Battle lines have now been drawn in preparation for the referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union. The leave campaign moved first. It has a clear and upbeat message, it trusts the British people to take control of their own future. Just since 2010, under David Cameron’s premiership, the UK has been overruled in the Council of Europe forty times. Democratic decisions that we want to take are being denied us. The cost of this is rising steadily, the excessive extravagance of Brussels means we make a net contribution of £350 million a week. This money would allow us to retain any agricultural support we want but would also permit tax cuts or simply reduce the still excessive deficit.
Vote Leave sees an encouraging future for Britain in a global world not in the narrow European sphere. It looks at smaller nation states who still represent their interests on international bodies such as the World Trade Organisation which we cannot do as our seat is taken by the European Union. These small states can still trade profitably with the EU. In many ways Vote Leave sees the EU as an outdated model for the problems of the 1950s that has been unable to cope with the modern world. Hence the failure of the euro, the mass unemployment across the continent and the corruption within the system.
The Britain Stronger in Europe (BSE)which wishes to remain at any price, is made up of all the old cronies who wanted the UK to join the euro and uses the same defeatist arguments. It is fearful that poor little Blighty cannot cope in the big world on its own. It has no vision for the future other than the acceptance of Brussels diktats.
There is still a slim chance that the renegotiation will lead to major change but both sides are right to prepare the ground now. A vision full of hope will challenge the managers of decline.