This blog was first posted on Huffington Post.
Euroscepticism is often seen as right-wing and populist. Coming from a working-class council estate in South East London, I am often asked why my dislike of the European Union (EU) is so strong having grown up in a very multi-cultural area. In fact, immigration has never been the main issue for me when it comes to the EU. There are many other reasons why the Great British Public should vote to leave when the long awaited referendum finally takes place.
Following the remarkable rise of Jeremy Corbyn, research from YouGov UK has shown strong public support for the nationalisation of various sectors – the most popular being the railways. It goes without saying, an EU which craves power and control will always get in the way of any renationalisation planned by a national government – and the British railways are no different.
The First Railway Directive, coming into practice in 2012 – was the first attack on the government’s ability to ever regain control of our own railways. Once made into law, the directive allows private companies to buy access to the railway tracks of any Member State. This means multiple train operating companies are allowed to buy the use of the same tracks competitively – making it impossible for a government-run railway line to ever exist.
This is a fine example of Brussels believing it knows best!
Moving on. As many of you will know, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a trade deal between the EU and the United States – most of which is being negotiated behind closed doors in Brussels. Many of those on the Left are slowly waking up to the threats posed by this deal – especially to our public services in Britain, including the NHS. TTIP will contain clauses which will allow foreign companies to sue governments for compensation if national policies hurt their profits! Corporatism is being put above all else, including the health of our family and friends – and it seems the main winner here will be the US.
Despite what is often suggested by the scaremongers, leaving the EU will not mean the United Kingdom will pack up its bags, shut the doors, put up a huge wall all around our coasts, and refuse to interact with anyone else. In fact, it will means quite the opposite! By leaving we will not only be able to continue to trade with the EU – on our own terms – like much smaller nations such as Albania and the Faroe Islands, but also with those outside the EU, like China, the US and Canada.
Young people often cite the Erasmus programme as a reason for staying in the EU. However, this scheme does not require EU membership for participation. Erasmus+ is not limited to only EU states, or even just to the European Economic Area. The programme covers over 30 countries, including Macedonia and Lichtenstein, and its website states “nearly every country in the world” is able to participate – EU or non-EU Member State.
Again, the EU’s funding of Britain’s Universities is often mentioned as a reason to stay inside the Union by the scaremongering pro-EU campaign. However, you do not need to be a member of the EU to benefit from the Horizon 2020 scheme. This scheme provides funds to Iceland, Norway, Turkey and Israel, so there is clearly no reason our British Universities will suffer.
Let’s not forget the EU costs Britain around £20 billion a year, and that does not include red-tape legislation, which damages the prospects for many of our small businesses. If we vote to leave the EU, the British government will have much more money to pump into public services – and many other things – which we will get to choose – not Brussels!
The recent dreadful Greek crisis only confirmed that the EU is dominated and manipulated by its banks. They put debt repayments (with the associated high interest rates) above everything else, brushing aside the democratically elected government in its stride. At the start of 2015 the Greek people voted in an anti-austerity government, yet the EU ended up forcing them to accept an agenda filled with cuts to essential services. The Greeks now have their hospitals and schools, but few doctors, nurses, or teachers.
If the Great British Public decide to vote to stay in the European Union, one thing is certain – you, your children and your grandchildren will have to grow up in a Britain with less democracy and power than ever before. This referendum is not just about staying in or leaving; it’s about going against the status quo and quitting the Union, or the alternative of being entrenched in more Brussels doctrine than ever before.
If we vote to leave the European Union, the sun will still rise the next morning. I ask you to see through the doom and gloom pumped out from the pro-EU Remain campaign. They will never tell you about all the benefits of being outside the Union. Instead, they will use false statistics and sound-bites to scare the public into voting to stay. Only the Leave campaign offers you a future of hope and optimism in the wide, wide world. In order to thrive again as a nation, sort out our own global trade agreements, be in control our own railways again, and be able to decide all our own laws, we must Get Britain Out of the EU.