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Analysis
Vote Leave to take back power

Vote Leave to take back power

Disaster of EU’s defining projects

by Bernard Jenkin in London

Mon 6 Jun 2016

The UK joined what was called the Common Market 43 years ago for trade and friendship, not to become absorbed into today’s unaccountable and undemocratic European Union.

Globalisation has changed the world. If the UK leaves the EU, it is 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 Britain sells to them. Free trade is in all our interests.

Prime Minister David Cameron himself says today’s EU is too big, too bossy and costs too much. The British government paid the equivalent of 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 £9.9bn to spend on the National Health Service or science research every year, instead of subsidising its EU competitors. Britain’s trade deficit would be cut by one fifth. ‘Brexit’ would be good news for the economy.

If the UK votes to leave, European courts will no longer be able to stop the deportation of terrorist suspects and foreign criminals. Britain will take back control over its borders and immigration policy. It will be able to make new trade deals with growing countries like China and India. It will regain 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 will regain influence.

Remain protagonists would have us believe the prime minister’s February renegotiation of Britain’s EU membership terms was a triumph. But the deal has 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. It takes away the UK’s veto on future euro area treaties. Britain does not take back national control over its 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. Last year’s ‘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 Remain backers look like harmless Wizards of Oz, rather than serious statesmen.

Many politicians used to claim the UK would lose jobs and investment if it stayed outside the euro. They were wrong before, so why believe them now?

Ask the real question: what will the EU be like if the UK votes Remain? Experience shows it means being forced to give up more money and power to Brussels every year. This is a journey in which I and many others do not wish to take part.

Bernard Jenkin is Member of Parliament for Harwich and North Essex. This is No.82 in the series – the 100th article will appear on 23 June.

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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