Thursday, June 23, will be a historic day because, for the first time in 40 years, we will be asked to decide through a referendum whether we wish to leave the European Union.
This poll will possibly be the most important vote we cast in our lifetimes.
It will answer, once and for all, the big questions about who governs Britain – Westminster or Brussels – and whether we capable of running our own economy?
Personally, on balance, after weighing up both sides of the debate, I believe Britain’s future will be best served outside the EU, and I will be voting to leave.
Why? For many reasons. Firstly, I believe that we should be a self-governing, independent nation, free to run our economy in our best interests.
I strongly believe that our elected Parliament is best placed to make the laws of our land, without being overturned by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels and the so-called European Court of Justice.
At least with our own elected Government, we can turf them out after five years if we are not happy with them.
When was the last time we voted for the President of the European Union, or any of the European commissioners who are now responsible for making 60 per cent of the laws for this country?
The answer is never. They are not, and never will be, accountable to us through the ballot box.
Do we get value for money from the £20billion a year we send to Brussels? No.
Not only do we pay too much – around £350million a week at the last count – but the auditors have not been able to sign off the EU’s accounts for the last 15 years because it is so riddled with waste and corruption.
Does Britain get a fair deal from the EU? No, because we play by the rules which other European countries choose to ignore.
I believe that the money we send to Brussels would be better spent on our own priorities, like the NHS.
Do I believe our economy can survive outside of the EU? Yes, because it is the fifth largest economy in the world, and I believe in the ingenuity of the British people and our entrepreneurs.
Our economy won’t just survive, it can thrive, just as it has outside the Euro currency.
Britain is, and always has been, an outward-looking global trading nation that does more trade with the rest of the world (55 per cent) than it does with the EU (45 per cent).
Britain’s business with countries outside of the EU is booming – growing at twice the rate as it is with the uncompetitive EU.
Switzerland and Norway – both European countries that are not members of the EU, along with the USA and many other countries around the world – trade with the EU, just as we will continue to do.
I believe that we should be able to control our own borders and choose who can come and live and work in the UK – we cannot do that if we are in the EU.
The only way Britain can regain control of its borders is by voting to leave.
We need a points-based immigration system like that in Australia, Canada, the US and New Zealand.
Britain cannot go on operating an open-door immigration policy which allows 320,000 immigrants every year to settle on these shores.
This small island cannot absorb a city the size of Coventry every year without it putting huge pressure on both community cohesion and our public services.
I call on you to join with me and vote to release Britain from the shackles of the EU, a vote that allows us to become masters of our own destiny.