EUROPE: Reasons to vote to leave

On June 23, Britain is going to have a once-in-a-generation chance to determine our future by voting to leave or stay in the European Union.

A number of arguments have been made on both sides, including many insignificant arguments, like the cost of roaming charges in Europe.

Ultimately, I believe it boils down to four key areas.

Economy. There is a case to be made on both sides here, but any economic forecasts you see are just guesses that no one ever gets right.

If we leave, a trade deal will be negotiated with the EU as it is in both our interests to have one. We would also then have the opportunity to strike new lucrative trade deals around the world, while reducing the reams of red tape on the small businesses that are the backbone of our economy. Verdict - Leave.

Immigration. We simply cannot control immigration while we are in the EU as anyone who is an EU citizen can move freely to any other EU country.

Given unemployment and the migration crisis across mainland Europe, it is only common sense to expect that migration to the UK will be on the increase in the next few years.

So this is an absolutely clear win to leave the EU as this is the only way we can introduce a sensible immigration policy, one which allows in the migrants that are vital to our economy, but does so in a way that doesn’t put public services and housing under increased pressure. Verdict - Leave.

Sovereignty. We relinquished some of our sovereign power to the EU as part of our membership. This is why we have the mountains of red tape and ridiculous policies such as those on VAT (Tampon Tax).

We also have a major worry in the form of the TTIP trade deal being brokered with the United States. The gist of which deal is that the EU will be handing companies and corporations massive powers over governments, and putting public services, such as the NHS, at risk.

While we are part of the EU, we cannot return these powers back to the UK. Verdict - Leave.

Democracy. The UK only has nine per cent of the vote in the EU Parliament and this proportion will reduce as new countries join the EU.

We are also members alongside a group of countries who are looking at closer integration (Eurozone), and who will often agree on policies/laws amongst themselves with their combined majority vote. This means that we have basically no influence at all.

So the choice here is stay in and hope that these Eurozone countries will decide on policies which happen to benefit Britain, or leave and give our democratically elected Parliament the power to do what is best in our interests.

Once again, a clear winner. Verdict - Leave.

Mr M Spears

South Broomhill