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We are better off outside the EU
By UKIP MEP Margot Parker
What do prominent practicing Catholics, Ian Duncan Smith, UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall, MP Bill Cash, MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, Ed Leigh, hotelier Sir Rocco Forte and myself all have in common. We are all fervent Eurosceptics who wish Britain to leave the EU and take back democratic control of our own destiny.
The EU is an elitist project beloved of big bureaucrats, big business and big banks. No wonder the main movers behind the Remain campaign are Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson, and the Remain BSE campaign is funded of course by investment banks Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.
I am a Christian democrat and a proud Catholic who wants to change society for the better. To be able to do this by political means we must be able to have control of the laws that are made in our country and which influence the culture in which we live.
Ultimately it's about democracy
The EU is a political union of which British people make up 12% of the population meaning that laws can be imposed upon us and there is nothing that we can do to change this while we are members of it.
I have long been of the opinion that the EU is not just undemocratic, but anti-democratic. I oscillate between anger and sorrow when I say that the EU is the graveyard for democracy. This is where the wishes of elected governments are cast aside and a centralised will is imposed by those whom we did not elect and cannot get rid of at the ballot box.
It is shocking of course, that all laws passed in the EU are initiated by the unelected Commissioners. You must be unelected in the EU to initiate the laws - this is frightening!
It is people who want national democracy who are the good Europeans.
This task of restoring real power to national democracies is one which transcends national, regional and political allegiances - it is higher than differences between the left and right.
Multi-national empires never work in the long run.
If you travel to Northern-Africa today, in the hot sands of Egypt for example, you can see the ruins of opulent buildings of the once mighty Roman Empire. The remnants of the Roman courts, palaces and gymnasia are dotted all over this continent and others.
People were once taught to believe that the Roman Empire would last forever, that it was invincible, indestructible - and most importantly inevitable; that here was no alternative but to be obedient and to submit to its political and military power. This was not true.
A study of history shows us that large multi-national empires, or political unions if you like, do not work. They do not function properly and furthermore, do not survive. Where today is the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire, or the Austro-Hungarian Empire? They are all finished, their once proud monuments covered over by the sands of time.
Spurred on by events, the peoples of these once powerful political unions, acted to seek one of the most precious things that a people can possess - their freedom and the ability to determine their own future.
Free trade for Britain, fair trade with others
Another thing that few people realise about the EU is that it is a Customs Union. While Britain is a member of it, we cannot make trade deals with other states and it imposes tax and tariffs on goods which come from outside that Customs Union.
As a Catholic it appals me that the EU imposes huge tariffs on fish, foodstuffs and clothes that are made for example by workers in the poorer countries of Africa. The EU is making our clothes and food more expensive while at the same time preventing developing countries from trading themselves out of poverty by imposing tariffs on them. Outside the EU, as a full member of the World Trade Organisation we can make our own trade deals around the globe, be completely open to buying and selling good with developing countries and not bind them in an economic position of subservience as the EU does currently.
Outside the EU, we can grow our fishing industry and protect our seas.
Britain is a maritime nation surrounded by fertile waters once full of fish and worked by generations of British fishermen. Due to our EU membership, and the EU's Common Fisheries Policy which is an economic and ecological disaster, our seas are now denuded of fish and our fishermen unemployed. By leaving the EU, we can take back control of our fishing waters to the 200 mile international boundary, be responsible in how we fish, no longer destroy fishing stocks via the EU's quota/discard system and provide employment again for those who live along our coasts.
The EU's Common Fisheries Policy has does huge damage abroad through its system of buying rights to fish for EU boats, mainly French and Spanish from the governments of developing countries in Africa and other continents.
Their whole structure invites corruption and cheating. Brown envelopes, illegal boats and over-fishing are the likely outcome of a system which hands money to the local elite while depriving ordinary people - subsistence fishermen - of a living.
Countries like Guinea-Bissau's waters should be fished by local boats landing their catches in their country for local processing - feeding the locals and perhaps earning dollars - again for local people - from exports.
We simply can't afford the EU
There are 1.86 million people unemployed in the UK. Young people are suffering with the worst youth unemployment rate for 20 years; and half million of them are without a job
Up and down this country, there are people queuing up at food banks, and not getting the proper health care that they need.
Yet, what is the British government doing ?
Sending 11 billion pounds net a year to the European Union. Crazy eh?
The UK contribution to the EU in 2013, for instance, was 17 billion gross, according to Office of National Statistics.
We could spend our money here for those who need it
What could we afford in the UK in terms of hospitals and schools for this type of money?
We could do something better with the money.
In a single year, we could ensure 5 million children receive free School dinners.
We could also build 750 new schools for our children, as well as 10 luxurious new hospitals to look after the sick and elderly.
We could pay up front for a period of 25 years: 2,000 fully trained policy officers, 2,000 fully qualified nurses for our sick, 1500 fully qualified GP's,
and 2000 fully trained soldiers.
Indeed, the UK's net contribution to EU institutions has more than quadrupled since 2008, according to the ONS figures.
We simply can't afford the EU anymore because the EU has maxed out our credit card. The British people have been suckered by the EU for too long.
A just immigration policy fair to non- EU members
On 'Question Time' at the end of February a 16 year old schoolgirl Liz Hill was aske d why she would support a Brexit and she replied "I would get out of the EU so we could have a fair points-based system so we don't favour people in the EU over people outside of the EU. Because we can have someone unskilled within Europe coming in without any questions but a really skilled doctor from India has to go through a really intensive process."
EU members at the moment discriminate against people who come from outside the EU meaning that talented people from India, Australia, Africa and elsewhere find it virtually impossible to get permanent residence in the UK while the unskilled and even criminals from EU states can come here no questions asked. This is a ridiculous and unfair scenario which we can only change if your leave the European Union and instead initiate an Australian -style points based system which assesses UK entry for different people according to their talents rather than their European ethnicity / citizenship.
Chairman of the BSE / Stronger In Campaign has admitted to the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee that a curtailing of mass immigration from EU states after Brexit would lead to an increase in wages for low skilled workers. So British people and others who already work here would have higher wages after we leave the EU. I think this would be a great boost for many people and this is one of the reasons I support leaving the EU.
Outside the EU we can be more secure.
Due to lax border controls and free movement within the EU's Schengen Area, people with bad intentions like Islamist terrorists and criminal gangs have been allowed to enter the EU and move about as they please. This of course has led to horrific events like the Islamist attacks in both Paris and Brussels which every fair-minded person would abhor. The deluded EU doctrine of open borders without checks means free movement for terrorists, criminals, their finance, their guns and explosives.
As limbs and dead bodies are scattered over the streets of Brussels, European Commission president Juncker now believes that inexperienced bureaucrats at the European Commission are better placed to deal with British security than British security services. This is a very dangerous delusion. Sharing security knowledge is done through Interpol. Sharing terrorists and criminals is done through EU open borders".
Schengen open borders have allowed ISIS to create a crisis in the centre of the European Union. What Britain needs to do is to stop the flow of the unknown, the illegal and the undesirable crossing the Channel from the Schengen area via Calais.
That seven countries have already closed their borders in Schengen shows they acknowledge the idea of open borders without checks has terrible consequences for innocent people.
Let's not be a Turkey but stand up for our values
Pope Francis made a remarkable speech in Strasbourg in 2014 which I personally found very encouraging, for he implied that the modern European Union had gone badly wrong and the idea of a united European state wasn't even desirable, never mind necessary.
Pope Francis described the modern-day European Union as "old, weary and infertile", and aloof from the concerns and needs of ordinary people. The EU certainly has a demographic problem and into this vacuum what does David Cameron desire - the accession of 75 million Turkish citizens. I am opposed to this as a Catholic because I believe it would bring about the imposition of a different culture on us - a people who have not been asked or given our consent for this to happen.
I believe in the Christian virtue of patriotism. It is important that British people stand up in the world and at home for our Christian culture and values. We should not be browbeaten into silence to please those who come to us from other cultures. I am RC rather than PC.
Pope Francis said that Europe is about different families of "peoples" - note the plural not singular "In recent years," he said, "as the European Union has expanded, there has been growing mistrust on the part of citizens towards institutions considered to be aloof, engaged in laying down rules perceived as insensitive to individual peoples, if not downright harmful."
EU membership has done economic, democratic and cultural damage to our country. This referendum gives us a chance to take back more control of our destiny. The EU itself is secularised and secularising, with little time for our Christian identity or values. For this reason and many others I believe that Britain is better outside the EU. Sometimes in life things come along that are bigger, more fundamental and more important than normal Left/Right divides in politics and the referendum onJune 23rd is one of those things.
If you believe that Britain should be a free, democratic, self-governing nation then now is your chance. Please get out there, speak to your friends, urge them to vote Leave because we will not get another chance like this again.
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