Friday, 26 February 2016

EU Referendum

Like many others I have been weighing up the arguments over EU membership. It has not been easy.  I like the idea of working in cooperation with other countries and wanted to stay part of the Single Market, while returning to national control fundamental powers over issues such as justice, home affairs, farming and the environment.  

However, it was not to be.  The sorts of changes I wanted to see were deemed "not negotiable" by diplomats before the process even started.  Therefore, with some reluctance, I have come to the conclusion that the only way to deliver the changes I want to see is to vote leave, end the supremacy of EU law and replace our membership of the EU with a new UK-EU partnership instead. 

In government, there is a real premium on being able to act decisively to get things done and deliver change.   However, huge areas of government policy are now emasculated by EU law.  There is a constant torrent of regulation coming from Brussels backed up with endless threats of fines and legal proceedings.  Rather than being free to think creatively of new ways of doing things, our Civil Service instead spend their days fretting about whether they are complying with this or that regulation.  

There must be a better way of doing things.  If we were to end the supremacy of EU law we could act with confidence.  We would see more creative policy making.  It would be easier to deliver change.  We would be stronger and more influential on the world stage.  We could work in close partnership with the EU but on our own terms.  We would no longer have to put up with the European courts telling us what to do.  

David Cameron deserves credit for being the first Prime Minister in forty years to actually deliver a referendum on the EU.  Each and every one of us finally gets a say.  On polling day your vote will be worth just as much as my vote or David Cameron's vote.  Use it wisely.