By Olly Tozer
Let me say at the outset that I am not a racist, nor am I a ‘little Englander’, nor am I an ‘isolationist’.
Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson or Michael Gove do not represent me or my reasons for wanting to leave the EU.
I feel it’s a shame that the Leave Campaign is run by UKIP and disillusioned Tories and isn’t instead run by people who do not focus solely on immigration or how much money we spend every week for our membership.
Having said this, I had already made up my mind before the campaigns even started. The final nail in the coffin was Cameron’s phoney negotiations with Tusk , which were, quite frankly, a cop out.
As such, nothing either of the campaigns could have said would change my mind. You see, for me, this is a matter of principle.
While immigration and the amount we contribute to the EU are perfectly valid concerns to have (and shouldn’t be scoffed at), for me they are simply symptoms of the biggest issue – state sovereignty.
The amount of immigrants coming into the country doesn’t actually bother me that much, but the fact that we don’t have a say in who comes here and how we can vet them, does.
In my opinion it boils down to one question: How do we want to be governed? Do we want to be governed by our own MPs whom we have voted in, or would we like our future to be dictated by unelected bureaucrats in the Commission?
There are areas such as the environment, external trade, agriculture and fisheries where the EU is already behind most of our policies and this should worry us all.
And to all those who say that it’s okay that the EU make many of our laws because they are good laws, I ask how you can be serious?
Firstly, as a side point they’re not all good. EU policies have pretty much destroyed our fishing industry.
But more importantly, what happens when they start implementing more policies that we don’t agree with? What can we do to hold them to account and prevent them from pursuing their ideas?
Yes, I accept that if we leave it might leave us to the mercy of the Tories for the next few years. However, I’d hasten to point out that they were actually elected in by us.
The idea that Brussels protects us from our own representatives is slightly absurd. Plus, if they’re that unpopular then we can simply vote them out in 2020. We cannot do that with the EU.
There is no European Government that sets the agenda, but rather, it is set by unaccountable Commissioners who we cannot vote out who have to take into account 27 other countries (soon to be more), with different national interests to us.
Will this change if we vote to remain? Can the EU become more democratic? Well, even with the threat of Brexit looming, Cameron could only land a couple of token compromises.
As such, a complete restructuring of the EU is surely a fantasy. No, if anything we will integrate further. With the Euro as unstable as it is, and new nations wanting to join the EU all the time, the only way I can see the EU working is with further homogeny.
Will the powers that be care if any states object to further integration? Well, nations have in fact rejected further integration before.
There was a treaty proposed in 2001 that seemed to constitutionalise the EU (including creating an unelected “President”) that made it harder for Britain to block potential legislation.
We were promised a referendum (which never happened) by Tony Blair and the treaty was rejected by the French and the Dutch following their own referendums.
Nevertheless, in a uniquely anti-democratic act, the powers that be simply pushed through a re-dressed version of the same treaty and named it after the Portuguese capital. What’s to say that they won’t just do this again?
The EU demonstrably holds a disregard for democracy and state sovereignty. This is very likely to be the only viable chance we have to leave the EU, and put democracy first, before we become so tangled in the web that it becomes impossible to climb free without losing our limbs.
I for one hope that we take this opportunity to leave before it is too late.