Why people in the North East should vote Leave

The North East is a region with a proud manufacturing tradition. A region which makes things and sells them, a region of agriculture and of fisheries.

Today it’s the region with the highest unemployment in the land. Not all of this is the European Union’s fault, but an awful lot is. It’s the European Union that has made life unnecessarily difficult for our farmers, it’s the European Union that has allowed foreign-flagged vessels to overfish our waters and expects us to be grateful, and it’s the European Union that has made it so difficult for us to protect our manufacturing and steel industry.

How will a vote to leave change things? Firstly, we’ll be better off financially. Despite some ridiculous fudging of figures from Remain to claim that we’re net recipients from the EU (it wasn’t true when the claim originated in 2012, we’ve got a worse deal now than we had then, and after EU expansion we’ll get an even smaller share of the pie) the fact remains that we can replace every penny of EU funding and still have £9-£10 billion a year left in change. By doing that funding ourselves directly we’ll cut out the middleman and be able to ensure that money goes to projects which we know will actually achieve the stated aims.

Secondly, we’ll regain control of our fisheries and our 200-mile limit. The North East is a coastal region, more dependent upon fishing than most. That means more jobs.

Thirdly, we’ll subsidise our farmers in a more efficient way than the EU’s awful Common Agricultural Policy. Less bureaucracy for farmers, more time spent farming, and a fair system to protect them. That also means more jobs.

Fourthly, our manufacturing base can recover. We’ll have the power to directly deal with Chinese steel dumping and save what’s left of our steel industry. We’ll be able to deregulate and make manufacturing more competitive. We’ll regain the power to sign our own trade deals, which will again help manufacturing. The Remain campaign threatens us with a weaker pound if we vote for Brexit. I’m not sure there’ll be a long-term effect – but if there is, that’ll make our exports even more competitive! That’s even more jobs.

We’ll get the same things as the rest of the country too: our democracy and independence back, and the control over our own borders.

So here’s the question: will you believe Remain’s Project Fear over Nissan (despite the fact that Paul Wilcox of Nissan Europe stated five times on the Today Programme that their commitment to the UK is long-term irrespective of the referendum result)? Or will you listen instead to businesses like JCB and innovative employers like Dyson, which support Brexit?