As much as migrant welfare is decoy politics as part of an elaborate hoax to convince Brits that reform is on the table, we might well ask why it's such a sticking point since it's not that big a deal when you pay close attention to the numbers. The answers lie more in principle than on the balance sheet.
Were any Brit to make good use of the right to live and work in another EU country, most would be going on a contract basis or to do a particular job. In most instances, anyone planning on doing so would have a contingency plan in place in case anything went wrong, and would most likely come back to the UK in that event. Most Brits would not even consider foreign welfare as an option. We're wired that way. And that's a problem for the EU.
The EU would like nothing better than a common welfare system, locally administered, where the same rights and entitlements on a civic level applied to all. It would very much like to break us of our default loyalties and national sensibilities; to identify as EU citizens rather than UK taxpayers.
And so for the UK to have ultimate sovereignty over welfare is to draw a line in the sand against creeping EU universalism. In those terms, the gesture value of securing such a concession is not in principle a trivial thing to the EU. It is not nearly enough, but through this prism, it is not insignificant.
And in seeing the Prime Minister attempting a negotiation with the 27 other members, we see that too much sovereignty has already been ceded. For participation in such a thing, pan-EU welfare, should be our choice and ours alone. It also points to the need for domestic democratic reform to ensure that such power cannot be ceded without our consent.
And that really is the central issue here. LeaveHQ is far less concerned with the bean counting and the regulation as it is the question of who holds the power, who gets to use it and in what circumstances. Had an honest question of whether we Brits wanted our welfare system to be at the disposal of all EU citizens been put to the electorate, they'd have decisively declined the invitation.
It also puts a question on the eurosceptic cry of bring power back to Westminster. Given that it is Westminster who did this to us in the first place, it is clear that simply leaving the EU is not nearly enough to ensure our democracy is safeguarded.
In this we see Brexit as a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. We have been keen to point out that Brexit will be a staged withdrawal process and it changes very little in any practical sense at the first stage - but how we benefit from Brexit depends entirely on what we choose to do when we have left. Brexit sets the ball rolling.
While the nature of globalisation means that full sovereignty is hardly realistic, there is a clear need for a system of government that places far more checks and balances against the erosion of sovereignty. The bubble nature of Westminster means our politicians become ever more detached from the public and become the masters rather than the servants. In their vanity it is they who are so keen to not only keep us in the EU, but also cede more powers to it.
And so that brings us to the defining reason for leaving the EU. It is not merely a rejection of EU supranationalism, it is a rejection of the entire establishment that has conspired to lock the British people onto a path without their explicit consent, exploiting the sophistry of representative democracy to advance their ideas under a veil of deception.
In this, Brexit is less a procedural decision as to whether to be in the club or not, it is a decision to have a revolution in politics and to revitalise decision making, putting the public back in control of their affairs. There is certainly an appetite for it.
In recent years we have seen many calls for electoral reform, with pressure groups coalescing around proportional representation in the absence of any bigger and more ambitious ideas. None have have risen to the surface since it scarcely seems worth the effort. But Brexit would be a landmark gesture saying that we have turned a corner. To say once again that the power is ours, not theirs and it is we who chooses who wields it.
We see Brexit as a catalyst for a whole paradigm shift, clearing out the discredited and widely scorned political class. The bland, banal and plastic political actors we have in place of leaders will be swept away as more critical decisions taken domestically will re-engage politics and stimulate participation. From this we will once again see real leaders arising. Real power and politics of substance once again being the meat and drink of Westminster will show how manifestly inadequate our current crop of politicians are.
It is our view that whatever challenges may lie in untangling ourselves from the EU, it will most certainly be worth the trouble. While our Flexcit plan answers a great many of the bigger questions, we are unperturbed by the petty problematising of Europhiles. The more they do it the more we become convinced that they are less pro-EU as anti-Brexit in that it's all just a bit difficult for their pretty little heads. We say away with such idle nihilism. We can do it, we should do it, therefore we must.
A people endowed with the power to run their affairs is a people engaged in their government. From this we can reacquaint ourselves with neighbourliness and cooperation rather than being idle recipients of law. We become citizens with a stake in our own destiny rather than awaiting the next intrusive and irreversible diktat. We become citizens rather than economic units to be cajoled and coerced.
Should we leave the EU those vital philosophical questions as to how we then define our country become a debate of real consequence rather than the domain of ranting political anoraks on Facebook. A society where every vote matters.
For whatever scare story the Remain camp throw at us, they are merely throwing up a another challenge they believe we cannot overcome. They might be right, but surely democracy is worth finding out? Given our long history of defining the world as we find it, we place our faith in the capability of the people and turn our backs on the withering, shrivelled view of europhiles. They who say that we're not made of the right stuff and cannot manage our own affairs. Isn't it time we gave them the boot?