By coincidence and by saving hard, I’ve visited the same three EU countries – Italy, Spain and France – for the last three years.
Italy, in particular, is very clearly suffering from severe economic decline, although the same could be said of Spain and France, too.
You can judge this by four simple factors, which have become apparent in just one year:
l The number of second-hand clothing stalls on one street market; up from one to six.
l The number of empty shops, which has jumped from none to dozens.
l Beggars and migrants on the street trying to sell small quantities of cheap tat. From a few to one every 50 feet.
l Building work. The cranes have gone or are idle.
These nations are in trouble. They will need support very soon but, other than Germany, who can provide it within the EU?
There is only one area that still seems to be flush with cash ... Monte Carlo.
I was only there for a few hours, but it was long enough to spot Sir Philip Green’s yacht, Lionheart, tied up at the harbour.
We are just around the corner from another economic crash and, the sooner we recognise that our best policy is to increase trade outside the EU, the less damage any collapse within the EU will do us.
The great and the good are so keen to protect their personal interests that they have lost sight of this looming danger, which will hit small people far harder.
David Cameron and his chums know this and have run away from any responsibility.
The same could be said of the EU commission, which had expected more time to line its pockets in preparation.
Theresa May and her new cabinet need to maintain the pressure for Brexit, so that we can put as much distance between ourselves and the coming implosion.
A trade deal with the EU is likely to be the least of our problems, because there may well be little trade to be done with a bankrupt union.
Only one party has consistently recognised the inherent dangers of EU membership and campaigned for Brexit and that’s UKIP.
As we change, post referendum and under a new leadership, from concentrating on this issue to a much broader platform, as defined in our 2015 manifesto, we will not cease to fight for the type of Brexit we voted for, with proper border controls and less reliance on trade with our near neighbours.
We are needed more than ever now to hold national and local government to account – there has to be a strong opposition, inside and outside Parliament.
The Labour Party, consumed by in-fighting and without a tangible leader, is incapable of providing one. UKIP can, as we’ve just demonstrated.