only Lib-Dem Euro MP representing the south west, was a visitor to Blandford on Friday when he met party workers and answered questions before joining local campaigners in canvassing a number of wards in Blandford.

Mr Watson, whose constituency includes Dorset, the Isle of Wight and Gibraltar, presented the Lib-Dems "route-map for Europe" to a meeting in the Woodhouse Gardens Pavilion, and was introduced by prospective parliamentary candidate Hugo Mieville.

Mr Watson described his hectic workload during the week, including an interview for the BBC Today programme, broadcast that morning, on the issues facing the Somerset Levels where he lives.

He said: "There is no conflict between being British and being European. But for the first time we have an organised voice taking 26 per cent of the vote for a populist uprising against the EU which they associate with all sorts of ills, and we have got a battle on our hands. The case against is largely emotional, and that in favour is largely rational."

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He outlined three main areas in which membership of the EU had benefited Britain under the headings of jobs and prosperity, law and order, and facing serious environmental challenges.

"If we were outside the community we would not get the inward investment seen at Honda, Airbus, Westland and Hamworthy, and there is a huge amount of networking to be done with other countries in fighting serious crime, particularly cybercrime.

"The serious environmental challenges we face at the moment may or may not be man-made, but nobody is disputing that there is a period of climate change, floods, hurricanes and heatwaves, and it is all about water - too much, too little, or in the wrong place."

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