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Frank Field MP: Why a vote to remain is a vote to take the UK into a single European state

Guest Blogger, 24 May 2016

Do we see our future to lie within the European state? Or do we see our future to lie outside, keeping our friendly relationship with Europe, but being our own governor?

This is the great question that we will decide as we go into the polling stations on referendum day.

No factsheet will help voters decide the destiny of Britain on referendum day. I therefore make a twofold plea to voters on referendum day. The first is to realise we will be voting about the destiny of our country. Our hopes, our fears, and our inner trust must be drawn upon in making that decision.

To stay in the European Union contains huge risks. We just have to look at how this great venture (because it was a great venture) started back in the 1950s and the shape it has taken since then.

The aim was to build in stages a single European state. The aim of that state was to prevent a third world war originating in Europe.

NATO has prevented that third world war starting in the heart of Europe yet again. Our peace has nothing whatsoever to do with the European Union.

This great venture has therefore become primarily a political adventure. A vote to remain is a vote to take our country firmly and securely into that single state, and, with it, the inevitability of unlimited immigration.

That’s one danger.

The other danger is associated with voting to leave the EU. Don’t be beguiled by the slur tactics of how many jobs we will lose, how many firms will disappear, and how many years of pestilence will be inflicted on our country as a result of a vote to leave.

No honest person knows. I guesstimate that there is little danger here, but I may be wrong. The danger is of a totally unknown proportion.

There is danger associated our withdrawal. The EU is deeply, deeply unpopular with voters across Europe. So the main danger is that our vote to leave will begin a fast unravelling of the European community. Most governments are frightened to give what David Cameron was forced to give us – a vote to you to decide the destiny of your nation.

If we vote to leave on Thursday 23rd June, we will light a freedom flame that could spread throughout most of Western Europe.

The demand will be for a vote equal to ours.

This will be the point of maximum danger and we should not kid ourselves otherwise. We must therefore be prepared for day two of the post-referendum world.

Likewise, on day two after the referendum, the government will need to be reconstructed.

If the government wins the referendum, then it will need to re-form quickly. It is crucial that a government representing the wide interests that have only been apparent for a decade or more amongst the Tory Party rank and file, and, since 2010, its MPs in Parliament. This pro-Britain view must be properly represented in that new government.

If we vote to leave, the new prime minister will need to unify the Tory Party by forming a new government. But that new leader must, similarly, unify the country.

It is crucial that the team established to conduct the renegotiations is composed of the very best, ablest, skilled and knowledgeable members of this country.

The new leader should not be afraid of putting Europhiles in the team, for I believe they will loyally negotiate the best terms possible, along with their more Eurosceptic colleagues. It must be a united team that goes out to Brussels to begin the renegotiations.

Frank Field is the MP for Birkenhead and the Chairman of the Work and Pensions Select Committee. He is a member of the Labour Party. You can visit his website here. Follow him on Twitter @frankfieldteam 

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