My Last Word On The EU Referendum
I’m done. I will write nothing more on this subject after this piece. The debate has been awful – but it was always going to be. Because it is not a debate about facts, there are no true “facts” unless you have a crystal ball. The underlying argument is political and philosophical. Nobody wants to admit this and so they just keep scaremongering and slinging mud at one another.
So this is my take on it, for anybody who cares. And if nobody cares, I don’t really care that they don’t care.
I will be voting LEAVE tomorrow.
It is not for reasons of economics, really. My view is that Britain will be better off out, though I definitely accept there will be some choppy waters to be navigated initially. Such is always the way with adventurous journeys. But I equally think we would do okay if we stayed in – we are an industrious and hard-working nation. We will always be okay.
It is not for reasons of immigration. I think the people who have come to live in the UK are broadly and generally a benefit to us and I welcome them. I very much hope any post-Brexit negotiations will involve as many staying as want to, in return for our own ex-pats being able to do the same elsewhere.
And I really don’t give a monkey’s what Barack Obama, Tony Blair, David Cameron, John Major or the Governor of the Bank of England has to say. They are no more soothsayers than my next door neighbour or the guy in the pub with the England flag. Nor do I care what any rich business owner or unelected head of some institution thinks. They are entitled to their view, bought and paid for though it may sometimes be. But in this we are all equal. Nobody knows.
I am voting LEAVE because I believe in the supremacy of our elected national Parliament. I am voting LEAVE because I believe that our country has fared well and flourished over centuries of national self-determination.
I am voting LEAVE because, as a Conservative and a free-marketeer I believe in small Government, encouraging FREE trade with the whole wider world and democracy delivered through the electoral decisions of the people. Who then have the power to boot all those elected people out, if they don’t like what they do.
I am voting LEAVE because I believe in our country. I am not frightened that we can’t “pull our weight” in the world. I am not frightened that we will be “alone and friendless” in a scary planet. I do not think we “punch above our weight,” I think that as members of the EU we punch way below our weight. This has always been an incredible country and all the things that made it so are still there, just smothered in layer upon layer of bureaucracy, regulation and fear. It’s not all the EU’s fault, but the EU is a symbol of what is wrong. It represents an inward-looking, nervous disposition which is a recent development amongst some people in our country and one that I don’t want any part of.
But most of all I am voting LEAVE because it just feels right to me. I don’t claim that there will not be consequences. Of course there will be consequences. You cannot untangle an immense international bureaucracy and political project that goes back decades without there being consequences. But there will also be consequences if we choose to stay.
Nobody knows the future. I choose to vote LEAVE because in my view we do not need, or benefit from, our membership of the European Union. I love Europe and I love our neighbouring nations in Europe. I wish them all nothing but the best. But leaving a political project does not stop us working with them, helping them or trading with them. Quite the reverse, I suspect, in the longer term.
I think we will probably vote to Remain, because fear is a powerful thing. But I hope not. I hope we have the courage to kick open the cage and spread our wings. We won’t be alone. We will be together. There are millions of us; English, Scottish, Irish and friends from other places who have made this country their own. We are brothers and sisters and cousins and neighbours and friends on these islands, united under the red, white and blue of the Union Flag. I can’t think of better company to keep, as we fly towards the horizon – and the future.
“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.”
– Jim Morrison