The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) today voted to remain in the European Union following a lengthy debate at the union's annual conference in Blackpool.
Firefighters from across the UK heard persuasive arguments from both sides of the debate before agreeing to remain.
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, told more than 200 firefighters: “It’s not our referendum. The referendum is taking place because of wrangling amongst the Tories. It’s a result of pressure from the right wing of the Conservative Party and the threat from UKIP. The agenda has largely been set by these two groups. As a result, the agenda has inevitably focussed largely on migration…..The outcome of a Brexit vote is likely to lead to a change in prime minister, and we could end up replacing one old Etonian for another.”
The person most likely to gain from a Brexit vote would be Boris Johnson, delegates heard.
“This is the man who forced through the worst cuts in the history of the fire service, anywhere in the country, ever....so far the referendum debate has largely been a feud between elites over the best way to exploit workers.”
Following the union’s remain vote Wrack said “We are hugely relieved because the union’s vote is about what is right for firefighters. The result was a lot more clear cut than we thought it would be”.