The Prime Minister has now set out his platform of negotiations over Britain’s future relationship with the EU. Should we stay or should we go?
The Prime Minister has the opportunity to negotiate a sensible and effective way forward, in an arrangement that can then be put before the British people in a referendum, to give them the final say. The weight of my single vote in that event will be the same as everyone else’s.
I am clear that we need to see change. The EU is heading in a direction that we didn’t signed up to – it’s too big, too bossy and too interfering. I hope this will mean we stay in a reformed EU. But what would that look like?
For me it means a more dynamic continent, securing more trade through improved competitiveness. There must be a bigger role for national Parliaments – the days of a ‘ever closer union’ must be over. There are also, of course big questions over the rules around migration.
These are the four main areas in which the Prime Minister is negotiating: Protection of the single market (ie not allowing those who have signed up to the ‘Euro’ to dominate); improved competitiveness (cutting red tape and reducing burdens on business); bolster National Parliaments, (seeing a curb on the founding statement of ‘ever closer union’), and rules around Migration (tackling abuses of the right to free movement), which in effect means an overhaul of the benefit system for migrants.
We need to see movement in all these areas. I have every confidence that real change is do-able, and I am certainly not from the ‘Stay in at any cost’, or the ‘Get out at any cost’ side of the argument that can so dominate the debate.
To this end, in the Spring I will be organising a public meeting, here in Eastbourne, with keynote speakers from both the ‘In’ and the ‘Out’ campaigns, and then opening up to questions from the audience.
At this stage we don’t know when the referendum will be; it could be in 2016, or not until the end of 2017, but we do know that it will happen by then, so I am keen to get the debate moving. Keep an eye on my website and Facebook page for further details of this, or email me and I will make sure you receive details of the meeting in good time. You can reach me at email@example.com