He was the guest speaker at the Newbury & West Berkshire local party AGM in December when he gave an inspirational speech on the role of the European Union as the guarantor of peace in Europe since the middle of the last century.
|Antony Hook with local campaigners|
He is a long-standing campaigner for a stronger economy and development of a free market across the continent. Here he makes a compelling economic argument for Europe:
"My ten years as a barrister, prosecuting and defending in the criminal courts, taught me valuable lessons that can apply in politics. One lesson is that to make your case and win you need good evidence. This is it true whether the audience is 12 jurors in court or 6 million voters in this European Election.
Amongst the best evidence you can use is the opinion of recognised experts.
I am pleased to tell you that the Liberal Democrat case on Europe is being endorsed by experts left, right and centre.
Our case is that being in the EU is vital for economy. It means jobs, trade and prosperity.
This is what recognised experts in business say:
Richard Branson – find here
I spoke to Nick Clegg about the business case for EU membership last week – he is right to say EU withdrawal would leave Britain "isolated and irrelevant in our own backyard" and not "taken seriously".
Roger Carr, President of the CBI – find here
UK membership provides unfettered access to a single market of 500 million people, which today is our largest export customer.... Departure would undermine jobs, dilute international relationships and damage national wealth.
Federation of Small Businesses – find here
The internal market offers easy access for first-time exporters with a market of 500 million customers and 23 million businesses on their doorstep. The internal market creates some legal certainty and a level playing field throughout competition rules and many harmonised rules. This means that businesses can save considerable cost when selling to EU countries.
The outcome of this European Election will have a direct effect on our economy for years to come. Nick Clegg spoke about this in his New Year message. Nick said, "The Liberal Democrats are Britain’s Party of In... because being in Europe means jobs, trade and prosperity."
We must not stand by and let Conservatives & UKIP damage our economy by flirting with withdrawal from the EU. Labour lacks our courage to make the case. This leaflet sets out the connection between jobs and Europe.
Could you give up something to help your side win this election and to stop the Conservatives and UKIP claiming to be the proper spokespeople for your neighbourhood?
Please donate online here or send a cheque for SE Lib Dems European Fund to Penny Hopkins, 60 Potley Hill Road, Yateley, Hampshire GU46 6AG.
As I travel around the region taking our message to public (yesterday Kent, today Oxford, Guildford later in week) the support and good wishes of all our party members sustains and motivates me.