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Andrea Leadsom MP: Why I'm voting leave next week

Andrea Leadsom MP
June 17, 2016

By voting 'leave' on June 23rd we will be giving the next generation a bright future, full of opportunity and promise, says Andrea Leadsom MP.

I believe with all my heart that the UK's best days lie ahead of us. I am absolutely convinced that our children and grandchildren will have an incredibly bright future, in a world of opportunity, if we decide on June 23rd to vote 'Leave'.

Why am I so confident? The answer is simple.

We are the world's fifth largest economy. Our manufacturing sector ranks number eight worldwide. The language we speak, English, is the international business language. Our judicial system is consistently rated as one of the least corrupt anywhere, and our contract law is regarded across the world as the best for doing business.

The City is absolutely booming, with over two million people employed in financial services across the UK. Whilst London has, for the last four years, been rated as the Number One City on Earth, the "City" extends from Aberdeen to Bournemouth, Birmingham to Bristol – even my constituency, South Northamptonshire, is a bustling hub of financial activity.

Our creative talent is unsurpassed. This is the country that is pumping out the excellent new Star Wars trilogy – based at the world-famous Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire. Three of our universities are placed in the global Top Ten, above and beyond anything that Europe has to offer.

Let's not forget that our potential is set against the backdrop of the EU – the slowest growing continent on Earth, apart from Antarctica.

We have so much going for us as a free, democratic and patriotic nation that I find it incredible, and actually shameful, to see the Remain campaign doing down Britain. For anyone to think that the country that invented the chocolate bar, the World Wide Web, the jet engine, the toothbrush and so many other daily conveniences could not succeed outside of a regional political bloc is, to me, crazy.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to take back control of our country's future. There will not be a second chance.

When we last voted on our relationship with Europe, back in 1975, we were being asked to remain in the European Economic Community that Ted Heath had taken us into two years earlier.

Since then we have seen the EEC, originally a free trade area, morph into a completely different beast. The European Union that we now live under has been brought about through multiple treaties and the will of an unelected Commission, and not through the democratic choice of the voters in Europe – let alone voters in Britain.

My biggest fear is not what might happen in the short term if we leave, but what is certain to happen in the long term if we stay.

The direction of travel for the EU is clear. Ever closer union amongst the other Member States is practically irreversible; the appetite amongst Brussels Eurocrats is for centralisation and erosion of identity. With or without the Prime Minister's renegotiations, we will be forced to accept EU laws that don't work for the UK.

What does that mean for us?

It means eventually being the only country within an enlarged EU that doesn't use the Euro. It means not being able to control our borders and having to turn away skilled professionals from outside the EU because we have no control at all over EU immigration. And of course it means the huge risk of the creation of a European army undermining NATO and our own armed forces – something already under discussion in Brussels.

I don't want our country to be swallowed up by this EU superstate. The very real danger is that, just like over the last 43 years where we signed up to the EEC but now find there is 'a Country called Europe' being created, we will wake up one day to find ourselves singing the EU national anthem under an EU flag with an EU president as our head of state.

That's not the future I had in mind when I went into politics to work for a better UK. I fervently believe that the only choice on June 23rd is to vote leave and take back control.

This article was republished with kind permission of Andrea Leadsom MP.


Andrea Leadsom is the Conservative MP for South Northamptonshire and a former Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

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