Joe Porter: On the 23rd June we must vote to leave the EU!

First, I would like to pay tribute to the Prime Minister and the Government for giving us the first opportunity in 40 years to vote on our membership of the European Union. It is great to see politics becoming more and more accessible to everyday people – especially my generation who have never had a say on this before.

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Sadly, the deal on the table does not go far enough, and given that the EU is unwilling to entertain meaningful reform, I believe that we should vote to leave the EU.

Last weekend I attended the Grassroots Out event in Westminster, I was in the Vote Leave office and will now officially campaign for us to leave the European Union on the 23rd June. We are the 5th largest economy, 6th largest military power and the most culturally powerful country in the world. We do not need the EU to be a successful country. Businesses create jobs, not politicians, and especially not the EU!

My core belief in democratic accountability informs my view of the European Union. It should always be possible for voters to evict those who act in their name. The EU fails on that test. Real power in Brussels rests in unelected institutions. That’s why I believe it's time for Britain to become a proud, independent, sovereign nation again and take back control of our borders and affairs. We will not be voting to leave Europe, but to leave the European Union.

We are constantly outvoted on every major decision in Brussels. The Qualified Majority Voting system ensures that Britain can be overruled more and more often. The Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice, and Lisbon Treaty have all represented an extension of EU authority and a centralisation in Brussels. Between 15 and 50 per cent of UK legislation now comes from the EU; and can only be repealed by the EU itself.

As Boris Johnson, who I am proud to say is finally supporting Brexit, has said: “We are seeing a slow and invisible process of legal colonisation, as the EU infiltrates just about every area of public policy.”

We will not be left defenceless as NATO maintains our security. We will not shut up the doors and become isolated. Last year, we created more jobs than the rest of the European Union put together. It therefore makes no sense for us to bind ourselves to a political bloc that is in decline. We should be able to become a truly global country that can form free trade deals with anyone in the world. The EU is built to keep power and control with the elites rather than the people.

One fact that really concerns we is that only 4 per cent of people running the Commission are UK nationals, and yet Britain contains 12 per cent of the EU population. This is another example of the EU being highly unrepresentative and undemocratic.

A lot of people on the IN side do not believe that we can negotiate a large number of trade deals at great speed. As Commons Leader Chris Grayling has pointed out: “They run a massive trade surplus with us. They sell far more to us than we sell to them. They lose out financially if those trade arrangements do not continue. Why would they take that risk?”.

We should not be afraid of leaving the EU. To hold eurosceptic views is not anti-European or xenophobic – if anything it makes you an internationalist who believes in Britain. That is why I really admire the ‘Big Seven’ Cabinet ministers – Michael Gove, Chris Grayling, Boris Johnson (a member of the Political Cabinet), Iain Duncan Smith, John Whittingdale, Theresa Villiers and Priti Patel – who have taken a big risk with their political careers and put conviction before personal ambition.

So on the 23rd June let's be bold and brave. Let’s take back control from the unelected EU commission and become Great Britain again! I am going to put my heart and soul into helping to make this happen as this result would be in our country's best interests.

Joe Porter is a Parish Councillor in Staffordshire Moorlands and Chairman of Staffordshire Moorlands Conservative Future. He studies Marketing and Politics at Keele University, where he is a Trustee of Keele Student Union. 

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