Henry Smith, Conservative MP for Crawley, has written this exclusive article for Get Britain Out:
Henry Smith MP: I Will Vote to Leave the EU
I had just turned six years old when the last referendum on Europe was held and which, we were told at the time, was to join a free trading area (although anyone who read the Treaty of Rome at the time would have seen that was deceptive).
Since 1975 the Common Market/EEC evolved into to EC and now the centralising, fundamentally undemocratic, political construct of the EU. I sit on the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee and see with my own eyes, and often with dismay, the significant level of directives and legislative demands emanating from the EU.
It is often said people care more about health, employment, the economy, education, taxation and so on, more than our relationship with the EU. Yet the EU does affect almost every aspect of our daily lives. Therefore, on this fundamental constitutional question – we need the British people to decide.
With a clear message from the electorate at the last election, my Conservative colleagues and I have repeatedly lobbied the Government in support of a referendum on our membership and indeed many of us have voted against the Coalition Government, in spite of pressure from the political establishment.
As such, I was delighted when the Prime Minister set out his position on Europe on the 23rd of January 2013 and made clear that the EU needed fundamental, far reaching change – and that Great Britain would lead the way in negotiating that reform. The Prime Minister has pledged the will commit to an In/Out referendum once his re-negotiations with the European Union are complete, and at any event by the end of 2017.
Despite efforts by the Conservative Party to push both two EU Referendum Bills (James Wharton’s in 2013 and Robert Neill’s in 2014) through the Houses of Parliament which would legislate for a referendum by the end of 2017, opposition from Labour and the Liberal Democrats blocked its advance.
For too long the British people have had no say about their future in Europe. The Prime Minister and I are absolutely determined to put that right.
Personally, I will vote to leave the EU.
Henry Smith MP