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Hillary Rodham Clinton: She claims that "Senator Sanders is the only person who would characterize [her] . . .  as exemplifying the establishment" (Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0)

Now the results of the great EU renegotiation are in I suppose I will have to vote “Out”. Like many people, I waited to see what the Prime Minister could get from his renegotiation, but the results could only be applauded by people who want jobs from him. All the charade negotiation proved was that the EU remains unreformable, leading me to conclude that we are better off out. Not so much abandoning a burning building as exiting a building that appears to be run by arsonists.

To me the central question has always been one of democracy. There are few lessons to be learnt from the late Tony Benn, but the questions he used to pretend to ask people in power (“Who gave it to you? How can it be taken away?”) are useful. And not just for those governing the EU. Go into any room in Britain and ask people, however educated, to name the head of the European Commission or their own MEPs. Not one in a thousand will know, just as no one knows how the rules are made or unmade. It is easy to dismiss some of this as laziness, but there is a type of laziness that is justifiable. Any criticism of over-arching EU powers was responded to with corrections framed as “Ah, but that relates to the Court not the Commission” or “But that is encompassed in the Convention rather than the Statute.” All the time those in charge avoided the fact that democratic government needs not only to be approved by the people but understood by the people.


Now the scares are beginning from the “In” campaigners. We have already been told that the Premier League will suffer if we “Brexit”, that paedophiles will roam free, and that our intelligence capabilities will be destroyed. The last is especially strange. After all, among the “Five Eyes” alliance which constitutes our major signals intelligence asset, not one other member is inside the EU. Having lost on the specifics, I suspect we will finally be threatened by the likes of David Cameron and Eddie Izzard that leaving the EU means “turning our backs on the future”. But there is no reason why we cannot be a successful country on our own, as history suggests we were before entering the EU. And if the disaster that Chancellor Merkel is creating right now on the continent constitutes the future, then I for one would rather have no part in it.

That said, if we do leave then it should be more in a spirit of regret than of celebration. The EU was one solution to a European problem, albeit a problem Britain was never part of. Nevertheless, none of the troubles we will all go through in the years ahead will immediately be solved by our exit. We will only be able to face them more clearly and with swifter reflexes. Yet the troubles will remain.

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