It’s time for the UK to leave the European Union.

Since the General Election the Prime Minister and Government have fulfilled their Manifesto promise to renegotiate our relationship with the EU and deliver an IN/OUT Referendum. Last Friday the Prime Minister declared himself satisfied with the deal he had reached at the EU Summit and announced 23rd June as the date of the referendum. Unfortunately for me this deal does not address many of the issues I feel are important to the United Kingdom’s Sovereignty and future prosperity.

Whilst we are a member of the EU we do not have control over our own affairs and are being held back by red-tape and the glacial pace at which the EU machine moves. It is this pace which has led to perfectly good trade deals with other major economies like Japan being shelved at a huge loss of potential trade for South Derbyshire and British business. Britain outside of the EU would be free to make trade deals with any country in the world without restriction, indeed we could trade freely once again with the Commonwealth.

Laws and directives from the EU rain down on us like confetti, and, as the British always do, we comply in full, something other members fail to do without incurring any apparent sanctions.

To suggest the security of our Country would be undermined is scaremongering of the first order. The government has already announced increases in spending on our Armed Forces and Intelligence Services and, if we leave the EU, as we have always done, our security services would continue to share intelligence with our allies to prevent the spread of terrorism and to defeat Daesh. We would also remain part of NATO.

When we joined the EU in 1975 we signed up to join The Common Market whose aim was to make it easier to trade across Europe and increase Europe’s capacity to trade across the world. What we have now is an organisation hell bent on governing all its member Countries in every area of life, a monolith tired and collapsing under its own weight of bureaucracy and failures and one we cannot vote out through the ballot box.

For any of you who are undecided, both of the East Midlands MEPs, Emma McClarkin and Andrew Lewer want Britain to leave the EU despite the fact it will mean they no longer have jobs. They both feel the deal on the table does not go far enough and can be amended or blocked by the European Parliament or cast aside by the European courts.

To ensure the UK is once again in charge of its own affairsI will vote to leave the European Union on 23rd June and I hope you will too.

(This piece was originally written for the Burton Mail).