I supported the Brexit campaign for many reasons, not least because of my concerns about the democratic deficit of European institutions: as I said in one of my speeches, no one I talked to before and during the referendum campaign knew the name of our Commissioner in Europe, their portfolio, what the European Council of Ministers does and how much power the European Parliament wields. To quote one person after the referendum campaign, I like to be able to look into the eyes of the people who make my laws. The European Union’s Kafkaesque operation makes that virtually impossible.
Convinced the democratic rewards flowing from the increased accountability and transparency of government will be for the common good of the peoples not only of the United Kingdom but also of the whole of Europe, I also said Brexit presents a much-needed opportunity to restructure the EU institutions which would be beneficial across a wider canvas:
‘Either they will become more accountable, more transparent and more responsive, or the legitimacy they need in order to survive will wither and they will be brought down.’
I understand concerns about the effects of Brexit on trade, but in another speech, I reminded the House that trade was already under threat from our membership of the European Union:
‘…as an island nation we have always depended on our trading and market skills and continued membership…posed a direct risk to our unrivalled concentration of markets and trading expertise. The market in which I am most involved, the London Metal Exchange or LME, is the global pricing mechanism for base metals and has, since it was founded in 1870, provided substantial invisible exports for this country. European regulators were endangering the sophisticated systems and culture undergirding London markets’ success. Our international reputation for trading ethically and innovatively has made Britain very attractive for investors. Yet, regulators in Brussels, issuing ever more top-down directives, effectively sidelined personal responsibility, creativity and innovative flair.’
I also pointed out that far from being a harbinger of doom, Brexit could be a force for reform, both economically and politically, because the world needs competition to be encouraged and Britain could be an agent for that, moreover:
‘Our exit from the European Union creates a vital opportunity to make arrangements with just-about emerging economies that would previously have been at the back of the queue for trade deals with nations such as ours. Surely this would enable them to hold on to more of those citizens who want to better themselves instead of losing them to uncertain tides, flimsy boats and people smugglers.’