I don't like the waste, bureaucracy and remoteness of the European Union. I am also concerned about the effect of immigration on our country.
I have always been against the UK joining the Euro.
BUT I am voting In. Here is why:
1. Angela Merkel, who comes up for re - election next year, can't and won't offer us a better deal than Germany has. We will need all sorts of deals with the EU post Brexit. We will not get anything significant at all without a substantial budget contribution to the EU and our agreement to the continuation of freedom of movement.
2. We all hate regulation but many of the costly regulations are those that guarantee workers' rights. Are we really going to junk these? Do we really want to have two sets of regulations- for those who trade with the EU and those who do not. The reality is that we would probably argue for 10 years post Brexit and our new regulations would not look a lot different.
3. Leaving will destabilise the UK by encouraging another Scottish Referendum and making life incredibly difficult for Northern Ireland (the Republic of Ireland joined the EU when we did and it is not proposing to leave). A call for an all Ireland referendum could be the starting point for the dissolution of the UK , new borders would then have to be created and our status in the world would be diminished.
4. If we are In, our veto over new joiners gives us some leverage in the EU that we would not have if we had to accept freedom of movement post Brexit.
5. If we vote to leave we will act against the advice and without the support of 19 of the G20 countries. The only country that actively wants us to leave is Russia. This is a country which has just announced the creation of three divisions (30,000 men) to "defend" its western border with Estonia, Latvia and Finland and is run by a former member of the KGB. A country that could have stopped the Syrian refugee crisis years ago but chose to make it worse.
6. It is a myth that new trade deals would be easy to negotiate. Places like India and China want us to agree to allow them to do more outsourcing and to bring in guest workers to the UK to work in their businesses. How would that help our immigration statistics?
7. The City of London is a huge part of our economy. Why knock it for a very uncertain gain?
8. In an uncertain world the EU helps knit us together. Yes, it is fragile but that is no reason to be reckless as to whether Brexit will smash it up. The US is increasingly isolationist. NATO is very important but in the EU we should also help ourselves.
9. The EU remaining 27 members decide our exit terms. Any marriage or business partnership dissolved in that way would not end well. There is no certainty that we would even get our territorial fishing rights back if we wanted to continue to export fish tariff free to the EU. We would also have to agree quotas with the EU to conserve fish stocks and because of transitory fish movements.
10. Being in the EU has been brilliant for inward investment to the UK and has helped us to be the world's 5th biggest economy. A strong economy helps fund our public services.
Brexit is a dangerous delusion.