THE British people will soon decide whether we want to remain a member of the European Union, or leave and chart our own course in the world; independent and free.
I’ve always been staunchly patriotic, proud of Britain and our heritage and confident to say it.
For over four decades we have been silenced and at last we are to have a vote to be able to decide on our relationship with the EU. I am proud that our Prime Minister, David Cameron, has the belief and trust in the British public to make that decision.
It is clear from negotiations that our partners in Europe have been unwilling to recognise the strength of feeling in the United Kingdom that we are not well-served by the European status quo of unelected, unaccountable government in Brussels.
I also do not think that this is something that is unique to the United Kingdom.
We have seen in recent days countries trying to whittle down the British deal so as to avoid any ‘contagion’, that is other nations wanting to achieve similar concessions from the EU for their own populations.
Surely, this should be taken as a sign that the EU is not working for others and that a rethink is needed, rather than a reason to dumb down a deal which is already struggling to convince British voters?
Now is the time for Britain to stand tall and strong and assert her place on the world stage.
We have never shied away from international co-operation where it has been in our best interests.
Nato, the United Nations, the Commonwealth; these are all examples of nations working together in the common good and their own national interest, while retaining their own sovereignty.
This is not an attitude of ‘Little England’, or a country displaced and diminished.
It is of a Britain which is the fifth largest economy in the world, free to trade with any nation across the globe, and able to set regulations which best suit its own markets and conditions.
A country which has always stood up and defended its friends is one of five nations in the world to hold a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, is the fourth largest spender on defence and will always defend its own interests in the world.
This is not an impossible dream; this is what we can achieve when unchained from the shackles of the European Union, and free to fulfil our own potential on the global stage.
As the fifth largest economy in the world, I am in no doubt that we would be able to secure good deals for trade and investment with the remainder of the European Union.
Under World Trade Organisation rules, they are unable to levy punitive rates on the United Kingdom, and I would hope they have no wish to.
After all, if other countries such as Canada can have a trade agreement with the European Union, then why would not the UK, their neighbour and a country who already exchanges goods and services with them? The prize is that we will be able and free to negotiate our own trade deals with all the countries we like if we feel that it would work for Britain.
We can repatriate powers on setting VAT, making a real impact on your pocket, up to reclaiming our contributions to the EU budget.
As a country, we send £50m per day over to the EU, we will be able to invest our money directly where it is needed most in the United Kingdom. It will not solve every challenge, but I feel strongly that it is better used here at home.
Financially, with the EU budget growing every year, the safer course is to vote to Leave.
Finally, we can restore the sovereignty of our law-making to Parliament, rather than a distant elite in Brussels which has to take into account conditions and people across the European Union, so much more disparate and varied than our own United Kingdom.
Our Parliament will once again be sovereign and free to make laws which are solely in our national interest and best for Britain.
If we vote to remain, all this talk of reforming from inside the European Union will be useless; we will have had our shot.
The European Elites will say that Britain is a pro-European country which wants to be part of a Federal Europe, and that it doesn’t have the guts to chart its own path.
So we must all take this opportunity to fight for the best future for the United Kingdom, which is to be free and independent again.
The future is in every British citizen’s hands.
We must seize this moment and stand up for Britain’s future as we may not get this chance ever again.
Andrea Jenkyns is the Conservative MP for Morley and Outwood.