LETTER: The risks of staying are just as great

As the EU Referendum approaches, the arguments, particularly on the Remain side, become more shrill. You could be forgiven for assuming that the risks of staying put are insignificant. Yet it seems to me they are at least as great.

Going forward, the EU has to secure the future of the single currency, face up to the insolvency of the Italian banks and critical rates of unemployment across many member states. The one size fills all model is unattainable.

Yet the EU elite is wedded to “ever closer union” by whatever means and plans are afoot to move towards a fiscal union of Euro states.

All this will help to further marginalise the UK, with more unwanted regulation and cost without effective representation.

The Prime Minister is now convinced of the case to remain though numerous health warnings and opt-outs tell a very different tale.

We cannot, for instance, increase our population by over 300,000 a year without courting social unrest and the collapse of public services and confidence.

As a recent programme on the East End of London clearly showed, social cohesion is lost if numbers are too high. And, as we know from local experience, the higher the influx the lower the pressure to integrate.

What a bitter irony, with anniversaries coming thick and fast, that we fought two world wars to restore freedom and sovereignty in Europe.

We cannot surely now accept the continuing price of EU membership – subjugation by stealth.

The EU is profoundly undemocratic in outlook and intent. It is foremost a political project, corrupt and enormously extravagant in nature which seeks to build support by selective distribution of its largesse. As a net contributor to its budget, we can, in fact, choose to fund all EU spending on the UK ourselves and have lots of change to spare.

Far from being stronger in the EU, we are largely invisible. For hundreds of years, as an island nation, we have traded with the world. And yet we are, bizarrely, unable to negotiate with anyone have ceded our right to act in our own interest. If in any doubt about the potency of nationalism, so disdained by the Brussels elite, then this summer’s sporting fixtures are the perfect antidote.

On June 23 let’s take a step for optimism and renewal, let’s vote to regain control of our fisheries, our trade policy and to reinvigorate our parliamentary democracy

The future is the wider world, especially the east. We deserve better than to remain entangled in a declining, bureaucratic and over-regulated EU, and this is our only chance to say so.

Chris Smart

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