On the 12th February Sixth Form politics students were privileged to attend a talk by Andrew Lewer MBE, the Conservative MEP for the East Midlands and former leader of Derbyshire County Council.
After speaking with the Marriott Society about his personal experiences working as an MEP during such a turbulent time, we discussed how the UK viewed its EU membership in comparison to other member states.
After coffee Mr Lewer gave a speech to everyone explaining how the role of the EU had expanded since the Lisbon Treaty and it came as a surprise to many of us to hear his pro-Brexit views.
We were then offered an insight into the workings of the European Audio-visual Media Services Directive, an example of the creeping European influence and how it impacts us daily from the length of advertising breaks to the censorship of hate speech.
The talk culminated with a discussion on the different ways Theresa May has been portrayed by the media since she became Prime Minister last July. Many of the maths and economics students had read the recent headline of The Economist “Theresa Maybe” and were keen to find out how fair her portrayal was by such an influential magazine.
Questions were put to the floor and there were plenty of them – the concept of European Citizenship, the changing role of the European courts, the rise of the far-right and of course Brexit.
The election of MEPs is covered in our Lower Sixths exams and we all left feeling a little more prepared for our mocks!