Last night I had the pleasure of speaking at the University of Manchester Debating Union, along with Douglas Cochran. Jointly we were proposing the motion “this house would leave the EU”.
Universities don’t tend to give UKIP speakers an easy ride and indeed when only 8-10 of the 70+ audience supported us, we knew we had a tough task ahead. As usual the Europhiles denounced us as living in the past, little Englanders who would jeopardise economy by holding onto the past.
When the UK joined the EU we had been glancing across the pond with envy, while we faced union strikes, blackouts, unemployment and our streets piled high with rubbish, they had sunshine and sangria.
But we joined at the wrong time. The EU had started to see economic decline at the time of the referendum, and its share of the world’s GDP was at 40 percent. Now it’s less than 20 percent and down to 15 percent soon. GDP is 0.1 percent, average unemployment is 11.7 percent and in some parts of the EU like Greece it’s 27 percent. We on the other hand have an increasing GDP and unemployment has dropped below 7 percent.
I often say: “the EU is the Blackberry of our time, we want the UK to be the apple of our time”. The EU, like the Blackberry is failing, outdated and unpopular, with no public desire for it. Blackberry hasn’t evolved or changed to compete with the modern global economy and neither will the EU.
In the last 40 years, we haven’t seen any substantial change for the good, only more powers flowing from Westminster to Brussels and more legislation flowing the opposite way.
The only way we can get rid of this outdated, failed political union, like the way people have changed from Blackberry to Apple is that we need to leave the EU and re-enter the world. Then we can trade freely with the commonwealth and what other countries we see fit, not being part of an isolationist customs union.
I believe this message resonated with the students as many more voted in our favour at the end of the debate.