Douglas Carswell

13 JAN 2016

Staying in the EU is the risky option

A lot of people are asking what Britain would look like outside the EU. Businesses, employers, and investors are increasingly making the case that Britain will thrive outside the constraints of EU red tape. But here's the question that the Remain side doesn't want you to ask: what would Britain look like if we end up staying? The truth is we don't really know – but the signs aren't good.

The EU never stops integrating. It has changed radically just in the last few years. The Lisbon Treaty, which came into force in 2009, gave the EU its own constitution, President, and Foreign Minister. The sovereign debt crisis enabled central EU institutions to dictate national policy in Italy, Ireland, and Greece – and even impose an unelected Prime Minister on the Italian people. Slowly but surely the EU is taking power away from member states and centralising it in Brussels.

So what does the future of Europe look like? If the last few years are any guide, it means more economic stagnation, more sovereign debt crises, and more open-door immigration both within and outside the EU. It means less democracy and accountability.

What will that mean for Britain? The Prime Minister claims to want Britain to opt out of the words 'ever-closer union'. But changing the semantics is one thing; changing the reality is another. When the EU introduces the next round of major integration, will Britain be dragged along with it? What protections will we have? From the PM's 'renegotiation', it doesn't look like we'll have any. But the truth is no one knows.

What we do know is that EU restrictions on Britain's trade with the rest of the world mean that Britain's economy is dangerously tied to Europe's. We'll be much more exposed to the EU's next economic crisis if we stay in the EU than if we leave.

Europe's future is out of our control. But Britain's future isn't. Brexit would give the British people – instead of the Brussels elite – the power to determine this country's destiny.

The risky option is to trust the bureaucrats in Brussels. The safe choice is to vote leave and take back control.

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