Cheryl Gillan, MP for Amersham & Chesham, says LEAVE
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.