What a choice our poor old country faces. There’s widespread support amongst voters across Europe (but not leading politicians) for a fundamental EU reform programme, but our Government never seriously considered leading on this front. Yet the Government so lacked ability that it couldn’t even achieve the minimal reform programme it cobbled together. Holding the referendum in June was clearly more important than winning major reforms.
The Government has failed to secure the key renegotiation requirement, namely, that we should regain control of our borders. I shall therefore be campaigning to leave the EU. There are three crucial aspects of this campaign which will underpin victory. First, we must support those Labour voters who are critical to a victory to turn out and vote, despite the pro-EU line the Labour establishment will push.
Second, as the referendum will decide the future of our country, we need to debate in a civilised way and also join others from different parties who hold similar critical views about these unsuccessful renegotiations. Third, a successful vote to leave is now the only option open to ensure the fundamental reform of the EU on which the Government should have embarked. An express wish of the British voters to leave will have a huge impact on voters and even governments in other EU countries. It’s not inconceivable that, as we press for an orderly withdrawal, other EU countries will join with us in negotiating their exit. We must be prepared for this wider scenario and respond in the best interests of Britain and Europe.
SPECTATOR EVENT: EU REFERENDUM – THE BATTLE AHEAD
Fraser Nelson, James Forsyth and Isabel Hardman will be discussing the forthcoming EU Referendum campaign with pollster Ben Page from Ipsos Mori on 21 March. Tickets, for subscribers only, are on sale now. To subscribe from £1 a week, click here.