No one takes Gove, or Grayling, or IDS seriously. Nor should they. No one believes Johnson. Nor should they. No one can even name any of the others. Nor should they. But, for all his faults, David Owen writes:
The vision of a European Common Market was a good one when in 1962 membership was first envisaged for the UK.
Nevertheless, we were rightly warned even then by the leader of the Labour Party, Hugh Gaitskell, that a federal Europe lurked in the background.
As far back as 1971 Edward Heath’s White Paper on entry misleadingly promised ‘no erosion of essential sovereignty’. That was untrue then and is much more so today.
European law does override British law and David Cameron has failed to achieve any Treaty amendment to change this.
What we have contrived in the EU is the pretension that you can be partly a country and partly not a country.
Today, in 2016, disillusionment in the present EU can be found in varying degrees in every country within it, and it has stretched to breaking point the wishes of a large part of the population of the UK.
The flaws of the single currency are there to be seen: a broken-backed euro, high youth unemployment in countries unable to devalue; continued austerity and structural inertia within an EU that resists change, particularly any treaty change.
In my view the advantage of David Cameron’s negotiation is that it has shown up why it is now too late to reform the EU from within in any significant way.
This UK referendum is, like all previous referendums, a once-in-a-generation opportunity.
There are many positive aspects to leaving the EU. We will make our own laws again in our own parliament. We will rediscover the skills of blue-water diplomacy and rise to the challenge of global markets.
It could be the spark we need to re-energise our nation: a challenge and an opportunity.
To remain in the EU is in my judgement a more dangerous option for British security in its deepest sense – economic, political, military and social – than remaining in a dysfunctional EU dragged down by a failing Eurozone.
Remaining in the EU is risking more than leaving. Our most important and urgent duty is to strengthen NATO [oh, well, you can't have everything].
Restoring a greater measure of self-government and full control over who comes into this country are significant gains, and the UK would once again be doing things its way and accepting that when the electoral pendulum shifts inside our country real changes can be made that make a difference to people’s lives and aspirations.
My decision is a confident one: now is the time to vote to leave the EU.