It seems to be an open secret that David Cameron wants to keep us in the European Union and grandees like Michael Heseltine are firmly in the YES camp. John Major has spoken strongly in favour of remaining in and I have always held him in high regard. Yesterday, William Haigh joined the fray in arguing for staying in but he has helped me to make up my mind, at least for the moment. His reasons for staying in the EU are just all wrong. He is fearful Scotland will demand another referendum if we leave the EU and will vote to break away. He also fears UK departure from the EU will weaken it and make the world a more dangerous place. I think I can sense how unhappy this Save the Pound campaigner is to write these words; I am not surprised and I think he is wrong.
If we heed his advice on the United Kingdom, the Scottish Nationalists will still keep pressing for another vote and I have to say I am sick of supporting a socialist Scotland with English money. If they really want to stand on their own and with their own revenues, I think we can cope and recover some English sovereignty.
As for the argument that UK departure will weaken the EU, well, thank God if it does. The European Union has grown too mighty, too remote and too unaccountable. Above all, it stifles economic growth and enterprise with its sclerotic regulations and labour laws and leaves our borders and our welfare system open to pillage. It is not democracy as we understand it. If the UK has to leave to bring them to their senses, so be it. It seems nothing less will do it. In fact, I think the best thing the UK can do is to quit. Nothing less seems likely to bring the EU bureaucrats to their senses.
So, William Hague, I am disappointed but not altogether surprised that you seem unable to find any positive reasons for voting to stay in the European Union, only fears about what might happen if we leave. I thought you were made of sterner stuff! When you can give us some real hope that we can change the European Union while remaining within it to shrink it, to return sovereignty to the member nations and to show it how to compete in a global economic world, I might change my mind but you don’t seem to have started down that road. This is not the William Hague I campaigned with some years ago in Abingdon under the banner of SAVE THE POUND and the need now is to save our English nation.