The Conservative Manifesto in 2015 could not have been clearer. It said we will “reclaim power from Brussels on your behalf and safeguard British interests in the single market”. It went on to say “No to ever closer union. No to a constant flow of power to Brussels. No to unnecessary interference”. I agreed with all that.
I now seek to implement it. It means not voting for Directives and regulations, as each one of those transfers more power to Brussels. It means opposing judgements of the European Court, like the one that will force us to put VAT up on green products. It means opposing the anticipated Treaty of Political Union in its entirety.
Because Mr Cameron’s renegotiation succeeded in getting no important power back from Brussels, surely it also means voting to leave the EU. I don’t see how voting to stay is compatible with the clear statement that we must get powers back and stop unnecessary interference. Mr Cameron did not even wrestle back the power to choose our own welfare policies, let alone the power to control our own borders and implement our crucial pledge on migration numbers.
I and a good number of my colleagues have stayed true to our Manifesto, by opposing a succession of EU measures. We will continue to do so all the time we remain in the EU. We do now need to leave the EU to do the democratic job properly which we promised at the last election.
We have a few more days left to explain to more voters just how much power has already gone and why it matters.When I write to constituents and explain that Westminster cannot right wrongs they suffer because we no longer have the power, they often express surprise. All those in government and the media who over the years have refused to talk about the EU and refuse to cover the stories of the huge transfer of powers have left the public debate denuded of important information now needed to help people make up their minds about how they wish to be governed In the future?
It is difficult to understand how Ministers can support the very truncated powers many of them now enjoyl