In the Daily Telegraph today, Boris Johnson makes an inspiring plea as to why we should Vote Leave. He begins: People often complain about voting these days. They say it doesn’t make any difference. They say that whatever party they choose they get the same old broken promises. In fact, they say there is no point in bothering at all.Well, whatever you say about this referendum campaign, it is a moment of fundamental decision. When you pick up your ballot paper this Thursday, you have it in your hands to transform Britain’s current democratic arrangements for the better. You can change the whole course of European history – and if you vote Leave, I believe that change will be overwhelmingly positive.
What is the Remain camp offering? Nothing. No change, no improvement, no reform; nothing but the steady and miserable erosion of parliamentary democracy in this country. If we vote Remain, we stay locked in the back of the car, driven by someone with an imperfect command of English, and going a direction we don’t want to go.
If Britain votes to Remain in the EU, then we continue to be subject to an increasingly anti-democratic system that is now responsible for 60 per cent of the law that goes through Westminster – a phenomenon that contributes so powerfully to the modern voter’s apathy, the sensation that we no longer control our destiny, and that voting changes nothing.
If we vote Remain, we do nothing to rebuke the elites in Brussels who have imposed the euro on the continent, and thrown a generation of young people on the scrap-heap, and who are utterly indifferent to the misery they are causing for the sake of their bankrupt ideology.
We will remain prisoners of a trade regime that will not allow this country – the fifth biggest economy on earth – to negotiate with America, or China or India or any of the other growth economies of the world; because that privilege is reserved exclusively for the hierarchs of the European Commission, of whose vast staff only 3.6 per cent come from this country.
If we stay, we will find our global influence and weight not enhanced, but diminished – as the EU ruthlessly cuckoos us aside from our seat on international bodies, from the IMF and the UN and the WTO to even the North East Atlantic Fisheries Management Board, which determines the fate of the fish in so much of UK waters. Iceland has a seat; Norway has a seat; the Faroe islands have a seat. The UK is represented by the Commission.
We are not more powerful, or more influential for being around the table in Brussels – look at the pitiful results of the so-called renegotiation earlier this year. We are drowned out. And it is an illusion to think that if we vote to Remain, we are somehow opting for the status quo. The status quo is not on offer. If we stay in, we will be engaged willy-nilly in the desperate attempt to keep the euro together, by building an economic government of Europe.
We have already seen how we can be forced to bail out the debtor nations; and we have seen – in the absence of border controls – how the despair in southern Europe contributes to the substantial flows of migration, which show no sign of diminishing. If we vote to stay then I am afraid the whole EU caravan carries blithely on; and when I think of the champagne – guzzling orgy of backslapping in Brussels that would follow a Remain vote on Friday, I want to weep. We must not let it happen.
Think of what we can achieve if we vote Leave. We can take back control of huge sums of money – £10.6 billion net per year – and spend it on our priorities. We can take back control of our borders, and install an Australian-style points-based system that is fair both to people coming from the EU and from non-EU countries.
We can do global trade deals that the EU commission itself believes could generate another 300,000 jobs. Above all we could take back control of our powers to pass laws and set tax rates in the interest of the UK economy. We can reorientate the UK economy to the whole world, rather than confining ourselves to an EU that now amounts to only 15 per cent of global GDP.
Why shouldn’t we do this? When in the history of this country have we gone wrong by believing in self-government? As this campaign has gone on, the Remain campaign has become more and more hysterical in its threats and warnings, to the point where very few people now believe in them. The IMF? Why on earth should the Treasury expect us to believe the IMF – when it was only a couple of years ago that the Treasury was bitterly (and correctly) denouncing the IMF for running Britain down.
People can sense the true motives behind Project Fear. It isn’t idealism, or internationalism. It’s a cushy elite of politicians and lobbyists and bureaucrats, circling the wagons and protecting their vested interests.
It is we who want to give power back to people. It is we who want to stand up against the corporatist and elitist system that will never admit its mistakes. That is why we believe in democracy – because it is the best way humanity has found of correcting the errors of our rulers; and we are mad to throw it away.
Now is the time to believe in ourselves, and in what Britain can do, and to remember that we always do best when we believe in ourselves. Of course we can continue to provide leadership and support for Europe – but intergovernmentally, outside the supranational EU system.
I hope you will vote Leave, and take back control of this great country’s destiny; and if we Vote Leave, then all our votes will count for more in the future. This chance will not come again in our lifetimes, and I pray we do not miss it.