Conservative Way Forward will be campaigning for Britain to leave the European Union because we want to:
- return control to our Parliament, answerable to the British people, not European bureaucrats;
- regain control of our borders to stem the flow of EU immigration; and,
- save the taxpayer £350 million per week which the UK currently pays to Brussels.
Whilst in 1975 the British people thought they were voting for a common market in goods and services, and overwhelmingly now feel they were deceived, some of us foresaw the dangers. We saw the European Economic Community had a president, a flag, an anthem, and a court. Today, the EEC has now become the European Union, and it has added a currency, a parliament, a foreign minister and a defence identity with publicly-declared ambitions for a Euro-army. These are the attributes of a sovereign nation state, worse still, a super-state.
The Remain camp’s latest panic outburst, suggesting that World War III will break out if we leave, would be laughable were it not so serious. NATO, not the EU, is the cornerstone of the UK’s, and the continent’s, security, and the continent managed to remain at peace throughout the 28 years before the UK joined the EEC in 1973.
As a former Defence Minister, I believe that far from enhancing the UK’s security it is likely to be put at risk by our continued membership of the European Union. Only last week it emerged that the German government is preparing to publish a white paper calling for a European Union Army with an EU operational HQ which would seriously undermine NATO, undermine the vital transatlantic security cooperation between the U.S. and the United Kingdom, and in effect establish a military capability without national democratic oversight.
If the British people vote to remain, they will not be voting for the status quo, or for ‘a safe option’; they will be voting for further integration and further change. The EU’s Eurozone members are poised to undertake massive further integration, i.e. surrender of national sovereignty, which will create further tensions of the kind already experienced in Greece. Not being a Eurozone member, the UK will be side lined.
Furthermore, the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights will confer ever-greater powers on the European Court of Justice to override laws passed by our Parliament.
I look forward to working together with Conservative Way Forward activists to ensure that we seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a new and exciting future for our country outside the EU.
As Sir Winston Churchill said on 11 May 1953,
“We have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked but not combined. We are interested and associated but not absorbed. If Britain must choose between Europe and the open sea, she must always choose the open sea”.
Sir Gerald Howarth is Chairman of Conservative Way Forward and Member of Parliament for Aldershot.