Henry Smith MP: Voting to Leave

Last Thursday there were Crawley Borough Council and Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner elections; my thanks to all who took part in our democracy by standing for office.

Normally there would be a year’s wait until the next time we go to the polls, however that’s not the case in 2016.

There will be the leave/remain UK/EU referendum on Thursday 23rd June.

As I have written on these pages previously, I will be voting to leave. I am very much aware that there will be some in Crawley who support my position and those who disagree, however, either way the debate should be fair.

I was concerned, therefore, to see that the Government spent £9.3 million of taxpayers’ money sending out leaflets to around 27 million households in support of a remain vote.

What is now the EU has changed enormously since the UK joined the then EEC or Common Market in 1973. Over the past 43 years, it has grown to take control over more and more areas which do not have anything to do with trade – such as our borders, and our public services. The euro means that more and more financial decisions are being made in Brussels too.

Only 5 per cent of businesses export to the EU, but they are all caught by its burdening bureaucracy. By taking control, we can run our economy in the interests of millions of small businesses and entrepreneurs up and down the UK. Europe is the world’s only shrinking economy, as a global nation with unique links we should not bind our future prosperity in this way.

A further concern of mine is that of animal welfare. EU law on the transport of live animals has led to livestock, some only two weeks old, being driven over huge distances in cramped containers. If we vote leave, we can take back control of policies affecting animal welfare.

These are just a few of the many reasons that I will be voting to Leave the European Union on Thursday 23rd June.