MP's Column

In recent weeks much has hindered efforts to restore trust in politicians which is why I have sought to be objective and answer people's questions regarding the EU Referendum.

I will be voting to leave and people are asking me why. So here goes:

We are a great nation with a great history and a great future. The UK can stand on its own two feet. For me, a vote to leave is a vote for a freer, fairer, better UK. People want our relationship with Europe to be about trade and cooperation. This is not what the negotiations have achieved.

I am confident that we can achieve it if we leave. In fact, we should strive to be a free-trading nation not just to Europe but to the rest of the world and, as an independent UK, work with EU countries and non EU countries more effectively for the common good.

The UK is a global nation with a leadership role in NATO and the UN, an economy more dynamic than the eurozone and a capital that is the leading finance centre in the world (before New York, Singapore and Hong Kong).

Through finance, trade, human rights, international development and protecting the environment, we should be leading not following, thriving not surviving.

People are concerned about our ability to trade in the EU if we vote to leave. However, we export less than we import. For every £5 of goods we import we export £3 of goods. Europe would not cut off its nose to spite its face by creating trade barriers with the UK. Besides most of our private sector employees are employed in medium/small business. These businesses have just 8% share of the UK export market to the EU.

Finally, banking on future funding from the EU is not a reason to vote to remain. Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has received significant sums of taxpayers' money via the EU. However, the existing convergence money is expected and intended to be the last tranche of EU development and social funding.

I do not fear for our future outside of the EU.

I know we can be an even greater nation.

Derek Thomas
Member of Parliament for St Ives