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THE Daily Express is the first national newspaper to call for Britain to leave the European Union.
From now on, our energies will be directed to furthering the cause of those who believe Britain is Better Off Out.
The famous and symbolic Crusader who adorns our masthead will become the figurehead of the struggle to repatriate British sovereignty from a political project that has comprehensively failed people right across Europe.
After far too many years as the victims of Brussels larceny, bullying, over-regulation and all-round interference, the time has come for the British people to win back their country and restore legitimacy and accountability to their political process.
Following the debacle of the Lisbon Treaty – disgracefully imposed upon the public without the referendum they were promised by the three main political parties – many had expected matters European to take a lower profile in British politics.
But the opposite has been true as those on board the European gravy train have mounted one power grab after another. At a time of austerity throughout Europe they have expanded their already bloated budgets, pushing Britain’s disproportionate contributions even higher.
And despite not being part of the failing eurozone, British taxpayers have learned that under Brussels rules agreed to by Labour after it had lost the election they are liable to help bail out economies wrecked by the single currency. A payment of up to £10billion for Ireland is apparently just the start with speculators now starting to target the embattled economy of Portugal.
Despite unemployment across Europe averaging more than 10 per cent, Brussels continues to propose new job-destroying regulations and conspire to turn the whole EU into a zone of high taxation.
It is also seeking to take an ever more dominant role in border control issues, leaving its member states powerless to control migrant flows not only from other EU countries but from Asia and Africa too.
The European Court of Human Rights has continued to trample on British justice – preventing the deportation of terror suspects and demanding that convicted prisoners are given the vote.
Withdrawal from the EU should be accompanied by a withdrawal from the jurisdiction of this alien, pan-European tribunal so that matters of British justice are decided once again in British courts.
Ever since the British people were bounced into ratifying membership of the Common Market in 1975, after the political class had taken us in with no direct mandate, that institution has been stealing our rights to self-determination, redmodelling itself in turn as the European Economic Community, the European Community and lately as the European Union. Upon a wafer-thin permission for economic cooperation has been built a blueprint for the United States of Europe.
Almost nothing the EU has proposed or enacted has benefited Britain – our trawler fleet has been devastated by the Common Fisheries Policy while our taxpayers have found themselves massively subsidising inefficient French and Polish farmers under the Common Agricultural Policy.
The European Exchange Rate Mechanism – the forerunner to the single currency – caused a deep recession in Britain that was only ended by the removal of Sterling from its deadening grip.
This newspaper has always been hostile to the dilution of national sovereignty that EU membership entailed, but it has also always acknowledged that economic arguments were key.
So long as there was a case to be made that leaving the EU would risk jobs and investment in Britain there was a powerful brake on thoughts of leaving altogether.
But since the ERM disaster 20 years ago that economic case has utterly collapsed. We were told staying out of the eurozone would be a financial disaster yet it is now clear beyond doubt that the opposite was true – joining it would have been catastrophic, removing Britain’s ability to vary its interest and exchange rates to suit economic circumstances and plunging us into a depression.
The past two decades of European integration have turned mainland Europe’s economies from some of the world’s industrial powerhouses into also-rans, stuck in the global slow lane. Only Germany has prospered in the euro – thanks to the single currency locking its neighbours into exchange rates they are unable to compete at.
And now the price of belonging to the EU, in terms of surrendered sovereignty, is to be further raised with countries like Ireland effectively having their public spending and borrowing decisions made by the European Central Bank in Frankfurt rather than by their electorates.
While the EU has spread economic sclerosis through its member states the two richest countries in Europe have remained outside: Norway and Switzerland have stayed as the lynch-pins of the European Free Trade Area – able to import from and export to the EU freely without being subjected to its federalist ambitions.
Were Britain to break free of Brussels there is no doubt that such a happy status would be open to us. As a heavy net importer from the EU we are simply too important a market for the EU nations to risk cutting ties with.
Taking Britain out of the EU should not be seen as a move to “Little Englandism”. On the contrary, ours is a great trading nation with markets all over the world. The time has come to develop our neglected trading links with the new global powerhouses such as China and India.
The creation of the EU is explained by the perfectly understandable desire to avoid further conflict on a continent that had been the scene of two world wars.
But Britain is a land apart: a precious stone set in the silver sea, as Shakespeare so evocatively put it; a realm with a glorious island story stretching back a thousand years, with links to every continent and a language taken up throughout the world.
Our political class bought into the European experiment after losing confidence in our nation and accepting the inevitability of decline. They viewed Europe as a life raft and clambered on board. The British people never took that view.
Now it is Europe that is in decline and Britain that is being held back. It is time to break free.
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A HUGE groundswell of support was last night gathering behind the Daily Express crusade for Britain to quit the European Union.
Senior MPs, peers and campaign groups acclaimed this newspaper’s stand against the sprawling Brussels super-state as a turning point in the battle to win back Britain’s independence.
And Eurosceptic critics of UK membership said the growing financial crisis among the euro nations this week – threatening to cost British taxpayers billions of pounds – has overwhelmingly confirmed the case for British withdrawal.
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Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley and a founding member of the Better Off Out group of MPs and peers, led the praise for our crusade last night.
He said: “I think it’s fantastic that the Daily Express sees such a positive future for our country. Britain should be developing trade with China, India, South American and emerging countries in Africa rather than being part of an inward-looking, backward-looking protection racket designed to prop up inefficient European businesses and French farmers.
“As a nation built on trade, we should be ashamed to be members of the EU. It is a major breakthrough for a national newspaper to support the case for British withdrawal.
“The Daily Express and the rest of public opinion are way ahead of a lot of politicians.”
The spiralling cost of Britain’s EU membership – expected to exceed £6billion in net contributions alone next year – was last night being cited as a clear-cut reason for Britain to walk away from the discredited European club.
And the warning earlier this week that UK taxpayers may have to pour billions of pounds more into saving failing euro economies like Greece and Portugal after the Government’s decision to lend £7billion to debt-laden Ireland was understood to be hardening public opinion in favour of withdrawal.
DEBATE: SHOULD BRITAIN WITHDRAW FROM THE EU?
But opponents of European Union are also angry about the threat to Britain’s democracy by meddling Brussels bureaucracy.
Critics claim Britain’s Government has lost control of immigration due to freedom of movement laws for EU citizens.
And the country’s law and order – and basic common sense – are being undermined by the European Convention on Human Rights, which all EU states are obliged to sign up to.
Nigel Farage, Euro-MP and leader of the UK Independence Party, said: “I am delighted to support the Daily Express in its new crusade to liberate our country from the clutches of the European Union. It follows in a fine tradition in which your newspaper has fought for Britain’s liberty.
“I am convinced that the vast majority of ordinary men and women of this country will support your crusade. It will no doubt make the political establishment very uncomfortable. Good, so it should.”
Douglas Carswell, Tory MP for Clacton and a leading critic of the EU at Westminster, said: “There are millions of people across the country who will be right behind this crusade.
“This is a watershed. For the first time, a popular, mainstream newspaper has said we should get out of the EU. It is a significant moment.
“It shows that supporting British withdrawal from the EU is not the preserve of a minority sect but has become part of mainstream opinion. When my grandparents’ generation was locked into the EU, they were told it was about the economy.
“But our priority today should be trade with the world, not just the member states of the EU.”
Lord Stoddart of Swindon, an Independent Labour peer who began campaigning against the Common Market in 1962, also welcomed the Daily Express crusade.
“We should never have joined in the first place. It is extremely expensive, and becoming more expensive all the time,” he said.
“What we should be doing is rebuilding the Commonwealth and going out to build trade with emerging economies like China, India and Brazil. That is where the future for a good, independent country lies. We are, ratchet by ratchet, losing our sovereignty.
“Our Parliament loses power every time an agreement is made. The EU is an undemocratic and dangerous construct.”
Leading Eurosceptic campaign groups were last night swinging behind the Daily Express crusade.
James Pryor, chief executive of the EU Referendum Campaign, said: “When Britain is broke, can we really afford to send £48million a day to Brussels? Around 70 per cent of our laws are now made in Brussels and that is just not democratic.
“The financial crisis over the last 10 days has really woken people up to the scandal of the EU.”
Read more: http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/213565/Join-our-crusade-to-pull-Britain-out-of-the-EU
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