Douglas Carswell

22 FEB 2016

Vote Leave, end managed decline

Since World War II, the governing philosophy of the British Establishment has been managed decline. Decade after decade, we've been told we're not strong enough to make it on our own. The pro-EU camp is appealing to the same backward-looking defeatism today. But we don't need to resign ourselves to self-doubt and decline. The way to end it is to vote Leave.

Europhiles have long tried to portray Eurosceptics as parochial, pessimistic, 'little Englanders.' It's not just a smear, it's a smokescreen.

Our case is based on freedom, democracy, and internationalism – just read the extraordinary pieces by Michael Gove and Boris Johnson. We're arguing that if we stay true to the ideals that made Britain great in the past, we will have a bright future.

It's the Europhile case that is really based on parochialism and pessimism. Remainers see Britain as too small to be anything more than a province in a European political union. But it's more than that: they have so little faith in freedom and democracy as the engines of progress that they are willing to sell out both for the sake of hiding behind the tariff wall of the cosy Euro club.

The EU cannot survive. In fact, it is already failing fast. Ultimately, the European project is based on a conceit that human economic and social affairs can best be organised by grand design. The would-be designers in Whitehall have lost confidence in their ability to get the big decisions right, which is why they want to defer to technocrats in Brussels. Instead they should draw the opposite conclusion: stop trying to organise Britain by grand design, and set people free to run their own lives.

We don't need to abandon ourselves to decay. Let's vote Leave, and place a vote of confidence in the British people.

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