By Bernard Jenkin MP
People ask, what does “out” look like? The answer comes from Stuart Rose, leader of the “remain” campaign. He said: “Nothing is going to happen if we come out of Europe...It’s not going to be a step change or somebody’s going to turn the lights out and we’re all suddenly going to find that we can’t go to France, it’s going to be a gentle process.”
The UK joined what was called the “Common Market” 43 years ago - for trade and friendship, not to become absorbed in today’s unaccountable and undemocratic EU.
Today, globalisation has changed the world. If we leave the EU, it’s in nobody’s interest to go back to trade tariffs and protectionism. Who in the EU advocates that? Nobody. The rest of the EU sells far more to the UK than we do to them. Free trade is in all our interests.
David Cameron himself says today’s EU is too big, too bossy and it costs too much. The UK government paid the equivalent to one fifth of the UK’s defence budget to the EU last year. The EU gives back less than half.
Outside the EU, the UK could pay for everything funded by the EU in the UK, and still have another £9.9 billion more to spend on the NHS or science research every year, instead of subsidising our EU competitors. The UK’s trade deficit would also be cut by a fifth. Brexit would be good news for the economy.
If you vote leave, European courts can no longer stop the deportation of terrorist suspects and foreign criminals. You take back control over your borders and immigration policy. You can make new trade deals with growing countries like China and India. The UK regains its place on key bodies like the World Trade Organisation, where real decisions are made, instead of being represented by some EU official. The UK regains influence.
The British Establishment “remain” campaign would have you believe that the new EU deal will be a triumph. However, the deal has already been exposed as a bad one. The European Court of Justice can overrule it, so it is not “binding and irreversible”. It does not change the treaties at all. The deal takes away our veto on future Eurozone treaties. It does not take back national control over our laws and borders.
Nobody really likes the EU any more. The EU’s two defining projects, the free movement of people and the Euro, have proved disastrous: a free travel area for illegal migrants and terrorists, and a permanent economic crisis, inflicting hideous rates of unemployment.
The EU never learns from its mistakes. The recent “Five Presidents” report on the future of the Euro opens with the laughable words: “The Euro is a successful and stable currency.”
Rather than reinstating national frontiers, they want more power to set up an EU border force. Why vote to remain in an EU when we reject its main purposes?
The Government has already resorted to “project fear”, but threats of migrant camps in southern England or massive job losses make them look like harmless Wizards of Oz, rather than serious statesmen.
Many politicians used to claim that the UK would lose jobs and investment if the UK stayed outside the Euro. They were wrong before, so why believe them now?
Ask the real question: what will the EU be like if you vote “remain”? Experience shows it means being forced to give up more money and power to Brussels every year. Wracked by crisis, where’s the EU going to next?
These are the personal views of Bernard Jenkin MP.