This weekend I confess to having delivered leaflets through hundreds of letter-boxes in the New Forest which contained an assertion that I would not personally have made in one of my own speeches.
In terms of magnitude however, it was as nothing compared to the hyperbole that we have heard from the Remain campaign about the risks of leaving the EU. Over the last few weeks I have used this column to debunk these ‘risks’ and to show that there is no economic argument for remaining (as, I believe, there was no economic case for joining in the first place).
What the doom-mongers have completely ignored however, are the very significant risks of remaining in the EU. It is the only trading block in the world that is pursuing the political integration of the nation states of which it is composed. It is the only trading block in the world that has suffered a consistently shrinking share of world trade. It is the only trading block in the world that has attempted to create its own currency.
This, as we know, has been an absolute disaster and has left much of the EU stuck in persistent recession, whilst in Britain we have been enjoying the fastest economic growth of the world’s developed economies. This has, in turn, made our growing employment a magnet for EU job seekers, with consequent severe pressures on housing, schools and healthcare.
Hitching ourselves to this permanent EU recession mechanism is bad enough, but there is potentially an even greater danger: That the EU grasps the nettle and makes the necessary political changes that will enable the Euro to work properly as a single EU currency. This will mean centralising sufficient power in Brussels to control taxation and expenditure in the Euro member states.
Only ourselves and tiny Denmark will ultimately remain outside these arrangements. Do we really think that their design and implementation in the Euro currency block will take account of our very different interests outside of it?
Particularly, given that we have already surrendered any negotiating leverage that we would otherwise have had in this process.
In effect we are being asked to write a blank cheque. We are invited to remain within an organisation which is about to change dramatically, and in a way that we cannot predict, and over which we will have no control.
And for what?