Ch­eryl Gil­lan, MP for Amer­sham & Che­sham, says LEAVE

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - THE EU DEBATE -

THIS is a choice Brits have wanted to make for many years and one which suc­ces­sive Govern­ments have sought to avoid in case it reveals an in­con­ve­nient truth that the UK may wish to re­assert its pow­ers of self-de­ter­mi­na­tion.

The Ref­er­en­dum is pre­sented as a bi­nary choice – in or out – but not nec­es­sar­ily de­fined by po­lit­i­cal al­le­giances, so al­ready the war of words has started.

I have one vote just like ev­ery­one else over 18 who is el­i­gi­ble. But al­ready col­leagues in their re­spec­tive par­ties have started to air their dif­fer­ences ag­gres­sively.

This mat­ter is com­pli­cated. In many cases the vot­ers do not un­der­stand the op­tions and the Govern­ment has said that no work is be­ing car­ried out on what would hap­pen if we vote to leave the EU which has been de­signed to build bias into the de­bate not least with its threat­en­ingly en­ti­tled “Project Fear” de­signed to try and in­flu­ence the out­come for the “Re­main” side of the ar­gu­ment.

Hav­ing “bat­tled for Bri­tain” peo­ple are left be­liev­ing that the of­fer from the Prime Min­is­ter is all the UK can get from Europe. It is pre­sented as a take it or leave it propo­si­tion; stay on the bus or you will fail to reach your des­ti­na­tion.

Are we go­ing to con­tinue in­ex­orably down a road where our laws are pro­posed by a group of peo­ple that we can­not even name and cer­tainly can­not ei­ther vote into of­fice or re­move from of­fice.

The im­pli­ca­tions of th­ese prob­lems are se­ri­ous. If we fail to have re­spect for each other’s op­pos­ing views then we could per­haps see, post ref­er­en­dum, re­crim­i­na­tions and a re­align­ment of the ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties. At the very least there is al­ready much com­men­tary on lead­er­ship bids within the Con­ser­va­tives and pun­ish­ments for hold­ing a dif­fer­ent opin­ion from the cur­rent lead­er­ship or mi­nor

re­wards for com­pli­ance be­come com­mon­place.

If the vot­ers are not ed­u­cated on what is pos­si­ble they will not be mak­ing an in­formed choice.

The EU is cur­rently 28 mem­bers, how­ever there are six coun­tries

cur­rently wait­ing to join, with more mooted. What share of voice will we have when there are 34 have coun­tries? It should not be a fright­en­ing prospect for the peo­ple of this country to want to de­fine and set their own laws and rules. And the propo­si­tion is to free this country from the Euro­pean Union not Europe; we are not float­ing the UK off into the mid­dle of the Atlantic.

If we vote to leave, we will re­main the world’s fifth largest econ­omy on the doorstep of a group of coun­tries that need us eco­nom­i­cally more than we need them.

The Chan­cel­lor has in­vested much cap­i­tal in telling us that our fu­ture lies in trad­ing with the rest of the world yet our re­la­tion­ships are al­ways de­fined through the EU – take TTIP for ex­am­ple. The im­pli­ca­tions of re­turn­ing free­dom to our ne­go­ti­at­ing po­si­tions has to be an at­trac­tive one.

The des­ti­na­tion that the Euro­pean Union wishes to reach is one of a fed­eral state called Europe. The im­pli­ca­tion of that, no mat­ter what dero­ga­tions are ne­go­ti­ated from time to time, means ul­ti­mately ask­ing Bri­tish citizens to sub­mit to a rule of law set out­side this country and there­fore los­ing con­trol over our fu­ture.

And by im­pli­ca­tion as the struc­tures of the Euro­pean Union has de­vel­oped in­creas­ingly con­trol has passed to more and more re­mote bu­reau­crats and even elected par­lia­men­tar­i­ans. If you can­not name all your MEPs in a re­gion or the 28 Com­mis­sion­ers who con­trol the law mak­ing process in the Euro­pean Union then should you be vot­ing to stay within that Union that will in­creas­ingly con­trol more and more of your day to day lives.

So for me – and maybe for you – the so­lu­tion is to Vote Leave.

This will in­di­cate clearly to our Euro­pean neigh­bours that we want to have a re­la­tion­ship with them on the ba­sis of equals not like a child as a sub­ju­gated country that can be told what to do.

If we vote to leave, the treaty ar­range­ments al­low us to rene­go­ti­ate the terms of our re­la­tion­ship with the EU on an ‘adult’ ba­sis and the EU will want to re­main on good trad­ing terms with us not least as they sell more to the UK than we do to Europe.

Our se­cu­rity ar­range­ments will not be watered down be­cause the im­pli­ca­tions for the EU coun­tries would be just as se­ri­ous for them as it is for us.

We will re­main in NATO, the UN, the Coun­cil of Europe, the WHO and all the other in­ter­na­tional in­sti­tu­tions.

I am fiercely Bri­tish and like the Prime Min­is­ter I love this country but I want it to think and act for it­self not ‘loosen the apron strings a lit­tle’ but still re­main firmly un­der ‘nanny’s’ con­trol.

Con­ser­va­tives have al­ways es­chewed the Nanny State and it’s about time we did the same to the Nanny Su­per­state.

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