The Labour Party has been scaremongering about UKIP since before the last European Election, so Ed Balls’ latest is hardly news. From false claims that UKIP wishes to privatise the NHS to false suggestions we wish to scrap maternity leave, there is hardly a vicious attack to which they aren’t prepared to stoop.
He suggests EU exit would be ‘deeply destabilising’ and the biggest risk to British firms this decade. Hardly so, when outside the EU we would be guaranteed a free trade deal with them. We are their best customer, and they would hardly wish to stop trading with us.
But outside the EU, Switzerland thrives: it has more free trade deals than we do, despite our membership of this economy-inhibiting bloc much touted by europhiles. The other European countries outside the EU thrive too. Outside the EU we could have the best of both worlds: free trade with our neighbours but freedom from overregulation and the ability to negotiate our own deals with developing economies.
Ed Balls repeats the mantra that we must seek to ‘reform’ the EU. Conservatives and Labour have had 40 years of attempted reform; it is worse now than when they started. But whenever the UK attempts reform, we fail. Cameron has had 4½ years of attempted reform and not one single stroke of a pen has been removed from a single EU law.
UKIP’s vision is not of isolationism, but of a dynamic trading nation looking beyond the shores of Europe to the whole globe.
Jonathan Arnott MEP
UKIP, North East