Results from the 2014 EU elections suggested that the majority of those who voted in Horsham District were Eurosceptic.
That has been reinforced by the reception received by the Vote Leave campaign, as it has moved in and around Horsham.
Many offers of help have been received by the the diverse cross party campaign group - from people who want laws to be made in their Parliament, by MPs who are accountable to them.
Many are concerned that our ability to control our own destiny is much reduced, while unelected EU officials have made clear their intention to continue to emasculate national parliaments, taking even more power to themselves.
Concerns range from pressures on housing, the NHS and education - because the rate of migration is not being regulated - to the prospect of being dragged into political union, losing control of our armed forces, our foreign policy our economy. That is not to mention our inability to negotiate trade agreements that suit the UK best.
Many from the older generation feel that they were duped in the 1975 Referendum, believing that they were voting to stay in a ‘Common Market’ and are still sore about that. They see that the PM has failed to get legally binding reform and they do NOT intend to be deceived a second time.
The younger generation is more interested in the high levels of youth unemployment in the Eurozone (over 40 per cent in some countries) and the possibility that the UK might have to join the common currency, or they might be conscripted to serve in the EU Army, that President Juncker has repeatedly called for.
Doesn’t the EU help to preserve peace some ask? Sadly history tells us that the erosion of democracy with inadequate checks and balances, is likely to increase the risk of conflict, particularly where unelected rulers insist on continuously expanding their empire. A House of Lords committee found that there was an element of sleep-walking into the Ukraine crisis and it is clear that the EU is a long way from being able to take over from NATO – as our protector against aggression.
Some worry that EU funding of universities and capital projects might be lost, if we leave the EU. But we have been able to remind them that, for every £1 that the UK receives, UK taxpayers pay over £2. So, if we leave the EU, such funding can continue, releasing the balance (around £8.5 pa) to fund the NHS.
Small businessmen tell us that they like having a surplus of low cost labour available, but that they do not like the surfeit of Regulations, imposed on them by Brussels. That is where unelected officials have a monopoly in proposing new regulations, when around 93 per cent of UK businesses don’t even export to the EU.
Many of those businessmen are not frightened of competition but believe that the EU is more concerned with ‘harmonisation’, than with encouraging innovation.
As expected, a few people are undecided on which way to vote and would really like more time. Some of them suggest that if we vote to leave, we will likely be offered ‘better terms’ and then asked to vote again – as the Irish were when they voted no. They see little advantage in voting to remain and expect a second bite at the cherry.
That is understandable, but since there are only two questions on the ballot paper, we believe that a vote to leave means exactly that.
Most noticeable is the level of passion amongst those who want the UK to regain control of its destiny, knowing i) that the EU is not going to reform, ii) that there will be no return of the many veto powers that have been lost and iii) that the PM has NOT got the legally binding treaty change needed, to prevent us from being dragged into ever closer union.
This opportunity to free ourselves from the rule of unelected EU officials, may not come again in our lifetime and future generations will not thank us for ducking the issue now. We owe it to them to make the right decision, which all the evidence shows, is to the leave the EU and become a self-governing democracy once again.
So we will continue campaigning in the streets, right up to UK Independence Day. on the 23rd June
Vote Leave Horsham Group leader, Timber Mill, Southwater
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