At a public meeting in the Forest last week the audience, in exasperation, demanded from me ‘the unbiased facts’, with which they could make up their own minds about the EU. In equal exasperation, I replied that there simply is no repository of unbiased information to be had. What facts there are, we interpret differently according to our point of view.
‘Helpful facts’ will be emphasised and ‘unhelpful’ ones will be ignored. This is a debate between partisans who hold their opinions with a passion that moulds any facts to suit their argument, and I am not immune – but at least I am honest enough to recognise it. I told my audience that they had to wake-up, and invest a serious effort in thinking for themselves about the subject before reaching a decision.
To cap it all, facts change: the world is changing, and the EU is changing dramatically too. None of us can predict what it will be like to remain in a changing EU, any more than we can predict what it will be like as an independent nation in a changing world. There are risks with either course of action. The key difference is that as an independent nation we will be able to decide how to respond to risks and inevitable change in our own national interest, rather than have those responses determined for us in Brussels.