York Outer MP becomes 10th Yorkshire Tory to campaign to leave EU

Conservative MP for York Outer, Julian Sturdy.

Conservative MP for York Outer, Julian Sturdy.

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Read why Conservative MP Julian Sturdy wants to join the out campaign ahead of the June 23 EU referendum.

Full statement:

“The outcome of the referendum vote on 23rd June will be a defining moment for Britain. In an act of true democracy in which our nation’s history is enshrined, the people of Britain, from York to Yeovil, will decide whether our future is stronger within or outside of the European Union.

“This is not, as some are suggesting, an easy decision. This is a choice for individuals, and one which will affect not just our own lives but generations to come. There are drawbacks to staying in and leaving the EU, and as with most important decisions there are a lot of unknowns. For me the emphasis must lie on the long-term benefits for Britain, and as such I will be voting to leave the European Union.

“This is not a decision I have taken lightly and is a result of much soul-searching and conversations with constituents over the past few weeks. My central concern and frustration with the EU and the European project is how it has grown into a political union far removed from the Common Market we joined in 1973.

“Whilst the Prime Minister has worked extremely hard to secure a better deal for Britain and should be commended for the important concessions he has won, whatever happens in June Britain’s relationship with the EU will certainly change. However, whilst the concessions are positive I cannot in good faith say they are the fundamental changes I personally believe are required.

“The political direction of the European project is the watering down of the nation-state model with the view of creating a more unified Europe. This is where the key issues and the all-encompassing sovereignty arguments have arisen. I am uncomfortable with the fact that EU directives have primacy over our common law system which we have developed over hundreds of years.

“I believe that it should be a resounding and fundamental principle that the British people are governed by laws made in Britain, and that our law-makers are directly accountable to the electorate. One of the pillars of democracy is that the people are able to unseat their law-makers through the ballot box, but due to the way that the EU is structured, this is simply not possible.

“Coming from a farming background I can fully appreciate the risks of leaving, which has made my decision all the more difficult. The nature of markets mean that uncertainty may result in economic instability, and there is a wider issue about the timescales involved in establishing new trade deals. But on balance I believe the long-term benefits of taking control of our own affairs outweigh the short-term instabilities that may follow from leaving the EU. It will be a brave move for Britain and I am convinced that it is the right one to make.

“We will be able to regain control of our borders and ensure more sustainable levels of immigration to protect our public services. We will be free from the bureaucratic shackles of the EU to trade more widely and free up business, to change VAT rates as we see fit, and to remove people from our country should we so wish. The global economy is rapidly evolving, and I think that the ability to adapt and forge our own trade deals with other major economies around the world, with whom our exports are steadily rising, is essential.

“Some have called a vote to leave a step into the dark, but I believe we have the chance to step into the light and secure a brighter future for Britain.

“At the end of the day my vote counts as one, and one alone. For as long as I can remember politicians from all parties promised a vote on Europe but when the time came they repeatedly failed to deliver. I am proud to have been part of the group of 81 MPs who challenged the Government in 2011 and put this in motion, enabling a truly democratic choice. Now it will be down to both sides to set out positive visions of what the future of our country could hold and for the British people to make their choice.”

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