EU Referendum

Here’s why women should vote to leave the European Union

Polling shows women are less likely than men to back Brexit. But what makes more sense than voting leave to take control of our own destiny?

The Chancellor of Germany visits London to meet David Cameron

Angela Merkel with David Cameron during a visit to London in 2014 Photo: PA

 A new Lefty think tank, British Future, partly funded by the European Commission, has written a report focusing on the women’s vote and how it could make all the difference to Brexit. Only 29 per cent of women are firm Outers but are more likely to change their minds and are more Eurosceptic.

Women want to know if they will be better off out, how it affects job security for this generation and the next and they want to know the “human cost” ie the cost of migration on public services. The report rather dismisses women’s ability to focus on GDP, trade figures and the economy, but there are many very capable people making the Out case in this respect, all male and pale. So I will focus on why women should vote for Brexit.

Worried about the NHS? If you can’t get a GP appointment or have to queue at A&E or cannot have your baby where you would like, it is because of uncontrolled migration. Migrant women have more children: 2.28 each compared to 1.89 for British born women. Admittedly, we haven’t trained as many nurses and GPs as we should have, but the numbers being trained cannot keep up with the numbers being born and arriving here. Since 2012 nursing courses have been cut by 25 per cent, so we turn to migrants to fill the gap.

What about your jobs, your children’s prospects? It is a fact that uncontrolled migration pushes down wages and keeps them suppressed. For every 100 migrants employed in the UK, 23 Britons lose their jobs. Has your son or daughter applied to a college to learn trade skills recently? College places for plasterers, electricians and all building skills have been cut back. Yet house builders and tradespeople say they cannot get the skilled people they need. So they turn to EU migrants. Is that why so many bright youngsters try media courses? And, of course, we cannot give preferential treatment to UK residents because that’s against EU rules.

“It is a fact that uncontrolled migration pushes down wages and keeps them suppressed. For every 100 migrants employed in the UK, 23 Britons lose their jobs”
 We need nuclear scientists, engineers and clever IT people. Until we train our own people for the jobs our economy needs, we will have to rely on the clever Chinese and Indians to fill the gap. But in their zeal to look tough on immigration, the government severely restricted their applications. It is a form of discrimination against the brightest and best from around the world. Brexit doesn’t mean you’re a xenophobic little Englander, it means being an internationalist, welcoming the most dynamic to contribute to our economy, not shackled to a declining dinosaur.

The majority of EU migrants are paid the minimum wage which is supplemented by UK taxpayers in the form of in-work credits and housing benefit. It is a false economy to say they are contributing to UK plc when in fact they take out more than they put in (housing, NHS, child benefit, unemployment).

Worried about the cost of housing or unable to get rid of your adult kids? In 2012 the minister for housing admitted that 50 per cent of our new housing goes to migrants. That was in 2012; since then the numbers have increased. This drives up demand and the cost of both renting and buying and encroaches on the green belt.

Flooding? Down to the EU’s Flood Directive, not to dredging rivers. And having to build on flood plains to keep up with the demand for housing.

Fed up with high utility or fuel costs? The green taxes that result from Brussels’ imposed European Trading Scheme and Carbon Price Floor dramatically increases families’ energy bills. Every time you pay your electricity bills, take a plane, or drive your car, you are paying into this scheme. In 2012 UK households paid an average of £765 in green taxes. This is rising even further as green taxes are continuously increasing. In fact by 2020 households are expected to pay a staggering 41 per cent more for our electricity bills as a result of the so-called “green policies”. Yet UK pensioners still die of the cold because they cannot pay their bills.

Would you like to cut the cost of food shopping? The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is perhaps one of the most notorious EU policies along with EU’s biofuel mandates. The abolition of these policies could cut families’ food bills by 10 per cent or £550 per year. The EU is protectionist, using trade barriers, whilst at the same time subsidising its exports, stopping us from importing cheaper high quality food from around the globe. This directly harms African economies, including our Commonwealth friends.

Women are more likely to give to charity. Yet some of our best-known charities pay people to lobby in Brussels (it’s big business over there) and send your money overseas to encourage the fit young men in Calais to apply for asylum rather than a work visa. Shouldn’t these men stay in their countries affected by war to fight, rather than expect our depleted armed forces to fight for their cause or demand entry to the UK? Remember, they have also left behind their wives, children, mothers and grandmothers. And the EU cannot control its external borders and will not control its internal borders (Schengen), which contributes massively to the migrant crisis.

Do you think we pay enough in overseas aid but want to help developing countries? In addition to our £12bn per annum expenditure (majority spent by international aid agencies, not UK government led) in 2016, under the EU’s new accounting rules we will be contributing an extra £1bn. It’s trade not aid that Africa needs, yet we put up trade barriers and hand out aid, a considerable amount going to African despots’ bank accounts. We could trade more freely without harming poorer countries, control our own aid spending and help developing economies; wouldn’t that be fairer?
“British women love Europe. Eurosceptics are campaigning to leave the EU, not to leave Europe”
 Yet life in the dual Palaces of Excess (Brussels, Strasbourg – not forgetting Luxembourg and other satellite services) goes on, at the same time as we make £36 billion of “austerity” cuts, that’s an awful lot of nurseries closed or libraries shut or public loos gone or police-less precincts.

British women love Europe. Eurosceptics are campaigning to leave the EU, not to leave Europe. Vote Leave and take control – that makes sense to women (and men) everywhere.

Janice Atkinson is an Independent MEP for the south east of England

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