LeaveHQ, 21/11/2015  

One thing we're not going to do on this campaign is devote too much time to whinging about the EU. We'll go as far as we can to explain it and simply hope that a better understanding of the EU and the underlying principles will lead you to the same conclusion we arrived at. That we must leave. Ultimately, it's a question of power. Who has it, who gets to use it and in what circumstances? Little else matters.

In this campaign we're going to see a lot of horse trading of statistics as to whether Brexit will save a few quid this way or that. Our campaign will not join in. It is our view that protracted debates over the price of fish is largely a distraction from the core issues.

The fact of the matter is the EU does so many things and some of those things it does quite well. It will be the case that if we leave the EU we will still want participate in the economic and social life of the EU - as indeed many non-EU states do. And that is not going to come for free.

Moreover, there are spending commitments and leases taken out on our existing obligations. There are contracts to uphold and there are microscopic levels of integration that cannot be causally unpicked. So to say that we can calculate down to the last pound the sum we will save is a fools errand - and a discussion in which we will not partake.

All we know for sure is that we would likely pay marginally less, on the basis that we disengage from certain key EU programmes. Those would have to be replicated on a domestic basis so what we save comes down to how efficient our execution of it is.

We would also distance ourselves from some of the wilder promises made about Brexit. The notion that we'll be having a spending bonanza on schools and hospitals is silly. All politicians making grand promises of more teachers and nurses on the basis of mathematical gymnastics is always best viewed with some scepticism. Let us look past that and cut to the chase. Nothing is served by joining a fierce row over what is incalculable, not least when this is not an economic question.

The bickering over whether leaving the EU will save money or not is wholly irrelevant. If Brexit cost more than what we presently pay we should still want to do it. If that were so, we'd consider it a membership fee for the global single market. It follows that if a regional "market" costs to enter, then we would take a philosophical view that global engagement would also come with a price tag.

The veto and independent vote at the global level alone makes it value for money. That's leverage and agility right there. It is our view that Brexit allows us the opportunity to set our own diplomatic agenda so that we may engineer favourable trading relationships according to our own schedule.

As it happens, if we look at a real world model, Norway, we see that Norway pays substantially less and has a greater say in the single market rules by engaging at the top tables where they are made, long before they reach the EU talking shop. What's not to like?

The truth is, the public have been offered a few more quid in their pocket to leave the EU many times before. Such arguments haven't gained traction in the last thirty years, so why should they work now? Let's write that argument off.

For us, Brexit comes down to two things: The ability to reach beyond the confines of little Europe, and secondly to ensure that supreme authority over decisions taken in our name rests with the British public. That thing we call democracy. For this, we would pay any price - time and again.

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