Cheer Up, Eurosceptics

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The latest entry in John Redwood’s Diary urges the Eurosceptics to be more optimistic as we approach an In/Out referendum:

For years some Eurosceptics have written to me and others complaining that there is no referendum on staying in the EU. They argued that the Conservatives could not win a General election, and argued that if they did they would rat on the promise. Well, they were wrong on both counts.

Now they are writing to say Mr Cameron cannot negotiate a decent new relationship, or allege he is not trying to. I do not accept these criticisms either, but were they true surely that just makes it a whole lot easier to win the referendum to come out of the EU.

What Eurosceptics need to do is to cheer up. Tomorrow can be better than today. Life outside the current treaties can be a whole lot better than within them. Restoring the sovereignty of the UK voters, and returning powers to Parliament to exercise on their behalf, is a democratic process that people of all parties and of none can buy into.

If we paid less into the EU we could spend more on the things we prefer, and cut our borrowings. If we were free to make our own trade agreements with the faster growing parts of the world we could expand our exports more rapidly. If we did not have to impose all the rules and costs on our trade with the rest of the world and here at home, we could be better off. If we were back in charge of our affairs we could decide how many migrants to welcome, and who should receive benefits.

Causes are advanced and votes won by being optimistic, positive, and by reaching out to people who disagree with you. Fighting old battles over ideological purity do not advance the general cause of a more prosperous, more democratic UK.

Click here to read this piece in John Redwood’s Diary.

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