Writing this piece, for this magazine, I feel like a Spartan at Thermopylae. I feel like a soldier at Rorkes Drift, I feel like one of ‘The Few’ in 1940. But like all of these great people, I must do my duty and write my piece. All of these delusions of grandeur pale into the upmost insignificance if you realise I'm writing this from a field in France.
But that is my point.
I will start by saying I love Europe, that I'm not a racist, and that yes, you can have these two qualities and vote to ‘Leave’. If one describes the predicament in terms of a building, the EU is a house, and the UK is the prospective buyer. There is huge potential in the plot the house is sitting on, but the house itself is old, crumbling, unattractive and doesn't fit any of the requirements for the modern age. Do you restore and bring the house back to its state of uselessness? Or do you tear it down and start again.
The EU as an entire entity, is flawed. When the original Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957, so close to the end of the war; where heroes sacrificed themselves to end tyranny and restore freedom, justice and democracy to a wounded world, I ask this: would they, if alive today, accept an undemocratic autocracy, centred in one European city, having total supremacy over everything people should and shouldn't do?
To you all, I say no.
Look at the financial systems of Greece, Italy and Spain and ask yourselves, 10 years after the crash, why are they still so completely and utterly broken? The answer is simple, it suits the manufacturing nation of Germany and the agrarian nation of France to have their shared currency weakened, so that their exports are cheaper to the wider world. If you don't believe me, who pushed so hard for the Greek bailout? Germany? Why are Italian banks still being bailed out? Because, the ECB's fiscal policy was designed to help the strongest nations in Europe weather the storm, and let the smaller boats plunge to the icy depths.
Year on year, the EU's share of global GDP falls, year on year, the Greek, Spanish and Italian economies slide further down, and these people, this system, this Pan-European Racketeering monopoly, which rivals only the Peaky Blinders in its open and brutal efficiency, rolls on, telling all what is good for them, and destroying all those who stand in their way. And yet. All the best rebellions are built on hope, and in our green and pleasant land, hope abounds. For there is a better path, a Golden Mean, a British way.
This is the way of Brexit, which stands as a shining bastion in a world of misery, and that's just the Labour Party... There is no hard Brexit, there is no soft Brexit, nor (sadly) a red, white and blue Brexit. You cannot be a member of the EU without being in the single market, and you cannot be in the single market without accepting freedom of movement. Therefore we must leave the failing concept of the EU. Nations such as Sweden have suspended Schengen, others have built border fences. The migrant crisis has been created and exacerbated by contradictory EU policy, the utterances of a "Liberal" German Chancellor, who voted against Gay Marriage, and a humanitarian mission that only encourages more boats into the water.
Britain does not need to go down with the sinking ship, we aren't the captain, we aren't the first officer and much like Rose, our heart will go on. We can and we will forge new, bold and expansive free trade agreements with the USA, India and Canada while returning to old friends, abandoned by our great nation while our hands have been tied behind us by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. The EU never liked us, they merely relished our finances. They are losing their 3rd biggest contributor, their biggest trading partner, and their bridge to the world.
We are not pulling up the drawbridge or going into splendid isolation, rather we are removing the shackles, and taking our first steps to freedom. I tell you this: if we, as a country, had never stood up to those who tried to put us down, or tell us we were wrong, we would not be the great nation we are today. We would not stand, proudly, as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
A great man once said that more people worship the rising sun than the setting one, and the EU's sun has already set.