Five reasons for leaving the European Union

The following article was originally published in the North Wales Weekly News newspaper on 15 June 2016.
The EU referendum will be held on 23 June.  Here are five good reasons why Britain will be better off leaving the European Union.
The EU is expensive. It costs us £19.1 billion a year to belong. We get some of that back by rebate, and some by repayment (but only if we spend it the way Brussels tells us). However, it still costs around £10 billion net. We would be far better off if we kept the £19.1 billion and spent it the way we wanted.  By the way, don’t believe the line that “Wales does well out of  EU money”.   It is our own money, top-sliced before some of it is returned to us.  We would have much more to spend on priorities such as the NHS if we were outside the EU.
The EU is failing economically. The continental economies are plagued with high levels of unemployment, particularly youth unemployment.  Our young people will have a better future in an independent Britain.
Outside the EU, we will be able to strike new trade deals with dynamic economies such as China, India and the United States. We can’t do so now because we have to negotiate through the EU, a process that moves extremely slowly. We will continue to trade with EU countries, as members of the European Free Trade Association.
We can’t control immigration so long as we are within the EU. Virtually any EU citizen ostensibly looking for work can currently settle in the UK. That pushes up unemployment in our own population, puts downward pressure on wages, and makes housing less affordable.  We need some immigration, but also need to control who comes in.
Most importantly, the UK will be a democracy again when we leave the EU. At present, all EU legislation  is initiated by unelected commissioners who are not accountable to us. We can’t vote them out if they don’t perform satisfactorily.
After 23 June, if we vote Leave, Britain will be a freer, more prosperous and more democratic country. Isn’t that the sort of country you want for your children and grandchildren?

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