We should quit the EU now
Euro MP Jeffrey Titford, who insists voters sent him to Brussels and Strasbourg to destroy the European Union and its institutions, says it's now time to “seize the day” I AM often asked why did I stand for election to the European Parliament, when I don't believe in either the EU or its puppet Parliament.
Euro MP Jeffrey Titford, who insists voters sent him to Brussels and Strasbourg to destroy the European Union and its institutions, says it's now time to “seize the day”
I AM often asked why did I stand for election to the European Parliament, when I don't believe in either the EU or its puppet Parliament.
The answer is simple. I represent the 296,000 constituents who elected me on a platform of withdrawal from the EU. I use the public profile I receive as an MEP to inform the public about what this dreadful organisation is up to and how appallingly corrupt and inefficient many aspects of it have become.
This often means I come up against the resigned fatalism that insists “we can't leave now” or “it's all too late” or “they wouldn't let us go.”
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This kind of defeatism is not merely unworthy of a great nation; it is also founded upon false beliefs. It reminds me of the bemoaning of the fates in King Lear:; 'it is the stars above us, govern our condition'. I would rather agree with Cassius when he tells Brutus 'The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves'.
The only real beneficiaries of European Union membership are the politicians. The undemocratic nature of the EU provides them with the opportunity to wield power without accountability and its institutions offer an irresistible, wider stage for career enhancement. To justify their participation in this glorified ego trip, many politicians resort to contributing to the myth that Britain can't survive outside of the EU.
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They tell us that the economic consequences of leaving would be catastrophic. That we would be unable to export to the EU, that the other member states would take action against us, that millions of jobs would be lost, that EU funds would be denied to us and that we would lose influence in the world.
These are tales to frighten children and should never be taken seriously. Neither Norway nor Switzerland are members and yet they sell more to the EU per head than we do. About 80% of our economic activity is within the UK, the part that relies on selling to the EU amounts to less than ten per cent of our total economic output, which is quite shocking given the huge financial burden we shoulder for being a member. It certainly isn't much of a return on 33 years of membership.
In reality, the EU would do nothing if we withdrew, because Continental manufacturers would be apoplectic if they lost the British market. Freeing ourselves of the restraints imposed by the EU would enable us to create many more jobs.
We would also be free of the current problem we have with immigration from the new Eastern European EU members. As to the threatened denial of 'EU funds', many of my colleagues in the European Parliament so often boast of these magical grants but always fail to point out that they are our own taxpayers' money, being given back, with strings attached.
It is high time people realised that there is no Santa Claus in Brussels.
In regard to influence, Britain has always been a global nation, sitting at the crossroads of the world. We are the centre of the Commonwealth and the fountainhead of the English speaking world, with access to nations who share our common heritage and who have always provided our historic markets. We have no need to tie ourselves to a declining area like Europe.
Only European career politicians and bureaucrats will lose by our leaving. All that stops us is our own lack of confidence. Leaving the EU is relatively simple; all it requires is the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972.
A more difficult task would be the subsequent need to unravel the complex web of European legislation that has been woven into our legal system but it could be done.
We must remember the old saying, 'Carpe Diem' - seize the day - because it is never too late to do the right thing.
Jeffrey Titford, from Frinton-on-Sea, has been an MEP for the East of England since 1999, representing the UK Independence Party.