EU Referendum: Harpenden MP Peter Lilley wants to reclaim control over laws, money and borders

Harpenden MP Peter Lilley speaks out on the EU

Harpenden MP Peter Lilley speaks out on the EU - Credit: Archant

Quitting the European Union is the best way the UK can “take back control over our laws, our money and our borders,” Harpenden MP Peter Lilley has said.

He told the Herts Advertiser that while there were many reasons he would vote to leave the EU on June 23, residents should get involved in the referendum “whatever your view”.

Peter said: “The biggest impact of EU membership on Harpenden is the pressure to build more homes. People oppose building on the Green Belt, but as long as we have unlimited numbers coming from the EU there will be no end to this pressure, and the increased burden that places on our schools and hospitals.”

Furthermore, he warned: “This is not a choice between the status quo and change. The EU is about to embark on a huge leap towards a United States of Europe.

“Last year the five Presidents’ Report – only the EU needs five presidents – spelt out that the EU must move to a political union if the euro is to survive. And they are right: no currency has ever survived without a state to run it with powers to tax and spend, borrow and regulate, transfer money from strong areas to weak areas and enforce its laws throughout its territory.”

He said: “This referendum will decide what our relationship should be with this emerging United States of Europe. If we remain we will be under enormous pressure to adopt the euro, to join Schengen and become a component part of the United States of Europe.

“If we leave we can be like Canada is in the North American Free Trade Agreement – trading with our continental neighbours, but free to make our own laws, and spend our own money.”

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The politician recently told Parliament that a Freedom of Information response showed that despite Britain voting against 72 measures in the European Council it had been defeated 72 times, and that the pace of defeat was accelerating. He asked the Prime Minister how many defeats he expected over the next two decades if the UK “makes the mistake of remaining in the EU”.

David Cameron replied that if the UK was outside the single market, “the same countries will write the rules, but without us. We will have to comply with them when we sell into Europe, but will have absolutely no say over what they are.” The PM dubbed it an “illusion of sovereignty rather than real sovereignty”.

However, Peter told this paper that, as the only serving MP who has negotiated a trade agreement and who implemented the single market programme when Secretary of State for trade and industry, “I am confident that we can negotiate a good deal with the rest of Europe, trade deals with the likes of China, India and Brazil, and prosper outside the EU.”

The MP said that while he ‘loves Europe’, it is “not the same as the EU”.

Peter said the referendum was “about democracy and prosperity. In a democracy if the government fails to deliver rising living standards, the people can chuck it out. The EU is not like that.

“The EU controls vast areas of our life. This is our opportunity to take back control over our laws, our money and our borders.”