This referendum debate in many ways boils down to a very British feeling – that of fairness.
I think it’s fair that we should know who the politicians are that make our laws, I think it’s fair we elect them ourselves – and I think it’s fair to then have the ability to sack them if they do a poor job representing us. That’s not the EU way of course.
I think it’s fair that we should get to spend our tax payers’ money on our priorities, like our public services and the most vulnerable in society. We currently send £350 million a week to the EU, half of which we get back (but have no say in how we spend) and half of which simply disappears. Simply imagine what we could do with that money.
I think it’s fair that we shouldn’t be straightjacketed into an immigration policy that favours a person based on where they were born geographically regardless of how much they want to contribute to society or what their skills are. So if we need best and the brightest talent then that talent should be able to here come from countries like India, Pakistan, Australia, or New Zealand. Immigration yes, uncontrolled immigration, no. We need to take back control of our borders.
According to a recent ICM poll, 86% of British Muslims feel a strong sense of belonging to the UK – and quite right too. I love this country because it defines patriotism in a way that we can all embrace. The idea that being a so-called second generation Briton, speaking more than one language, and having family and connections across the oceans, makes someone any less patriotic than someone able to trace their lineage back hundreds of years is simply absurd. That is why this vote is so important for everyone.
Simply put, the European Union is outdated. As Mayor of London I knew the city’s greatest investment opportunities were likely to be beyond Europe. Asia, Africa and the Americas have boomed in recent years while the Eurozone, incredibly, was no larger in 2015 than in 2008.
The EU vision is too small for a global nation like ours, and the nostalgia that worries me most is that of the ‘Little Europeans’ Remain camp, who advocate highly regulated, corporatist, bureaucratic Brussels structures designed in the 1950s, as appropriate for 21st century Britain.
We need to take back control of our money, our laws and our borders. We need to take back control so we can commit to a level playing field for everyone who wants to come and work in or visit the UK, and rekindle our links with our Commonwealth friends across the globe.
If we Vote Leave on the 23rd June, we can leave the EU – and join the world.
Boris Johnson writing exclusively for The Muslim News
Prime Minister David Cameron in exclusive Q&A with The Muslim News argues for staying in the EU. http://muslimnews.co.uk/news/uk/pm-david-cameron-exclusive-qa-eu-referendum/