A Case for Brexit: The UK Should Seize the Global Agenda of the 21st Century

By: Rhys Tanner, a third year politics student at Durham University. He is the former President of the Durham University Conservative Association and is currently campaigning for Vote Leave. Twitter: @rhystanner1

Just imagine if the upcoming EU referendum were inverted. Imagine the UK is currently an independent, self-governing nation deciding whether to join the EU in its current form.

For the sake of membership, would you surrender your hard won democratic rights to a faux-parliament, an unelected body of 28 commissioners, and seven Presidents you've never heard of? Would you forgo your free-trade agreements with nations of all continents, yield your seat at the World Trade Organisation, and apply a common external tariff to goods and services from your non-European friends, allies, and even developing countries? Would you endorse an institution which has punished and humiliated the people of Spain and Greece, whose officials go unscrutinised and are more corruptible to corporate interests, with a megalomaniacal fetish for increasing bureaucratic centralisation? Would you pay nearly £20 billion per year for the privilege of all this?

I really do believe that the people of Britain would not concede to opting-in to this disastrous arrangement, no matter how well-intentioned it was it its conception. Of course we want a union with European countries; but it doesn't have to be this European Union. Modern international cooperation does not have to be a fully-fledged, federal political union: on matters of crime, we would have Europol operational support; on matters of defence, we have NATO; on matters of commerce we would have free-trade deals, EFTA, and the WTO; on matters of human rights, international law, and democracy we have the 47-state Council of Europe; on matters of international study, we would still have Erasmus, and; for all Eurovision matters, we would still have the European Broadcasting Union.

Britain’s place shouldn't be as a star on someone else’s flag; Britain should take up its mantle as a global nation. The primary function of international trade is to source goods that your own country does not produce but other counties do, whether it be due to geographical, climate, or manufacturing circumstances. We import sugar cane, tobacco, garments, minerals, and other natural resources precisely because the geography of the UK prohibits us from producing these goods ourselves – a geography we share with many of the 28 EU member-states. It’s therefore ludicrous that we apply harsh, protectionist tariffs and standardisation barriers to the remaining 168 countries of the world who want to sell us goods that only they can produce, and in turn want to purchase goods that only we produce.

Europe and Antarctica are the only continents on the globe with shrinking economies. The hubs of commercial power in years to come are the rapidly developing economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. It’s in our national interest to seize the economic agenda of the 21st century and be the pioneers of global trade and economic cooperation who look to these newly industrialised and developing countries.

I’m no ‘little Englander’. Whilst the 20th century needed continental integration to rebuild after the war, the direction of the 21st century goes far beyond arbitrary regionalist boundaries – it’s time the UK embraced the rest of the world by voting to leave.

A Case for Brexit: The UK Should Seize the Global Agenda of the 21st Century A Case for Brexit: The UK Should Seize the Global Agenda of the 21st Century Reviewed by Student Voices on 14:36 Rating: 5

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