Andrea Leadsom is Minister of State for Energy at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and MP for South Northamptonshire.
There is just over a week to go until we wake up on the morning of 24th June to the bright freedom of our Independence Day, or to the humdrum drudgery of just another day under the newly triumphant eye of the Brussels bureaucracy.
Right across the country, people are knocking on doors, handing out leaflets, and talking with their friends, family and neighbours about the most significant question we have faced for generations. The enthusiasm of the Leave campaign is infectious. Our grassroots activists are more engaged, more passionate, and more determined than anyone that the Remain side can muster.
Why is that?
In the past few weeks the Establishment, who are so determined to keep us chained to the European Union and tell us what to do, have thrown everything – the proverbial kitchen sink – at us. We’ve been told if we dare to vote to Leave, then pensions will be cut, the City will up sticks to Frankfurt, and the world will stop trading with us.
What we’ve seen in response has been an utter rejection of the “Henny Penny” doom-mongering from the Remain corner. We all know that, should we have the courage of our convictions and self-belief in our great talents, the sky will not fall in after a Leave vote. I’ve always had more faith in the sensibilities of the British voter than that. We don’t want the politics of fear, we want the fresh start optimism of #ProjectReasonable and the Leave campaign.
You may have seen the recent ITV debate that I took part in, alongside my superb colleagues Boris Johnson and Gisela Stuart. What was evident to me, up on that stage, was that Remain have none of the answers that voters are looking for. Whilst our opponents were busy playing the man rather than the ball, our team was focused on the questions being asked. Facts, statistics, numbers. This is what we have on our side, whereas the Remainers just had threats and insults.
We are moving in the right direction, and it is through the dedication and efforts of everyone on the Leave side – in whatever way – that we will win the argument. One of the ways that I and a number of colleagues have been working to make a difference is through the Fresh Start Project, the initiative I set up with others in 2011 to look at the reforms needed in the EU.
You may have seen some of our work. We’ve been publishing a series of short summaries across different policy areas – the Rewards of Leave – authored by key members of the Fresh Start Project, all with a specialist knowledge and expertise in their given area. Our aim is to provide some of the answers to some of the specifics that people want to know across food and farming, security and defence, immigration, work and workers’ rights, my own area of energy security, and so many more.
So, with only a few days to go, I implore everybody to keep calm and keep going. Who knows what other spectres of the apocalypse we will have thrown at us between now and June 23rd, but I am confident that the British people will choose and choose well.
On June 24th, our Independence Day, we will wake up to a truly bright future. Join with me.