“Since 1975, we have already sent the staggering sum of over half a trillion pounds to Brussels. If we vote stay we will send about another £200 billion to Brussels over the next decade.
It is also important to recognise that our rebate is not a permanent and unalterable feature of our membership anchored in the treaties. It’s a negotiated settlement – which has had to be re-negotiated before – and which could be eroded, whittled away or rendered less and less significant in future negotiations. One of the reasons we have the rebate is fear Britain might leave. Once we’ve voted to stay then it will be open season on that sum.”
Once we vote to leave we decide the terms of trade
“So the process and pace of change is in our hands. There is no arbitrary deadline which we must meet to secure our future – and indeed no arbitrary existing “model” which we have to accept in order to prosper.
It has been argued that the moment Britain votes to leave a process known as “Article 50” is triggered whereby the clock starts ticking and every aspect of any new arrangement with the EU must be concluded within 2 years of that vote being recorded – or else…
But there is no requirement for that to occur – quite the opposite.
Logically, in the days after a Vote to Leave the Prime Minister would discuss the way ahead with the Cabinet and consult Parliament before taking any significant step.
Preliminary, informal, conversations would take place with the EU to explore how best to proceed.
It would not be in any nation’s interest artificially to accelerate the process and no responsible government would hit the start button on a two-year legal process without preparing appropriately.
Nor would it be in anyone’s interest to hurry parliamentary processes.
We can set the pace.
We will repeal the 1972 European Communities Act, which automatically gives EU law legal force. But we can change it on our terms at a time of our choosing.
After we establish full legal independence we can then decide which EU-inspired rules and regulations we want to keep, which we want to repeal and which we wish to modify.”
Britain continues in the free trade area
“There is a free trade zone stretching from Iceland to Turkey that all European nations have access to, regardless of whether they are in or out of the euro or EU. After we vote to leave we will stay in this zone. The suggestion that Bosnia, Serbia, Albania and the Ukraine would stay part of this free trade area – and Britain would be on the outside with just Belarus – is as credible as Jean-Claude Juncker joining UKIP.
Agreeing to maintain this continental free trade zone is the simple course and emphatically in everyone’s interests.”
We will take back control of immigration
“We could also benefit economically from control of immigration.
At the moment any EU citizen can come to the UK to settle, work, claim benefits and use the NHS. We have no proper control over whether that individual’s presence here is economically beneficial, conducive to the public good or in our national interest. We cannot effectively screen new arrivals for qualifications, extremist connections or past criminality. We have given away control over how we implement the vital 1951 UN Convention on asylum to the European court. We cannot even deport convicted murderers.
Further, there are five more countries – Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey – in the queue to join the EU – and the European Commission, as we have just experienced ourselves during the recent negotiation process, regards ‘free movement’ as an inviolable principle of EU membership.
Yesterday’s report from the Treasury is an official admission from the IN campaign that if we vote to stay in the EU then immigration will continue to increase by hundreds of thousands year on year. Over 250,000 people came to Britain from Europe last year. As long as we are in the EU we cannot control our borders and cannot develop an immigration policy which is both truly humane and in our long term economic interests.
It is bad enough that we have to maintain an open door to EU nationals – from the shores of Sicily to the borders of the Ukraine – it’s also the case that as the price of EU membership, we have to impose stricter limitations on individuals from other nations whom we might actively want to welcome.
Whether it’s family members from Commonwealth countries, the top doctors and scientists who would enhance the operation of the NHS or the technicians and innovators who could power growth, we have to put them at the back of the queue behind any one who’s granted citizenship by any other EU country.
I think we would benefit as a country if we had a more effective and humane immigration policy, allowing us to take the people who would benefit us economically, offering refuge to those genuinely in need, and saying no to others.
And my ambition is not a Utopian ideal – it’s an Australian reality.
Instead of a European open-door migration policy we could – if a future Government wanted it – have an Australian points-based migration policy. We could emulate that country’s admirable record of taking in genuine refugees, giving a welcome to hard-working new citizens and building a successful multi-racial society without giving into people-smugglers, illegal migration or subversion of our borders.
So leaving could mean control over new trade deals, control over how we can help developing nations, control over economic rules, control over how billions currently spent by others could be spent, control over our borders, control over who uses the NHS and control over who can make their home here.
No-one arguing that we should Vote Leave wants us to reduce the amount we give to our farmers or our scientists. Indeed some of us believe we should give more. The only British citizens we want to deprive of European funding are our MEPs. We’d like to liberate them to flourish in the private sector.”
Better for Europe
“Leaving would also bring another significant – and under-appreciated – benefit. It would lead to the reform of the European Union.
At different points In campaigners like to argue either that Brexit would lead to EU nations using their massive muscle to punish us, or that Brexit would lead to contagion and the collapse of Europe – just as Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union collapsed following secession from those unions.
Manifestly both cannot be true. An EU without the UK cannot simultaneously be a super-charged leviathan bent on revenge and a crumbling Tower of Babel riven by conflict.
But both points have a grain of truth. There will be anger amongst some in European elites. Not because the UK is destined for a bleak, impoverished future on the outside. No, quite the opposite.
What will enrage, and disorientate, EU elites is the UK’s success outside the Union. Regaining control over our laws, taxes and borders and forging new trade deals while also shedding unnecessary regulation will enhance our competitive advantage over other EU nations. Our superior growth rate, and better growth prospects, will only strengthen. Our attractiveness to inward investors and our influence on the world stage will only grow.
But while this might provoke both angst and even resentment among EU elites, the UK’s success will send a very different message to the EU’s peoples. They will see that a different Europe is possible. It is possible to regain democratic control of your own country and currency, to trade and co-operate with other EU nations without surrendering fundamental sovereignty to a remote and unelected bureaucracy. And, by following that path, your people are richer, your influence for good greater, your future brighter.
So – yes there will be “contagion” if Britain leaves the EU. But what will be catching is democracy. There will be a new demand for more effective institutions to enable the more flexible kind of international cooperation we will need as technological and economic forces transform the world.
We know – from repeated referenda on the continent and in Ireland – that the peoples of the EU are profoundly unhappy with the European project. We also know that the framers of that project – Monnet and Schumann – hoped to advance integration by getting round democracy and never submitting their full vision to the verdict of voters. That approach has characterised the behaviour of EU leaders ever since. But that approach could not, and will not, survive the assertion of deep democratic principle that would be the British people voting to leave.
Our vote to Leave will liberate and strengthen those voices across the EU calling for a different future – those demanding the devolution of powers back from Brussels and desperate for a progressive alternative.
For Greeks who have had to endure dreadful austerity measures, in order to secure bailouts from Brussels, which then go to pay off bankers demanding their due, a different Europe will be a liberation.
For Spanish families whose children have had to endure years of joblessness and for whom a home and children of their own is a desperately distant prospect, a different Europe will be a liberation.
For Portuguese citizens who have had to endure cuts to health, welfare and public services as the price of EU policies, a different Europe will be a liberation.
For Italians whose elected Government was dismissed by Brussels fiat, for Danes whose opt-out from the Maastricht Treaty has been repeatedly overridden by the European Court, for Poles whose hard-won independence has been eroded by the European Commission, a different Europe will be a liberation.
For Britain, voting to leave will be a galvanising, liberating, empowering moment of patriotic renewal.
We will have rejected the depressing and pessimistic vision advanced by In campaigners that Britain is too small and weak and the British people too hapless and pathetic to manage their own affairs and choose their own future.
But for Europe, Britain voting to leave will be the beginning of something potentially even more exciting – the democratic liberation of a whole Continent.
If we vote to leave we will have – in the words of a former British Prime Minister – saved our country by our exertions and Europe by our example.
We will have confirmed that we believe our best days lie ahead, that we believe our children can build a better future, that this country’s instincts and institutions, its people and its principles, are capable not just of making our society freer, fairer and richer but also once more of setting an inspirational example to the world. It is a noble ambition and one I hope this country will unite behind in the weeks to come.”