By leaving the EU we allow our European neighbours to continue the journey toward governmental union unhindered, says John Redwood MP.

I want us to trade with the continent, be friends with them, have plenty of student exchanges, free tourist travel, plenty of joint ventures and commercial agreements. We wish to enjoy the varied cultures of the European peoples, to share food and fellowship, and to ally together in common causes. None of this will cease if we leave the EU.

I also want us to be good Europeans. Many European people and most EU governments want to move more quickly and purposefully towards a governmental union. The UK does not wish to tread that path. That is why we should leave now. We are getting in their way; we are an obstacle to the completion of their single currency driven border free state they wish to create. It is not fair of us to slow them down and to complain of the cost, and not fair of the EU to imply the UK can keep her freedom and democracy whilst going along with the grand European project.

Some say the rest of the EU will not want to trade with us if we leave. This is absurd. All the senior contacts I have made over the years on the continent have no wish to impose new barriers against their lucrative exports to us, and understand that has to be a two way process. What need have either side of any new barriers when we leave? How would they be imposed under international law and WTO rules anyway?

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Some say we could no longer travel freely and enjoy each other's countries. That never stopped us before we joined the EU and I see no reason why it would when we leave. I see plenty of US and Japanese tourists on the continent though neither state is a member of the EU. Universities on both sides of the Channel will still be free to attract cross border students, and to undertake collaborative research, as we do with US universities today.

Some say the world will be a more dangerous place if we leave the EU. That is offensive to our partners. Germany will be no more likely to invade France or vice versa if we leave the EU than they are likely to with us in it. They are both peace loving democracies with post war habits of working together and avoiding new conflict. The worry is the EU's wish to be a force in foreign policy with an ambition to build some kind of military presence could reduce stability. The EU's record in eastern Europe is not encouraging.

Our balance of payments will improve on exit, as we cease the contributions we pay away. Our economy will be boosted by spending the net contributions we surrender on jobs and priorities here at home.

Above all we will become a free people with an independent democracy again.

This article has been republished with the kind permission of John Redwood MP. This and other articles are available from his blog

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