Article written by: Young Eurosceptics
Before I begin, I would like to take this opportunity to thank One Europe for the chance to put my case forward. I know that democracy is not popular amongst Europhiles, but it is important that a proper debate is conducted and the public is exposed to facts (again not popular with Europhiles) which they will need to have heard in order to make an informed decision. I was presented an article by Mr Heslop of OneEurope in which he proclaimed that young people need to vote to remain in the EU, for two main reasons: firstly "to be free from the hassle of visas,"when travelling and because: "If Brexit occurs the UK would not be part of the Erasmus programme."
These two statements, especially the first one, troubled me on two counts and will make me sleep a little less easy tonight. Mr Heslop's first point is extremely short-sighted and trivial. He is willing to give up our democracy (more of this later) and sovereignty - for the sake of a shorter queue at an airport? It deeply saddens me that my fellow generation are lured by such trivial gains at such a great expense. Moreover, a Brexit will have no great effect on travel - after all, Americans account for the largest number of visitors to Paris each year. His second point also troubles me, as it is simply not true. You do not need to be a member of the European Union to participate in Erasmus; the scheme involves 33 European countries - there are only 28 EU members. This presents me with a good opportunity to distinguish between 'Europe' and the 'EU'.
Europhiles seem to use the two words as if they are synonyms, whereas the true fact is that we never joined 'Europe' and we will never leave 'Europe' - we joined a wholly unaccountable, undemocratic political union. Thus I ask Europhiles to stop misleading people by suggesting leaving the EU is akin to turning our back on Europe - remember only 28 out of 50 European countries are EU members. The most significant argument for leaving the European Union is the undemocratic nature of the union. Quite simply, it has fundamental flaws which Cameron's reforms certainly are not addressing and are unlikely to be reformed. To begin with, the European Commission are entirely appointed - and have the power to propose legislation and pass regulations which are binding on 500 million people. Moreover, Britain is grossly underrepresented the Council of Ministers, the other legislative body. Britain has 29 votes in the Council of Ministers - Malta has 3. This means hat, per capita, a Maltese's vote is 15 times more significant than a Briton's vote. In the European Parliament, they are represented merely 10 times more than us per capita. How is this democratic? How can one country be represented, not just more, but so much more than another? Not only is Britain underrepresented so much, we are also the country whose proposals are blocked the most frequently. Being in the EU does not make us influential - on the contrary. We would enjoy perhaps more global influence outside the tyrannous EU, as one of five countries to have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, the world's fifth largest economy, the world's eighth largest manufacturing nation - and we could retake our rightful seat at the World Trade Organisation. How much bigger do we need to be before people believe that we are good enough to govern ourselves and stand on our own two feet? When addressing my fellow younger generation, I urge them to ignore the rhetoric and think of the reality, and think of the future instead of the past. Those who claim the EU to be crucial to European peace are simply stuck in the 19th and 20th centuries; Europe no longer needs to fearNapoleonic-like wars: gone are the days when France and Germany quarrelled over Alsace-Lorraine. The EU may well have prevented another war, but, in that case, it has now served its purpose. The suggestion that there could ever again be a war between Western European powers is farcical. In fact, on the contrary, the EU is having the adverse effect - their expansionist and imperialist foreign policy is undoubtedly causing unnecessary tension with a great military power - Russia. The growing calls for a European army and Air Force - which Merkel expects Cameron to back in return for his futile renegotiations - will surely only worsen these tensions. Thus, instead of provoking other great powers in times of hostility, we must now cooperate with global military powers - which indeed we can through NATO - to confront the issues of the 21st Century in the Middle East and beyond.
I am sure the vast majority of you have heard Clegg's famous - or perhaps infamous, depending on who you support - claim that three million British jobs directly depend on Britain's membership of the European Union. There are two explanations as to how he came up with this figure: he either does not understand business, or he is a liar. This is because - although three million jobs are indeed involved with EU trade - trade works both ways. The buyers in Europe need British goods and vice-versa. In fact, we actually run a trade deficit with the EU: we imported £216 billion worth of goods in 2013, and exported £150 billion worth - it would make no economic sense, for either party (especially with the Eurozone in crisis), for the EU to block a free trade deal with Britain. In fact, Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty provides that the EU is obliged to negotiate a free trade deal with any member state who may decide to leave. It is thus nonsense to suggest that leaving the EU would results in job losses. Meanwhile, as the EU's global share of GDP declines (from 37% in 1973 to a predicted 22% by 2025), we need to look to the emerging markets around the world, where we run a trade surplus. Thus, contrary to leading to job losses, Britain could in fact enjoy rapid economic growth and job creation upon leaving the EU: small businesses would thrive, free from the overregulation of Brussels - which has cost the UK economy £6 billion a year over the least twenty years (according to the British Chambers of Commerce) - whilst Britain would be free to negotiate bi-lateral free trade deals across the globe, with countries whom we actually profit from. The younger generation needs to look beyond the albeit large but limited European market and instead notice the economic opportunities across the globe.
Many young people fear, due to the unfounded claims of some europhiles, that eurosceptism is a backwards looking, and somewhat xenophobic idea: neither of which is remotely true. I have just described how our future lies beyond Europe, whilst the claims of xenophobia are unfounded and untrue. We want to have good relations with our neighbours, we want to trade freely with our neighbours, but we do not want to be part of their bureaucratic union. We share various cultural ties, but we also have profound differences. For these reasons, we argue that it is impossible to merge 28 countries - with 21 different languages and 28 different histories - and force them into an ever-closer political union, without gaining their consent. Consequently, we are not just seeing widespread eurosceptism, but, more worryingly, the rise of neo-Nazism in various countries. This is undoubtedly a worrying prospect for the future. We in Britain must take our chance to withdraw from the EU - remembering that a vote to remain is a vote for further integration - before the bureaucrats in Brussels take further control of our country, and thus, ultimately, our lives.
The youth are known, rightly so, for their desire for freedom and liberty. Thus, I urge fellow members of my generation to regain control of our country. I urge them to take back the right to rule ourselves; a right for which past generations fought and died. I urge to them to 'Leave'.
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