DAILY MAIL COMMENT: If you believe in Britain, vote Leave. Lies, greedy elites and a divided, dying Europe - why we could have a great future outside a broken EU
Throughout this long and often acrimonious referendum campaign, the most striking fact about the Remainers is that they have failed to articulate a single positive reason for staying in the EU.
Instead, they have subjected voters to a barrage of scaremongering, with the aid of a once proudly independent Civil Service, pinning all their hopes on persuading the British people that the dangers of withdrawing from Brussels outweigh the many drawbacks of belonging to it.
In doing so, they have had to seek the support of the likes of Jeremy Corbyn, Ed Miliband, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair — from the very party voters rightly rejected at the last election on the grounds that they couldn’t be trusted.
Throughout the campaign Remainers have failed to articulate a single positive reason for staying in the EU
The European Commission, which proposes European Law, is undemocratic - neither its lawmakers nor its 85,000 bureaucrats (only 3.6 per cent of whom are British) are accountable through the ballot box
The EU has provided the conditions for far-left and far-right parties to thrive. Supporters of the Greek extreme-right ultra nationalist party Golden Dawn in 2012
But then the EU is an edifice built on lies — starting with the blatant untruth, peddled when we signed up to the Common Market in 1973, that we were joining nothing more threatening than a tariff-free trading zone, which would involve no sacrifice of sovereignty.
More than 40 years on, some 50 or 60 per cent of our laws and 70 per cent of regulations are dictated to us by Brussels, whose power is only matched by its incompetence, corruption and hunger to impose ever more statist regulations on 28 utterly diverse member nations.
And though we do less than 10 per cent of our total business with the EU — with 80 per cent of our trade being within the UK — every firm in the country must submit to its throttling red tape.
Then there’s the great lie that the EU is a guarantor of prosperity for its members. In truth, while the economies of other countries have forged ahead, the Continent’s share of global commerce has been shrinking for decades. Meanwhile, the proportion of the UK’s overseas trade that we conduct with our partner nations has actually declined since we joined, from about 55 to 45 per cent.
The irrefutable fact is that the EU is ruled by a secretive, unelected commission, whose diktats are backed by a court able to override elected democracies
As for the 19 countries locked into the catastrophic, one-size-fits-all single currency — the very apotheosis of the European dream of ever closer political and economic union — just ask the jobless young people of Greece, Spain or France if the euro has underpinned their prosperity.
Indeed, in Greece, crushed in bankruptcy by arrogant German intransigence, daily living is a nightmare. In other parts of southern Europe, youth unemployment is a terrifying 50 per cent and more, with half a generation’s prospects of a decent life sacrificed on the altar of EU empire-building.
Or take Italy, a country with an economy roughly comparable in size to our own. Its growth rate over the past eight years has been just 3 per cent. In the same period, free from the shackles of the euro, Britain has grown 35 per cent.
Yet far from realising their mistake and helping those whose lives have been laid waste by the single currency, Europe’s political elites are pressing ahead with the project, determined — in the face of bitter opposition from the people — to achieve ever closer political and economic union.
Next, there’s the lie that the EU is popular with those it governs, spreading peace and harmony between nations. Certainly, this was among its founding fathers’ dreams, when Europe lay ravaged by World War II. The reality has turned out very differently.
A survey earlier this year by Pew, the highly respected U.S. think tank, found that 61 per cent in France had unfavourable feelings about Brussels, as did 71 per cent of Greeks and 48 per cent of Spaniards. Even in Germany, whose exports have benefited from the weak euro, 44 per cent were against the EU.
Jean-Claude Juncker at a Brussels working lunch before he became European Commission president in 2014. At least 10,000 EU employees are staggeringly paid more than David Cameron
Brussels has long set its sights on establishing a European army. Thousands of soldiers in vehicles with EU stickers gathered on Salisbury Plain (pictured) for a two-week military exercise just weeks ahead of the referendum
Unsurprisingly, then, with deep racial and national fissures opening up and barbed wire fences dividing countries, tensions within Europe are perhaps greater than at any time since the War. Witness the alarming rise of far-Right and far-Left parties — Golden Dawn in Greece, the Freedom Party in Austria, AFD in Germany, the National Front in France and Communism resurgent.
We needn’t look far for the explanation. For not only is the euro destroying livelihoods, but the madness that is the free movement of peoples has brought waves of migrants sweeping across Europe, depressing wages, putting immense strain on housing and public services, undermining our security against criminals and terrorists — and making communities fear for their traditional ways of life.
Which brings us to David Cameron’s deceptions over migration. The first was his ‘no ifs, no buts’ pledge to bring numbers down to manageable levels by 2020, promising in his manifesto to aim for a net figure of less than 100,000 a year.
Even as he made that pledge, as his former guru Steve Hilton exposed devastatingly in yesterday’s Mail, he had been ‘directly and explicitly’ warned by civil servants that it would be impossible to keep while we remained members of the EU.
Yet he went ahead and made it anyway. But then who cares, when votes are at stake, if our population is spiralling towards an estimated 80 million by 2039? As for the effects of demographic upheaval, a dramatic 8 per cent increase in just a year in the number of primary school pupils in class sizes over the ‘legal limit’ of 30 has recently been revealed.
Then there is the PM’s second deception on migration — so obviously untrue that he even seems increasingly embarrassed to repeat it. This is his claim that the frankly pathetic ‘reforms’ he secured during his humiliating tour of European capitals will have any impact on numbers.
Indeed, his failed renegotiation demonstrates another unpalatable truth about the EU — that it is institutionally incapable of meaningful reform. After all, if the Brussels bureaucracy refuses to listen to the British public’s concerns with a referendum gun held at its head by its second biggest contributor, what hope can there be that it will mend its ways if we vote to remain?
And reform it desperately needs. Not even the most passionate of Remain campaigners have dared to suggest the 28-member bloc is democratically run.
Neither its lawmakers nor its 85,000 bureaucrats (only 3.6 per cent of whom are British) are accountable through the ballot box to the 500 million people they rule. And how many of us can name our MEP?
For years economies in southern and eastern Europe have struggled with unemployment rates spiralling out of control. A demonstrator clashes with Greek security forces during a protest against the economic policies of the European Union in 2015
Far-right groups across the EU have grown in number and strength in recent years in response to mass migration across the continent
No, the irrefutable fact is that the EU is ruled by a secretive, unelected commission, whose diktats are backed by a court able to override elected democracies.
True, we cannot predict exactly what will happen if we pull out (though we can surely be confident that the EU won’t want to inflict damage on itself by erecting trade barriers against the world’s fifth biggest economy and a huge net buyer of its exports). But then nor can we know what the EU will do next if we vote to remain.
But we can make educated guesses. For one, Brussels has long set its sights on establishing a European army (and how significant that so many of our top generals and admirals support Brexit). And it is only for the duration of our referendum campaign that it has shelved policies that threaten serious damage to the City, British ports and our dominance of the global art market.
Indeed, our service industries (which are not subject to the single market) have long been the envy of Germany and France, which crave more of the action for themselves. There can be little doubt that they would take a Remain vote as their cue to seize it.
Our ancestors shed oceans of blood to uphold and defend this country’s right to govern itself
Meanwhile, with Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia set to join, the EU continues its relentless expansion.
Mr Cameron has desperately tried to silence talk of Turkey’s application for membership, which would give its 80 million largely Muslim population the right to free movement.
But how can we trust a Prime Minister who told Turkish journalists six years ago: ‘I will remain your strongest possible advocate for EU membership. This is something I feel very passionately about?’
True, the EU is loved by its greatest beneficiaries — Europe’s political elites, the mighty corporations that spend millions lobbying Brussels, determined to get the bureaucrats to enforce their monopolies. Then there are the unscrupulous banks such as Goldman Sachs and fat cats such as Richard Branson and the egregious euro-supporting George Soros, who made a fortune from almost destroying the Bank of England.
Indeed, it is the EU fervour of these globalised elites, telling democracies how to vote, that has enraged working class communities in Britain who, more than anyone, have had to cope with mass migration and have every right to feel abandoned.
No, if the Remainers have been unable to make a positive popular case for our membership, this is because the task is virtually impossible. But the irony is that there is a wonderfully positive case to be made for withdrawal.
Steve Hilton, former spin doctor for David Cameron, has backed the Leave campaign. He told the Mail on Tuesday how Cameron had been warned by civil servants that it would be impossible to keep the promise to reduce migration to the 'tens of thousands'
David Cameron has deceived the nation over migration. There was a ‘no ifs, no buts’ pledge to bring numbers down to manageable levels by 2020. Migrants and refugees escorted by Slovenian soldiers and police officers in 2015 (pictured)
A vote to leave would enable us to fulfil our destiny as one of the world’s greatest trading nations, free to strike deals with any country we like. It would also give us back our seats on international bodies, instead of being one voice in 28, represented by a bureaucrat without our interests at heart.
Remainers are fond of branding Leavers as ‘little Englanders’. But there is nothing petty-minded about being proud of our traditions and history as a great seafaring country, with enterprise in our DNA, unafraid to reach out to Europe and beyond — especially as that is now where the wealth increasingly lies.
Indeed, it is a sclerotic EU, with its terror of competing with the great economies of the world (to this day, it has no trade deals with America, China, Japan, Brazil or India) which is backward-looking and locked into the past.
Our ancestors shed oceans of blood to uphold and defend this country’s right to govern itself, pass its own laws, raise its own taxes and — most pertinently — get rid of politicians when they abuse our trust. Why on earth should we now want to belong to a dysfunctional club that denies us these rights — a club with an imploding economy, pursuing a frankly mad policy of open borders which, if not checked, will lead to violence between the ugly left and ugly Right across Europe?
This is our one chance. We must seize it
The truth is that no one — apart, it seems, from a plutocratic elite — knows what will happen if we choose Brexit. We do know, however, that as the world’s fifth largest economy we should be able to forge deals with countries keen to sell to our affluent consumers.
We do know that the Germans will still hunger to sell us their cars, the Spaniards to welcome our currency-rich holidaymakers, and the world will want the unique skills of the City of London. And if the pound falls, that will be good for exports, as it was when the Exchange Rate Mechanism collapsed.
It was Tony Benn who said in the last referendum in 1975 that Britain was signing up for something that was undemocratic and run in the interest of elites. ‘I can think of no body outside the Kremlin that has such power without a shred of accountability,’ he declared.
If you believe in the sovereignty of this country, its monarchy, its unwritten constitution and its judicial system; if you believe in the will of the people and don’t want to be ruled by faceless bureaucrats; if you are concerned about uncontrolled immigration; if you wish to control the destiny of the UK; if you want a government you can vote for and in turn vote out of office if it breaks its promises; and if you believe in Britain, its culture, history and freedoms, there is only one way to vote. Brexit.
This is our one chance. We must seize it.