Thursday, 23 June 2016

Make Thursday Our Independence Day - VOTE LEAVE

This week is my final Crawley Observer column before the referendum. As I post this in the final minutes of the 22nd of June, I would be very surprised if Tilgate and Furnace Green did not vote for Leave. I've had a great reception as I have been going around campaigning for Leave. I also think Crawley and West Sussex will vote for Leave. But will the UK as a whole? The next 48 hours will not be forgotten in a hurry. 

 As I write this column on Sunday evening while watching Switzerland (non-EU) v France (EU) in the European Championships, I am wondering what this week will bring and how exactly the EU referendum is going to pan out. As I see it, from this week onwards there will be four parts to the referendum and the outcomes resulting from it.

The first part will be the media frenzy approaching polling day. There will be claim and counter-claim from both sides and while I support the Leave campaign, I do not agree with everything they have said. However, the ‘Project Fear’ tactics from the Remain campaign have been deplorable. This will reach fever pitch this week and goodness knows what they will trott out in the final days before the vote.
The second part is the vote itself. I think it more likely than not that Crawley will return a Leave vote, but if it doesn’t, then I can’t see Leave winning nationally if Crawley votes for Remain. I can however see either Leave or Remain winning nationally if Crawley votes for Leave. Nationally, it feels very close so I hope the turnout is high to give this election the biggest possible mandate.

The third part will be the immediate aftermath after the result. I think it very likely that whatever the result, there will be no status quo. We will be in a whole new political world and what this will look like will be anyone’s guess. As I wrote last week, when voting we should take a long-term view and not decide our vote based on the possible immediate aftermath of the vote.
Finally there will the long-term outcomes. This is where it really matters and I am confident the UK will have a better global future outside of the EU while still working with our European and EU neighbours. However, if we vote to stay, we will be trapped in an increasingly undemocratic political organisation that bullies and threatens those who dare to disagree with it. This is our only chance to leave and we should seize it.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

This Thursday - Vote LEAVE

Last week in my Crawley Observer column I wrote about this week's historic EU Referendum, a manifesto commitment that David Cameron and the Conservative Government have delivered on.
Next week, our historic vote takes place on whether to either remain in or leave the EU. This will be it folks, our only opportunity to leave and we won’t be getting another vote. I urge everyone to use their vote and to make a choice that is best for our long-term future and democracy, not to vote on short-term uncertainties. That means voting for Leave.
Both sides in the referendum have come out with daft statements but the scare-mongering and the inaccuracies from the Remain side have been truly appalling. If we leave, we are not going to stop trading with Europe, we are not going to see the economy crash and the ridiculous claim that it will be harder to buy a home couldn’t be further from the truth.

The reality is that the UK’s inability to have any control over high levels of net EU migration is the largest contributing factor to the demand side of the supply and demand equation for housing. Only by leaving the EU and taking back control with a manageable and sustainable level of population growth can we start to get to grips with the housing crisis. The alternative is to see housing become ever more unaffordable for our young people and future generations.
There may be some short-term issues to resolve if we leave the EU, but when voting I say think about getting this right for the long term. The EU is of course is famous for making terrible short-term political decisions over sensible long-term economics. For example, the EU fudged the criteria for Greece to join the Euro in 2002 and then didn’t allow it to leave, creating economic chaos across the entire Eurozone.

Finally, we should never forget that many of those desperate for the EU to govern us are the same people saying the UK would become an economic disaster by not joining the Euro. They were wrong then and they are wrong now. Voting to leave is a positive vote that recognises we are better making decisions for ourselves as a country. Let’s take back control.