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EU In or Out? Graham Stringer MP says reform ‘fantasy and UK should Vote Leave’

SalfordOnline.com has invited all three local MPs to write their own pieces on whether the country should Vote Leave or Vote Remain in the 23 June EU Referendum.

Graham Stringer is the MP for Blackley and Broughton. He is the former head of Manchester City Council.

In Parliament, he sits on transport and science select committees, as well as the European Scrutiny Committee.

He has been appointed to both the board and campaign committee for the Vote Leave campaign.

He writes….

If we weren’t in the EU would we join?

I think the answer would be an emphatic no.

Why would we hand over control of the majority of our laws and pay for the privilege? And not a trivial sum either. Every week the EU bill is £350 million.

Less than half of this comes back for projects with strings attached by the European Commission and there is a small rebate likely to disappear in four years.

Of course the bill will get larger, and we will receive less back, as poorer countries like Albania, Serbia, Kosovo, Turkey and Ukraine join.

To make matters worse joining would give the right to 550 million people to move to this country whether they had skills which we need or not.

If we wouldn’t vote to lose control of our borders, money and laws, we should now vote to leave.

I find the Labour Party’s position in the EU debate distressing and contradictory.

The leadership claim that the EU can be reformed and put a stop to austerity. This is fantasy on stilts.

The EU need our money but have refused any meaningful reform even though they know we may leave. There is no chance of persuading the other 27 countries of the necessary Treaty changes.

Worse than that, the anti-democratic nature of the EU is fuelling support for parties of the extreme right. As an example Austria recently came within an electoral whisker of electing a president with a fascist pedigree.

Labour’s argument that the EU can protect workers’ rights is laughable. Look at Greece; collective bargaining rights withdrawn, pensions destroyed and privatisation enforced.

Almost unnoticed the European Court of Justice has made decisions to undermine national minimum wage legislation and the right to strike (the Lovell and Viking decisions).

It is ironic that the Labour Party during this debate chooses to support a Cameron and Osborne led Conservative government, which has given us the Bedroom Tax and austerity, in order that the EU can protect us from the same government. Bonkers!

We should be voting out which will put an end to this Tory government. Sadly the Labour Party is so out of touch with its core supporters, who have been damaged by the Tories and the EU, it has made a disastrously wrong choice.

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.