Well done, Boris! I am sure this was not an easy decision either in terms of your personal relationship with DC or your ambitions in politics but I am so glad you are voting Leave. I am quite sure you are right in your analysis.
Some weeks ago, I criticised William Hague for his reasoning behind a decision to support Remain. All of his arguments were based around fear of the consequences of Brexit rather than the opportunities Brexit could bring to our country.
Listening to DC this weekend, he sounded the same. There was very little about the positive aspects of remaining in the European Union and much about his fears if we left. I suppose this is inevitable because of what Michael Gove, Theresa Villiers and now Boris Johnson have said about the shackles the EU has imposed on our government and our country.
I am very sorry for DC because he has been a brilliant Prime Minister. He snatched victory in the General Election and he has led a reforming Conservative government with a slender majority. Negotiating reform with 27 other national leaders with hugely different agendas and economic profiles was an impossibly difficult task and I do not think he could have done any more. However, the process demonstrated the futility of the European experiment in terms of ever closer union. I am afraid DC came back with very little change and even less prospect that the small changes will all be delivered.
However, I worry that we have lost our vision and our confidence as a nation. Think of Henry V before Agincourt; Elizabeth I facing the Armada; Wellington before Waterloo; Nelson before Trafalgar; Churchill battling Nazism; Thatcher and the Falklands. None of them considered defeat. They saw the potential for victory and took their chance. That opportunity faces us now; not the fear of losing out if we leave the European Union but the freedom and opportunity leaving will bring us. We are the fifth largest economy in the world; we are an island; we have the best armed forces; we have a first class financial sector and we have the oldest democracy and parliamentary system in the world. Where has our confidence gone in terms of forging alliances and making our own way in the world?
I think we face a decision that only comes to a nation in a century of two. I have no doubt deciding to leave will give us wonderful opportunities to thrive economically and to decide our own destiny and to stand or fall as a result. I also think our leaving will give the rest of the European Union food for thought which may well help them to halt the search for ever closer union and to work for improved economic performance and much more return of power back to sovereign nations. If this happens, it will be despite the best efforts of the Brussels bureaucrats but so be it!