A day before a nationwide referendum is discussed in parliament, a group of campaigners call for Britain to leave the EU. Douglas Carswell from the People’s Pledge told RT the EU has changed in the past years and now presents an economic failure.
Douglas Carswell, a conservative MP, supporter and counselor member of the People’s Pledge, believes there are a number of reasons why the UK should leave the European Union.
“It is costing the UK a great deal of money, the country is spending billions of pounds bailing out the currency it did not even choose to join; but it is not just about economics, it is about democracy,” he explained. “For too long in this country we have left it to the political elite to decide these questions. If you believe in democracy surely you should trust the people; people need to have a say – should we stay in the EU, should we leave or should we fundamentally renegotiate our position within the European Union? It is time to have this debate and have this topic discussed publicly,” he added.
Public support for leaving the EU is quite high in Britain, but many politicians, including Prime Minister David Cameron, are opposed to the idea. But according to Carswell, the UK will eventually have the referendum. It is just going to take some time.
“This vote on Monday is unlikely to achieve the outcome that we need. But it is a step in the right direction, momentum for a referendum is now growing. It is now becoming unstoppable,” he said. “What we are seeing on Monday is significant because it is the first time in a generation when the question of Britain’s membership in the European Union has been put on the agenda and it shows it is not a settled question. A lot of politicians do not want to talk about this, but the people want to discuss it, so it is not going to go away,” he stated.
The UK has been part of the unified Europe for almost four decades now. But as Carswell points out, when the country joined the EU in the early 1970s it was a prosperous trading block, and at that time constituted about 36 per cent of global GDP.
“It turns out that by 2020, Europe will account for about 15 per cent of global GDP. So from joining a prosperous trading block we shackled ourselves to an economic corps. We want to be global players, we want to have free trade relationships with the world, not just with Belgium and a few indebted states across the channel,” he maintained.
The political elite in all parties are however denying a referendum. They have been asking their MPs to vote against it on Monday. But all three parties were promising a referendum on EU until very recently, so it is almost as if it is the political elite against the will of the people, believes Carswell.
“Ultimately you cannot stop democracy; we will have the referendum eventually. This week marks an important step towards that,” he maintains.
Ruth Lea, a member of the People’s Pledge Campaign and an economist, stated that there a lot of people in Britain who actually want to hold a referendum on EU membership and a lot of politicians “who are so nervous about letting the people to have their say.”
Nobody knows what is actually happening with the eurozone at the moment, Ruth Lea notes.
“At the end of the day I think the euro is such a fundamentally flawed, dysfunctional currency. I suspect it will break up unless there is real political union or fiscal union behind it,” she concluded.
John Mills, chairman of the People’s Pledge in London told RT the collapse of the euro and the problems that that would generate in Europe would have a very significant impact on the UK.
“This is a matter of great concern. What the countries in Europe decide to do is their business; UK outside the euro is concerned about the mounting costs. We do not want to see the European economy collapsing, but Europe wants to go one way and Britain wants to go another way, that is it,”