Brexit — Why I Voted to Leave the EU

Imagine an island of city states, a country of devolved political power. Each city or region in full control of its finances, each a specialist in education, trade or culture. Cooperation yes, but competition too. It would be the driving force behind a new and dynamic society. One in which officials would be drawn from and held directly accountable to the people affected by their decisions.

Of this thought, this vision of society recast, it is the last point that matters: a democratic choice is one made by the people it affects. A principle that seldom applies at a national level — local concerns mean little when set against those of the nation as a whole, even less when set against the interests of the governing party. It is a fault exacerbated by the size and scope of the EU.

How can twenty-eight countries, varied in history and culture, each with distinct economic and social concerns, abide by legislation that is not designed to meet their specific needs? It is a one-size-fits-all approach that is at best a compromise, at worst an order that overrides the wishes of those affected by its terms — an inefficient process that moves the power to determine the rules of society one step further away from the average voter.

It matters. Everyday folk, men and women who understand and love their communities, know what is best. Their hard-won experience is an incalculable asset that cannot be offset by the good intentions of European politicians. Ordinary people have both the local knowledge and the skin in the game to decide what is right for their region. The EU, committed to the further integration and centralisation of power, does not agree.

Society is at its strongest when it utilises the skills and experience of those who make up its number. Ordinary people can energise politics and broaden debate. Give them a real stake in the way that society is run, and they will repay that faith with good sense and civic pride. It is the best way to reinvigorate democracy. It is also the reason, more than any other, that I voted for Brexit.

Brexit is a chance for renewal, an opportunity to change politics and place power in the hands of working people. Reform will not be easy, things that are worthwhile seldom are, but I believe it is possible. I could not say the same about the EU. Will it lead to an island of city states? No, probably not, but if people are given the opportunity to take responsibility for themselves and their communities, the UK will have the building blocks of a fair and prosperous society.

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