Why we voted to leave and the benefits that can accrue to an independent, sovereign UK

The arguments for leaving the EU, producing a new, mutually beneficial relationship with our European partners and charting a new course for Britain in a world of new challenges and opportunities are as strong as ever:

• Sovereignty and Democracy – The MPs we elect to our own Parliament must be the ones who make our laws – and have to be directly accountable to their local constituents. In the EU, laws initiated by an unelected Commission and not voted for by a single British MEP become law. Upon leaving, we will be taking back powers over many areas of national life that were handed over to the EU for many years..

NHS – Donald Trump is right, the NHS is failing to deliver, as cancer rates continue to climb. It is high time that the NHS ceased to be the International Health Service. If health tourists wish to use it, they must pay a full commercial rate or be turned away. And reform is urgently needed to trim away the bureaucratic fat which absorbs far too much money.

• Immigration – In the EU, we cannot control unlimited immigration (from the EU) which puts huge pressure on public services and housing. Additionally, many migrants who enter EU countries illegally, are able to gain entry to Britain. When we leave, British people (regardless of the level of immigration they believe to be correct) will have the ability, through our own elected government, to control the numbers coming every year. Only by leaving unilaterally can Britain control immigration immediately. Why wait? We are over-populated enough already, putting huge strains on hospitals, schools, and roads. And new housing threatens to destroy our countryside. Many of these migrants are an unskilled labour force in receipt of substantial benefits- a drain on national finances. For more information on this subject, click here to migrationwatchuk.org

• Trade deals – we will be able to negotiate and sign our own, fairer, trade deals with countries around the world, including the United States, China, Japan, India, Russia, Argentina, Brazil and many others, and the Commonwealth nations. These will be in our national interest, not limited to the 27 economies in the EU. We also do not currently enjoy true ‘free trade’ with the EU as we have to pay huge contributions to the EU budget, which effectively work out as a tariff, All the while, the EU’s % of world GDP is slipping, and is forecast soon to be no more than 10%

• Regulation – Only around 5% of companies in the UK trade with the EU. However, 100% of UK companies, whether large or small, exporters or merely local businesses, have to follow EU rules and regulations. Outside of the EU, only companies that trade with Europe will have to follow its rules, just as in the same way that companies that trade with the US, Japan or any other country have to follow its rules.

• Finances – we currently have to contribute vast sums to the EU. We do get some of our own money back, but only after the EU has taken its big administrative fee and told us precisely what they will spend our money on, including huge signs saying “Paid for by the EU” British universities and charities complaining they will be deprived of EU funds are forgetting that we are being bribed with our own money. As for the rest, it is spent on wasteful aid projects in other countries over which we have no control.

Slash the Foreign Aid Budget – Currently 13 billion pounds of taxpayers money is spent on foreign aid. On February 8th 2018, Jacob Rees-Mogg presented a petition to Downing Street on behalf of Daily Express readers to slash the budget, Democracy 17.4 believes the budget must be slashed to 1 billion pounds per annum for the foreseeable future. Of the 12 billion pounds saved, half will go to the NHS and the remainder will go to increased funding for our Armed Forces.

• Financial industry – Despite the best efforts of the EU to entice U.K. banks to move their activities to Paris, Frankfurt, and Dublin, London’s role as a financial centre has boomed since the Referendum, a further $155 bn added to global lending in the 15 months to September 2017. Once we leave the EU, expensive and unnecessary regulations on banks and other financial institutions such as MiFiD II can be scrapped, provided, of course, that our government can find it’s spine. Click here to read the news report from Bloomberg.

• Security and Justice – All British citizens are currently subject to the European Court of Justice, sitting in Luxembourg, and interpreting EU, not British law. That court can overrule all British courts. An EU-wide criminal code is being introduced piecemeal, which includes the European Arrest Warrant. This subjects British citizens to standards of justice which in most cases is far below our own and contravenes hard won British rights. When we leave, our obligation under the European Arrest Warrant must cease and Habeas Corpus reinstated. It has served us well for more than three centuries.

• Fisheries – Where once British fishermen controlled British waters (65 per cent of what Brussels now claims as EU waters), all EU countries can now be allocated quotas. As result the UK has lost over 150,000 jobs and fishing communities have been decimated. Outside of the EU, we will regain our territorial waters and control fishing within them while ending harmful policies like discarding the catch. On departure, the 200 mile territorial waters limit must be reinstated, and patrolled by the Royal Navy if necessary. Our fishermen will expect nothing less. Find out more here

• Farming – The EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) disadvantages British farmers through subsidy allocation and over regulation.  Some £8 billion goes to the CAP, half of which is returned to support British farmers. The rest of our money is spent on supporting continental farmers. Outside the EU, Britain can make a bonfire of unnecessary EU regulation and increase subsidies in line with our own needs and priorities.

• Ports – The EU’s one-size-fits all approach to port regulation will harm British ports. Outside of the EU, British ports will not suffer regulatory threats and also thrive as we agree new free trade agreements around the world. This will also help revive ports based in the rest of the UK that traditionally played a greater role in UK trade.

• State Aid rules – In many cases the British government, should it wish to, cannot support a struggling British business, as that would harm their EU competitors. All large government contracts must be open to EU-wide competition, which means that UK businesses cannot be prioritised for U.K. deals. Outside of the EU, our elected governments will have the power to make these decisions in the national interest.

• Defence – Britain is the only major European country to be spending 2% of GDP each year on our security and defence, and the only European country to be part of the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence agreement with the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, the biggest intelligence sharing relationship in the world. Only by being outside the EU can we be sure that our military will not be drawn into commitments like PESCO that potentially undermine these vital NATO relationships.

• Tax – When the UK joined what was then the EC, VAT replaced purchase tax on 1st April 1973. VAT is thus an EU tax, not a British one, and 5% of the levy is paid by us directly to the EU as part of our annual contributions. Upon leaving, Britain can replace VAT with a British Purchase Tax at a rate of 15%, the reduction fiscally neutral, yet providing a massive shot in the arm for our economy. Further reductions can be phased in later.

• Energy – Membership of the EU has increased the price of energy for businesses, families and public services. Without EU regulations the price of energy would fall.