I wrote this article for OMFIF (Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum) and will share with you the version before it had to be shortened:
Out of the EU the UK will have more influence in the world. We will be better off. We will regain control of our borders, our spending and our taxes.
The Leave campaign is full of energy and belief – belief in the ability of the British people to govern ourselves. We believe that the twenty first century needs networks of countries, companies and individuals, requires us to look out to the five continents of the world and to collaborate and trade with the areas of greatest growth and dynamism as well as nearer to home.
Free of the treaty entanglements, taxes and controls of the EU we will be better and happier Europeans. We will be freer to join the clubs, sit at the top tables and influence for the better the main world decision making networks and associations.
Shouldn’t the UK as the world’s fifth largest economy represent herself at the World Trade talks, and do deals with like minded countries around the world? For 43 years inside the EU we have been denied our voice and vote in the WTO by the EU, who have failed to sign trade agreements with the US – the UK’s strongest ally – and with China., India, Brazil and all the other big traders of the globe.
Shouldn’t the UK, a member of NATO and the Five Eyes intelligence grouping also be a full member of the World climate talks and the various world standards bodies? Won’t the UK as an independent country with her own voice and vote in more world bodies have more friends and allies, not fewer, as others will wish to work with us?
Out of the EU we will be able to raise our own taxes in the way of our own choosing, and be able to spend them as we see fit. Today we have to impose certain taxes including VAT, and have to spend on items like benefits in ways required by the EU that often do not meet with the wishes of UK electors. Our Prime Minister has just shown how impotent we are to make minor changes to welfare entitlements which were popular when promised in the last election.
Out of the EU we will have £10 billion more a year to spend, the money we send them and do not get back. We can guarantee to every university, farmer and region of the UK currently in receipt of EU money that they will get the same out of the EU as in, as we first have to send all that money from UK taxpayers to the EU before we get it back.
Out of the EU we will be free to have fair immigration. Today we have to restrict non EU immigration but allow unrestricted EU migration. Running our own system., we still want to welcome anyone with skills, good qualifications, money to support themselves and to invest in the UK. Our universities will still be able to attract the best talent and our businesses hire the best engineers or managers. More of our lower paid jobs will go to our own citizens, as we will be able to control numbers and ease the enormous current pressures on housing, benefits, the NHS and the rest of our public services. As the head of the Remain campaign said, our wages should go up as a result.
This is the bright vision of a better tomorrow the Leave side wants to talk about. Instead we are expected to answer an ever more desperate and absurd set of fears spread around by the people who wish to remain.
We are told we have to stay in to prevent European war. I have good news for the Remain people. Modern Germany and France are peace loving democracies who will not fight each other when we leave, nor will they seek to invade us.
We are told they wont trade with us any more. How bizarre, when they sell us so much more than we sell them I don’t see them wanting 5 million unemployed on the continent as they ban all exports to us. The German government have made clear that they do not want new tariffs and barriers in the way of their exports to us, so accept there cannot be new barriers in the way of our exports to them.
We are told we will have to be like Norway and pay in contributions to carry on trading. What poppycock! Over 160 countries worldwide trade successfully with the EU, and some have grown their trade with the EU more quickly than we have done – but they do not pay a penny into the EU system by way of fees.
They say we no longer share intelligence and take actions to help each other remain safe. Of course if the UK learns of a terrorist plot against France it will pick up the phone and tell them, and I am sure France will do the same for the UK if need arises.
I find it is absurd that those who wish to remain in have such a low view of our partners. They think they are vengeful, and will seek to thwart us if we leave. More importantly, they think they are stupid, and will wish to do harm by damaging their own exports to us or even getting into war without us there as a stabilising influence!
Were we to stay in there will be endless more rows, as even the people who want to stay in say they do not want us to join the Euro, Schengen or the forthcoming political union which are at the heart of the present EU project. Were we to stay in we would be uncomfortable as they go on their wild ride to political union.
We would also need a second referendum quite soon after the first as the rest of them amend the Treaties in ways which trigger such a vote in the UK under our present Referendum law. We know there will soon be a new Treaty , as we have been promised Treaty change as part of the deal the government has just negotiated.
I am a good European, who thinks my continent needs to be democratic and freedom loving. Europe is not my country and never will be. I want my country to restore her own self government. That will make us happier as Europeans. It will leave the others free to complete their currency union and political union without us.
Now is the time for the UK to do what we have always done best. Now is the time to claim back our freedom. In this referendum we must restore our democracy. We are the heirs of Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, and universal suffrage. We should not want to be the people that thought freedom too difficult or self government too risky. It is time to trust the people, not faraway elites who have made so many mistakes in the name of European union.