I’m voting LEAVE. Here’s my reason in ONE WORD.

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The upcoming referendum on the EU is, I believe, the single most important political decision any of us is likely to make in our lifetime. I’m voting ‘Leave’. Here’s my reasoning in ONE word. Accountability.

Accountability keeps us behaving responsibly.

As individuals we are responsible for how we treat each other, responsible for our possessions, and responsible for what we do with what we have. We are responsible for what we ask of others, how our decisions affect them and how we adjust to the effect we have on other’s lives – our response-ABILITY. Responsibility and accountability are linked. We are responsible FOR things and people, and accountable TO those people, obliged to maintain a free flow of transparent communication so that we prove ourselves worthy of trust.

In Britain we have decided that those who are responsible for the direction and management of our country are ultimately accountable to us, the people they lead, whose lives their decisions affect.  Responsible for. Accountable to.

The reason I’m voting Leave is because such accountability is missing in the EU. We have no idea who makes the decisions that affect us. We do not know the person responsible for each of the myriad of choices imposed on the millions of people who must do as they are told. There is no cabinet minister’s name attached to an ‘EU Directive’. Parliament cannot overthrow it. As a result of that ongoing and unstoppable anonymity, power becomes absolute and absolute power corrupts absolutely, regardless of the intentions of those who wield it.

The counterbalance to the abuse of power is democracy, described by Churchill as “the worst form of government except for all the others that have been tried from time to time.” Or as it has been succinctly put, ‘the least worst form of government.’

Every few years in Britain the people have an opportunity to kick out those in power if they don’t lead well, or spend our taxes carelessly, and this makes they much more attentive to the people they, at least in theory, are committed to serve. We wisely wield that power every five years in Britain – about the right time-frame in my view.  But no one can kick out those who wield the power in the EU, so its bureaucrats can – and do – decide as they like.

Worse than that in some ways is that the inertia of this unwieldy autocracy is so great that the EU has proven to be UNABLE to reverse, even though catastrophe lies in such a path. It has become unABLE to respond. It has lost response-ABILITY.

We paid a high price for democracy – many many lives. Let’s not give it away in a single day of apathy.

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This issue of power is way more important than any financial implication (or even issues like immigration). Prosperity comes and goes and we’ll love to exercise our creative skills in developing our markets with the rest of the world.  We are certainly mature enough, creative enough and courageous enough as a nation and economy to do so. But democracy, once it has been surrendered, cries out for blood in order to be restored. Germany, Spain, Italy, and indeed ourselves, could well do with remembering the lessons of history.  So let’s not, due to negligence, weakness or ignorance, drift into blind obedience to the relentless autocracy the EU has determined to exercise since its inception.

By the way, I love being with people from other nations. I’ve visited every country in Western Europe (except Iceland and Macedonia).  And I’ve visited many other countries too – from China to Canada. Human beings are amazing.  I’m always impressed. But I’ve also noticed that where accountability and transparency flourish, corruption is minimal. Where it is diminished, abuse of the people, people like you and me, sooner or later becomes normal. Dark deeds are done in secret.

One final thought.
Reformation. Membership of a ‘reformed’ Europe (whatever that might mean) is an option, but to be committed to a vague undefined so-called reformation without knowing what it will be, and knowing that the very people choosing the reforms are the same autocrats committed to the original governmental system – well, that would be foolishness indeed, wouldn’t it?

I personally think that the removal of the U.K. from the EU could be a catalyst for reform. Brexit will be a major upheaval for Europe, perhaps even big enough to force such reformation, so us voting ‘leave’ will serve the EU well, as a child running away from home usually causes the child’s family to ask deep searching essential questions of themselves, their relationships and parenting. What freedom is that person seeking that they could not get here? “How is it that such freedom is SO important that they have left the apparent security of this ‘home’ to seek it?”  Although of course Britain isn’t a child. It is a mature thoughtful adult choosing to leave a business club that is no longer serving its members well.

The British people have given Europe’s leaders a chance to change. They haven’t. They don’t care about the members’ concerns, the sincere concerns of those they rule. Instead some have even threatened us with retaliation and financial ‘punishment’ for making a free legal choice. Some friends!  Do we want to be forced to live the rest of our lives with them, ‘return’ to their walled fold? Not exactly enticing, is it. Bullying tactics are in the DNA of the over-powerful. Do I want to continue living within the doors of such a ‘home’? Certainly not. A bully living next door is one thing. Living with them is something else – as millions of people know only too well.

Time for Britain to grow up, believe in itself again, move out, seek our fortune in a less confining environment and move on. These EU walls that are hailed as protecting us have become our prison. We don’t need them thanks. This is our chance to walk out from that prison. Our world is a big place to explore, to play and work in. I believe we are courageous enough to say goodbye to our fears, stand up tall as a nation again, trade with confidence … and show the world how good it is to live with an accountable government and a free press in a democratic society.

That’s the reason I’ll be voting ‘Leave’.

Join the conversation

76 Comments

  1. I cannot thank you enough for this thoughtful, prayerful and truthful post, written succinctly and unbiased as ever. I will repost, forward and pass on in any way I can your invaluable view of our situation as responsible British subjects. Thank you.

  2. Andrew, well done, I fully agree. Thank you for your straight thoughts. We over here in germany do have many enlightened persons with ideas & thouhgts like that. But they are suppressed and put down by hard-core-ideology. Anyway opposition is becoming larger & larger. Thanks God. Klaus. (..meeting you with scooter/bmw in sweden 2011..)

  3. Thank you so much for this, Klaus. I’m glad there are German people who feel the same way. Hard-core ideology rarely works. It forces people away from their hearts and away from seeking truth towards fear and conformity. We have it here in the UK, with one of the biggest current assaults on free speech being in the universities!

    Over the years I have personally found it takes a lot of courage to speak out, far more courage than I have expected. Not to do so hands the power to the intimidator. In-Timid-ator. Timid = fearful, lacking in courage.

    Anything you can do to circulate this post will be appreciated, Klaus. Feel free.

    Yes I still have your picture on my iPhotos! I think you are the handsome one, aren’t you?

  4. Thanks for this I have chosen to vote ‘Leave’ also, however, you read this article and then you read that and both sides are passionately adamant that theirs is the true and reasoned argument.
    There are points and things to consider on either side of the argument but ACCOUNTABILITY trumps them all!
    This is now my one word argument and I am at peace with this, Thank you.

  5. But we vote Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in every few years to represent us in the EU parliament. Sure, not all people in the EU system are elected….but then again, when was the last time you elected a member of the House of Lords? Oh right…never. Nor did you ever vote for the civil servants implementing policies.

    Your argument is therefore void.

    For the sake of favor debate, other arguments are welcome though.

    From Wikipedia:

    MEP: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Member_of_the_European_Parliament
    House of Lords: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Lords
    HM Civil Service: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Her_Majesty%27s_Civil_Service

  6. But we vote Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in every few years to represent us in the EU parliament. Sure, not all people in the EU system are elected….but then again, when was the last time you elected a member of the House of Lords? Oh right…never. Nor did you ever vote for the civil servants implementing policies.

    This argument is therefore void.

    For the sake of favor debate, other arguments are welcome though.

    From Wikipedia:

    MEP: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/

    Member_of_the_European_Parliament

    House of Lords: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Lords
    HM Civil Service: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Her_Majesty%27s_Civil_Service

  7. If any one is still unsure, then please read this and you will understand the Importance of leaving

  8. Thanks, Phillip.

    Yes, it is nothing to do with immigration or money. It’s to do with boundaries – to our own lives, to our country, and ownership of the boundaries of those who make decisions on our behalf.

  9. We don’t elect the commissioners nor the presidents They are the law makers in the EU. At home we do elect the law makers – the Commons (not the Lords). The argument is NOT “therefore void”

  10. The one word you’re looking for is “ignorance”.
    Just because you don’t know, or want to know, how the EU works doesn’t mean it’s not accountable.
    The parliament is elected and the commission has a representative put in place by our own, elected, government.
    If the EU parliament wishes they can, and have, force the commission to resign.
    The accountability may be obtuse but it’s there if you can be bothered to look for it.

  11. I’d be more persuaded by your argument about accountability & responsibility if the current British government, or any of the past few, showed much sign of responsibility. The breathtakingly cruel cuts to vast amounts of support for the poorest and neediest in our nation, such as disability allowance and so on, seem to show the government aren’t actually worried about accountability. I’d love to hold Cameron or Hunt accountable for the destruction they’re causing to the NHS, but they seem blithely unconcerned. Indeed, the election results after the coalition make it seem as if Cameron is completely unaffected by any consequences of his actions during the coalition. Given this is the situation at home, is the EU any worse?

  12. Brexiters dont do research unfortunately. They simply swallow the lies and misinformation of the right wing ukippers and Toriesho have a completely different agenda to the rest of us. I am voting to stay in for one simple reason – i fear the tories more than i fear the EU. As foccountability i would suggest the writer of this rubbish article actually does some proper research.

  13. Oh yes the Great Commission resignation. One problem with your lack of understanding. Every one of those members that resigned got put back in a few weeks later! All they did was move the goal posts!

    There is no accountability in the EU. In fact the EU under its own rules should just close up shop. Why? It has to have it’s finances passed off by a reputable accounting firm. This has not happened for getting on 20 years.

  14. Stephen Kelly, us Brxiters have done the research which is why I went from accepting the EEC/EU as a necessary part of life to realizing it is and always has been an Anti Democratic, Anti Nation State, dictatorship. (Sure it has the veneer of democracy and even “requires” joining states to be democratic, but the nature of the beast is very different.

  15. alextfish The reason the government is acting as it is, is because all of the ruling parties are tied in with the EU and they are getting the country closer and closer to being the same and the EU. Have you never wondered why Labour did not re-nationalise the railways etc, and in fact did a lot of PFI deals for new Hospitals and prisons etc? The answer when you scratch the surface is the EU (one of the pillars of the EU is Governments of whatever level own nothing, but through the EU control it. Much like the National Socialists in Germany and Italy in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Where they allowed the private businesses run but called all the shots).

  16. Aalexfish we can, as you say, hold Cameron & Hunt accountable at the next general election by as a nation voting them out. However I fear that if we remain in the EU after the referendum then general elections will become irrelevant, because the unelected mandarins of the EU will see a remain vote as licence to take even more control of what happens here.

  17. Yes of course it is! One of the reasons Cameron acts like a dictator is because he knows he can get away with it. And why is that? Because we have allowed him to! But in the case of the EU we have no power whatsoever to prevent the planned march to the EUSSR! The EU already has it’s own flag, anthem and fledgling army and nobody can argue that the plan for ‘ever closer union’ will not go ahead if we remain. If we leave then others will follow and the EU will crumble. Then we can unite with the countries of Europe in a far more ‘accountable’ way, with each country still in control of their destination. This referendum isn’t just about us here in the UK. We have the opportunity to free Europe!

  18. Yeah, sure. Mr Santer has really gone into a backwater never to be seen again after his mauling by the Commission:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Santer

    Still appears to have his snout in the trough.

    If this is what you mean by “accountability” it’s certainly “obtuse” and I’ll give it a pass.

    I’d also suggest that the rise of extremist parties across Europe (nearly had a neo-Nazi President in Austria) is precisely because people do not *believe* that the “accountability” you talk about actually means anything in reality.

  19. Very clearly and well put, without any of the usual innuendo which normally is spouted. The comments here from EU supporters demonstrate how we are kept in ignorance of how the EU is thoroughly undemocratic.and self-serving (for the politicians).

  20. My vote is to stay in. Accountability is down to one factor me. I am personally accountable for all my actions and regardless of who I am ruled by be it Cameron or the unseen “Gnomes” in Europe I stand alone as the author of my life decisions.Our views and theories will not matter one iota when we are called to give Account and the only ability[account-ability,hope you saw that] We can believe as the one sure factor is standing firmly in Christ and His gift of salvation. In or out ? hmm. I do not write this for any other reason than to remind us all ,me included ,to hold onto the one who proved His accountability Jesus Christ the Lamb of God.

  21. Stephen, this is unworthy of you! “Brexiters don’t do research”. I understand you may disagree and be keen to ‘rubbish’ those who disagree with you, but that seems to me to do your cause a disfavour. Stick with the argument. Those who don’t have a convincing argument tend to attack the speaker. We want light not heat in this debate.

    I’m interested that your comment is based on fear. More fear, less fear. Fear of the future, perhaps. If you took that fear away, (tories, EU, and I suspect Labour, socialism, the Establishment, etc.) how would you argue then? If I were to pay you £10,000 for every convincing argument you could come up with to Leave, how rich would you suddenly be?

  22. Alex, for me this isn’t about any political group. That is the point. In ten years time, Cameron/Hunt/Corbin/etc, with be gone. This is about the principles underlying government. It’s about power, and who wields it, and how you and I as voters on the 23rd can stop that power becoming more and more corrupting.

  23. Hmmm, thank you for your help, Hotlush. For me, accountability happens in a context of transparency. We know WHAT people are accountable for, and WHO is accountable, and TO WHOM they are accountable. ‘Obtuse’ accountability is a bit of an oxymoron, isn’t it? In the UK we have been very concerned about ‘off-shore’ accounts, etc. because they are hidden and encourage corruption. (Hiddenness again. If you think no one is looking you behave very differently to when someone is.) I’m not saying national governments don’t, but I AM saying we are more able to control our own government. For many of us, of course, if we kept our finances hidden we would eventually be put in prison by HMRC, but we are happy to be governed by a massive organisation that refuses to open its accounts and cannot balance its books – and NONE OF US have power to stop it at any time, ever.

  24. Thanks, Chris. I used to take that view (for years I didn’t vote) but eventually felt that I was surrendering my response-ability to others. (That ability word again.) As you will see from my other blogs and my business (www.powerchange.com!) I am a coach, and have watched so many people be damaged by an imbalance of power. In my view, ‘Leave’ reduces the gap between those who govern and those who suffer or enjoy (depending on your view) the outcomes of their government. It may also encourage others across Europe to stand up and be counted.

  25. Thank you, Joe. As a coach I know that it is in the hidden areas of our lives that corruption begins. Open government is the key, with people knowing and electing those they believe to be trustworthy – or at least are less untrustworthy! Broken promises are everywhere in politics, and whoever they are, holding them to transparent scrutiny goes some way to keeping them in check.

  26. What a great post. Absolutely spot on and so well presented.
    Let us spread this message.

  27. We are ruled by an unaccountable elite who only got 26% of the vote already. Without a major restructuring the difference to the ordinary person in the street will be minimal, if anything worse, as things like the last court of appeal when your government turns on you will be removed.

    I’m all for accountability – but there is none. Venal politicians, rotten boroughs. The whole system is broken, and voting leave makes it even worse.

  28. You are missing the basic point. After 2000 years of factional nationalistic conflict and war in Europe, we won the right to form and be part of a European Union, designed to equalise tensions and prevent conflict for ever more. Now you deluded nationalistic sycophants want to bring it all crashing down. I doubt the EU will survive if we leave and the next War in Europe will be your doing entirely. On the subject of ACCOUNTABILITY!!? some 20% of the electorate voted for our current government who are governing with impunity against the best interests of its own population in regards to the disabled, the health service, fracking, tax evasion, to name but a few. The EU are the only restraint on this bunch of psycopaths. God help us all without it.

  29. The democratic checks and balances in the EU may be more difficult to understand than our own, but they are there. If you are saying that Europe is too big an entity to govern itself democratically, compare the USA.

  30. How is the EU a prison? We have seen some of our EU neighbouring countries actually imprisoned for decades, and as soon as they walked free, where did they go? To join the EU. It’s not a perfect institution, all human constructs are flawed. But, on the whole, it is a force for good. Europe is more stable, peaceful and prosperous, for longer, than in other time in its long history. Someone described the EU as a sort of permanent peace conference. Instead of divisive nationalisms we talk with each other about our differences.
    If you imagine that destabilising our country, and our continent will somehow ‘serve the EU well’, can you provide a shred of evidence for that?

  31. Guys. Let’s break it down into easy to understand chunks. A bit like the small chunks of offerings we’ve been showered with by the EU in an attempt to make us stay.

    1. We do not have control by election of the law makers in the eu.

    2. Peace in Europe is policed by Nato and has nothing to do with the EU.

    3. Remember you are not only voting on whether we leave he EU. You are voting on agreeing to the eu way of doing things for good. We will get hammered if we stay in having just said “yes we’re fine to go along with anything you say, look our people have just given you the power to do what you like without hindrance”

    4. There is more to this than whether your mobile phone bill is a little bigger when you go on holiday, or whether you don’t have the E111 (who doesn’t buy £5 travel insurance or get it with their bank anyway?) or whether a beer is cheaper. It’s about full control over our economy. To forge our own future within the EU. Remember we will always be only 20 miles from France! Look at Switzerland as an example! Look at Germany pre common market as an example!

    5. Turkey and Romania are about to join the EU. If we stay in that is a further 2 huge countries who will have free access to our country. Immigration is not the main point for me. But it is a point!

    6. The most important reason is the huge waste of money the EU is. For every pound we get out on average it costs us £2.30 to pay in. Imagine just a 1/4 of the money saved being used by your local government to spend as their electorate wished in improving infrastructure etc. Not to mention the other 3/4 that we could invest in the NHS, lower taxes, business injection and more.

    It’s so obvious that the stay campaign is based around fear of change. But that is just what our forefathers went through to get the world where it is today.

    Vote to leave. Control your life a little more. Europe will only ever be 20 miles away…

  32. Excellent piece on accountability.

    When I voted in 1974 (or was it 1975) to join the European Common Market I did so because I saw the benefit of entering into a free-trade zone with a number of other European Countries. Norway, Iceland and Switzerland who are NOT members of the current EU are members of the European Free Trade Area. They do have to abide by some EU rules to be part of the Free Trade Area but they have their own governments and their own self determination.

    What I did not realise is one of the first casualties of our joining the European Common Market was New Zealand’s economy that lost its major export market (the UK) for lamb and dairy products virtually overnight. We decimated its exports and livelihood of its farmers (we had to import from Europe not New Zealand). Yet New Zealand sent its troops to assist Britain in the Boer War, First World War and Second World War – they are part of the Commonwealth and share our Queen.

    We are told we need the EU for our exports. I understand that we now export at least 50% of our services and commodities to elsewhere in the world. Ireland will not cease trading with us if we leave the EU and they represent at least 10% of our export trade. Is Germany and France going to stop selling us cars and wine – and buying our services? I think not!

    I love the many different people of Europe (and the rest of the World). I loved working in Germany and Ireland and doing business elsewhere in Europe. The things I have learnt from European (and other) business associates have always stood me in good stead.

    Some of the arguments for staying and others for leaving seem (to me) farcical. Why not embrace the EU laws, after all we accept international laws of Human Rights? We support the UN, we are part of a Commonwealth of Nations etc. The key is our elected government considered the international laws and the UN provisions and voted to include them or variations of them. As I understand our membership of the EU we have to embrace the laws it dictates (I welcome an education if I am wrong).

    What I did not sign up for in 1974 was the United States of Europe (USE) – which is where I believe the EU is heading.

    It would be easy for me to ignore the issue and not get engrossed in the debates – after all why should I worry about the United States of Europe (USE) at my age? I worry because I am concerned for future generations of British people and the British way of life.

    I feel part of “our richly multicultural and multi faith society” – my forebears are predominantly Anglo-Saxon (but there is Chinese some generations back). I consider myself British and if pushed I will say I am European or even a Westerner.

    I have yet to be convinced that remaining in the EU will be good for Britain. I know that if we vote to leave there will be a hiatus for the economy for a while during a transition period. However, I believe that the transition period will not last more than a couple of years (it will be like 2008 and its aftermath again) but once through it our nation will once again control its own destiny.

    Perhaps these points will resonate with some and bring disparaging thoughts from others. My mind is made up (with apologies to the other 20 or so national languages):

    vóta a chaitheamh mé a fhágáil an Aontas Eorpach
    Yo voto para salir de la Unión Europea
    Je vote pour quitter l’Union européenne
    Ich stimme für die Europäische Union zu verlassen
    I vote to leave the European Union

  33. James I have deleted NO comment so far, (as far as I’m aware) so if it came this way it has gone up on the site. My intention is to do so unless comments are clearly insulting in some way – and I’m pretty liberal on that too! Send your reply (again?) by all means.

  34. This is a brilliant piece of journalism, thank you for that. If only we Austrians could have the opportunity to vote out…… Will try to put it on my Facebook wall for my friends. And won’t comment on the presidential election as I strongly believe parts have been rigged the establishment having been afraid of losing their privileges.

  35. An excellent article Andrew, argued with passion but without hyperbole – at least by the originator. I’d like to add some fuel to your fire if you’ll allow me too.

    Have you ever wondered why, regardless of the party we’ve “elected” to “govern” us for the next 5 years, nothing much really changes? What many people don’t – or won’t – appreciate is that the country is actually run by civil servants, with the majority of their work being to enforce the various EU legislation that has crippled us and made us such a nanny state.

    And who controls the EU? The same, unimaginably wealthy elite who control the politicians, foreign policies, economies and the money of virtually every civilised country. They also control the major media, which is probably why we don’t get know much about them.

    Fanciful nonsense? Conspiracy theory? New world order? Well, that’s what they’d have us believe, but don’t take my word for it. Look around at what’s happening under our very noses. How on earth is the government getting away with murder, quite literally in some cases…?

    Think of privatisation for example. Who benefits? The general public? I think not. Privatisation serves one thing only – profit! They’ve been gradually privatising the NHS over the years, which is one of the main reasons it’s in such a state. Now they’re talking about privatising the Land Registry for f***s sake! Are we all blind? Will things get better if we remain in the EU? I think not!

    Whether we leave or remain, there are risks on both sides, but isn’t it curious Curious that those leading the charge for remain have the most to lose (eg: financial institutions, bankers, big business leaders, the US president… and Tony Blair)!!!

    ‘Nuff said – Brexit here we come!

  36. you must have hit a chord Florian. As far as I can see there is no reply from Andrew Sercombe. Or maybe his logic, powerful as it may be, is flawed. To counterbalance the rhetoric and sycophancy on this post I’m with you. I seek to remain.

  37. That’s the lovely thing about democracy, Peter. We each have a vote that affects the future. Each vote is equal to every other vote. This country is filled with millions of intelligent people whose decision-making is respected by an accountable government. May it ever be so. “Of the people, for the people, by the people.”

  38. Just silence, Peter, not a deafening one. Adding an adjective that has an intention to force me to reply is the very thing people hate about this debate. It so happens that as a practicing coach (www.powerchange.com) I currently have four presentations to design, my new website to put on line, and a book on Self Worth to write. And this blog has taken off – 28,642 at the moment.

    It is easy to add your own meanings into a person’s actions. I personally don’t want to do that. My wife has a cautionary phrase, “What I say about others says more about me.” I want to make sure that what I say has thought behind it and is not just a knee-jerk reaction.

  39. Perhaps we’ll never know. What I do know is I have a chance to vote towards more personal responsibility for all the citizens of Britain and Europe, so at least we have less and less people to blame for our woes, and more and more personal control – however little that may be at present. There is no virtue in giving even more away just because we don’t have much.

    As a coach (I am the director of Powerchange) I spend a lot of time with clients who have become disenfranchised, usually by people/companies that are much bigger than they are, so I’m careful about ‘big’ anything. I do know that big international companies have huge power and use it for the benefit of their shareholders. (That’s the reason I developed a personal power-rebalancing tool to use in my coaching!)

  40. Yes, Liselotte, I have had people from all over Europe express a longing for the opportunity for an Exit vote.

    Since the beginning of time the rich and powerful have sought to be richer and more powerful – at the expense of others. My commitment to democracy as ‘the least worst form of government” is, for me about “being part of the answer, not part of the problem.” Hopefully, expressing my view is helping, in a little way, others to reexamine their own attitudes, and perhaps look to the future with hope.

  41. Yes, sadly I have had first hand experience of corruption in the UK – and it has been argued that Britain is the least corrupt nation in Europe – possibly the world. However to willingly surrender to more of it, though an easy option, is not going to make it better. Bad men and women succeed when good men and women do nothing. That is the reason I’m voting Leave.

  42. Something else that I believe the EU is up to is removing each country’s population FREEDOM OF CHOICE. I like going to airshows along with millions of others – as I have a great interest in planes, something I choose to spend my money on.
    However one day (if we stay in EU), there will be a directive about airshows, the RED ARROWS etc and although I dont exactly how that directive will be directed, you can be certain the EU will want to meddle with that, particularly as they have plans for a EU army, airforce and navy and that means ours will cease to exist.
    There are of course many other bits of life that the EU will want to CONTROL and although I am 76 years of age, I WANT OUT.
    I also want a lot to change in this country particularly reducing the amount of control and therefore the numbers of MPs. I think a referendum of whether the House of Lords should remain is also a possibility once we are free to make that choice. I dont think government should be able to dictate so much in this country also and pleased that Nigel Farage has already promoted a smaller government being better for us all.

  43. Tom I can understand that the EU can seem a place of comparative liberation for eastern bloc countries escaping the forced compliance of dictatorship. The crunch for me is the direction of movement towards freedom – walking out of solitary confinement (unable to share your deepest thoughts with anyone) into a more open cell, into an enclosed inner courtyard, from there to the outer yard, and finally through the big gates into the scary ‘big wide world’. People coming out of long-term prison have a terrifying challenge to take responsibility for their lives, and often long for prison again. (At least they ate ‘inside’.) Your country’s people may be in the outer courtyard. However, I think the EU has doors that confine not liberate. That matters to me.

  44. Hi, Hotlush. Thank you for supplying “the one word I’m looking for”. Yes, I am ignorant in so many ways. I’m currently studying the roots of Islam in order to understand it better. And the long-term effect of prescribed psychotherapeutic medication. What are you studying at the moment?

    I’ve been reading widely on this current subject too. The more I read, the more concerned I have become. In my coaching practice I blythely say “I have very little to offer ABOVE ground level.” I’m interested in the underlying principles and beliefs that surround a person’s (client’s) decisions.

    I’m interested in yours too.

  45. Thanks for the links, Florian. They all help. I love Wikipedia – it is information about the big world we all live in, for the people, by the people!

    I agree, the Civil Service is unelected, and is pretty much out of control. So what would possess me to vote for more of the same, giving it even more power over my life, work, family and friends?

  46. You mean Germany, France, Belgium are prosperous. The UK is prosperous, but not because of the EU. We always have been an innovating, world-leading nation and that’s where our prosperity derives from, and will continue to do so. I wonder how poor old Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain etc would react if you told them “Europe was prosperous”? Far from destabilising our continent – and let’s not forget us “Brexiteers” don’t hate Europe, like Andrew, I like Europe, one of my best friends is Portuguese, so it’s not a case of wanting to shun Europe and being xenophobic, this is about the EU/EC – Brexit would pave the way for referenda in many other countries where there is growing unrest about what future continued membership of the EU has in store for them. The recent election result in Austria is evidence of that. It can be likened to neighbours who are good friends. They get on well, but would soon get sick of living in the same house, so would still be perfectly good friends, just with that little bit of distance of living in separate houses. If you’re talking about destabilisation, remaining in an unreformed EU, for many people on mainland Europe, is disturbing and the direction the EU is heading is far more likely to cause problems in the form of civil disobedience, violent protests, rebellions, even wars, than leaving ever will.

  47. Great article Andrew. By remaining we are saying that we as a nation don’t have the skills, passion, intelligence, courage to be able to make leaving the EU a success. There’s a huge lack of belief in the country as a whole, not an opinion I share. Unfortunately people will read the scare stories put out by those with most lose and believe them. How can this be changed?

  48. Thanks for all these comments. I am a leave voter and all I have read so far has said I am on the right track. Lets keep Great Britain ‘Great Britain’ while at the same time admiring other nations for what they achieve. Going it on our own terms may be a leap of faith but our history tells us we can do it. Go for it but above all be convinced in your own mind so that when the result is published you can say “I played my part to make that happen”. So help us!

  49. Hotlush , Stephen Kelly, For the life of me, I have looked, read, re-read till I’m blue in the face for many, many hours (husband looks on neglected & rejected). Yet no where can I find the accountability for the monthly move from Brussels to Strasbourg costing + – £85m per year! I note that: 1 We are still waiting for the Chilcot report. 2 Conservative expenses during the last elections in 2014, investigations still on going by our Police force. ‘There’s none so blind as those that cannot see’. Our forefather must be turning in their graves at this utter EU/Cameron debarcle.

  50. A few observations on your six points

    1. Law – much criticism in this area is around ECHR judgements eg Abu Hamza: The ECHR is not an EU court, and leaving the EU won’t change that. The only European country that doesn’t acknowledge the ECHR is Belarus!

    2. Peace in Europe – NATO is vitally important, but peace between EU members is down to the EU and it’s predecessors as well.

    3. You are voting on agreeing to the eu way of doing things for good – A big assumption, based on what evidence?

    4. It’s about full control over our economy – We will still have to negotiate trade deals, both with the EU and other places, which means accepting regulations on how we trade.

    5. Turkey and Romania are about to join the EU – Romania joined in 2007, and Turkey is far from ready to join.

    6. The most important reason is the huge waste of money the EU is – the figures are disputed, but it is only a small part of the U.K. annual budget, and if you don’t think we can waste money all on our own, check out our new aircraft-carriers, the ones without any planes.

    Vote to stay – unless you see Europe as the enemy, and want to destabilise our country and our continent.

  51. So the EU’s far from perfect, I agree. But for all its many flaws, it is the best ‘arrangement’

    that Europe has worked out in its long, sometimes bloody, history. You seem to want others

    to follow our example and vote to leave…that can only bring years of instability. Why would

    anyone want that?

  52. A very good word. When Mr. Cameron tried to “negotiate” a change to EU rules he was sent home like a cheeky boy with no more than a pocket of marbles.

  53. I don’t think those are the only two choices, Tom. We can vote to leave without seeing the people of europe as enemies. If us leaving, when we are already pretty much ignored, ‘destabilises our country and our continent’, I’m wondering what they might be founded on. It is speculative to assume either or both of those things will happen. I believe people are much more resourceful than that.

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