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What a wonderful non-EU world

What a wonderful non-EU world

Politicians should benefit workers, not businesses

by Stuart Wheeler in London

Fri 29 Apr 2016

The world outside the European Union will be wonderful! That’s why the UK should leave.

Outside we can take our own decisions. We have not been invaded for nearly 1,000 years. We have taught others how governments should work. Now we can be our own masters again. Michael Gove, the Conservative MP and former education minister, one of the leaders of the Leave campaign, makes the point well. Again and again, he has told us, the ministerial civil servants say to him, ‘I quite understand, minister, but we cannot do that. It is against EU rules.’

Why should we worry about entering a world where we decide for ourselves? Are we afraid they will be horrid to us if we leave?

The EU is trying to frighten us. But once the British are out, the EU will act in its own interests. The rest of the EU sells £60bn of goods to us in excess of what we send to them, and by God these countries need the money. So of course the other European nations will enter into a free trade agreement with us. The people running Europe are not mad.

But even if there was no free trade agreement, that would matter little. According to a study by Michael Burrage, a director of market and corporate strategy research company Cimigo, published by think tank Civitas, ‘There is no evidence that the single market programme has helped the exports of the UK to other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries.'

The average duty would be little more than 1%. The US pays it. Japan pays it. Our friends in the Commonwealth pay it. They all export to the EU with no difficulty. So could we. We have no reason to be tied to this group of 500m people, an area struggling to achieve decent growth. Out of the EU, we would be free to make deals with any other country in the world. At the moment EU rules forbid it.

We must think carefully about how to prevent terrorism. We need to consider that 1m people enter the EU as refugees each year. Some are indeed refugees. Some simply want a better economic life. A small proportion, but nevertheless a crucial one, are terrorists. Once they get in, it is not hard for them to get a passport. Then we have no right whatever to exclude them from this country.

Reflect, too, on this quotation: ‘My argument is not going to be in any way that Britain can’t succeed outside the EU. Of course we could. We are still a great country.’ Who said that? David Cameron, the UK prime minister. He was right.

So governing ourselves is the great prize.

Reflecting on more down-to-earth matters, we must bear in mind that more than 50 healthcare workers recently called for the UK to leave the EU to save the National Health Service. With just a small part of the UK’s gross EU payments of £350m a week, we could do wonders for the NHS.

And there will be higher wages for our lower paid if we are on our own and control immigration from the EU. Businesses like to employ foreigners for unskilled work. They accept lower pay than our workers will accept. Businesses are important. So are British workers. The duty of politicians is primarily to benefit our own people rather than businesses.

My message to British people who are proud of our country, as I am, is this: For goodness sake, vote Leave.

Stuart Wheeler founded spread-betting firm IG Index and was Treasurer for the UK Independence party between 2011 and 2014. This is No.45 in the series.

OMFIF’s series on the UK EU referendum presents a wide variety of perspectives from Britain and around the world ahead of the 23 June poll. We are assuring a balance between many different points of view, in line with OMFIF’s overall neutral stance on the issue.

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