In a major intervention on the debate over Britain’s membership of the European Union, ministers will come together to make the case for “Women For Remain”, to convince women to vote to stay in on 23 June.
A fortnight after we marked the 150th anniversary of the Suffrage petition, female ministers will unite to urge female voters to cast their vote and make their voices heard. 20 female ministers and whips have joined forces to make the case for why staying in Europe is important for them. Each has set out their own, personal case for why we should vote to stay in the EU.
The ranking female politicians include Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, Energy Secretary Amber Rudd, Home Secretary Theresa May and Pensions Secretary Baroness Ros Altmann, representing departments across Whitehall, including the Home Office, DEFRA, BIS and the FCO.
At an event to mark the initiative, Nicky Morgan and colleagues from the Cabinet will warn that elections are decided by the people who turn up. Otherwise they risk having their future decided for them, not by them.
And it looks set to be female voters who will decide Britain’s future in the European Union. Recent polling shows that women’s votes are up for grabs – with almost twice as many female voters undecided about which way to vote than men.
Recent data show 11% of women say they are undecided – meaning as many as 2.74m women could be yet to make their minds up. And around 1 in 7 of those women saying they currently intend to vote Remain or Leave, also say they may end up changing their mind. Together – that means nearly 1 in 4 women’s votes are still to play for, with just a week to go.
Polls show women just want to hear the arguments so they can make their mind up and want to focus on the issues at hand. Women want to know how the public services they rely on will be impacted by the economic shock of the UK leaving the EU. Women also want to know what the impact will be on their families, their children and grandchildren – something the Leave campaign have repeatedly shown they cannot do.
In Britain today we have record numbers of women in employment, the lowest gender pay gap in history and the highest ever numbers of female entrepreneurs and women led business. In fact – Britain has been named the best country in Europe for women to start a business, and there is no doubt that Britain’s female entrepreneurs benefit from access to the world’s largest single market of 500 million people. Leaving the EU would put this all at risk.
The EU also has a proud history of standing at the forefront of EU efforts to tackle the barbaric practices of forced marriage, FGM and human trafficking. Not only does the EU provide significant investment to tackle these crimes; it protects women through legislation, supports transnational projects and facilitates the exchange of good practice. And it makes us safer - thanks to the European Arrest warrant we’ve been able to get 7,000 suspects, including those guilty of murder, rape and child abuse out of the UK and brought 1,000 of those who committed similar crimes and fled to Europe, back to face justice.
Women for Remain’: https://issuu.com/conservativesin/docs/women_for_remain_issuu_790c4c22c688c3