THE BLOG

Man or Woman, Every Briton Should Be Fighting to Return Power and Democracy to Our Great Nation

08/03/2016 08:29 GMT | Updated 09/03/2017 10:12 GMT

In a world obsessed with identity politics I want to bring things back to basics and explain why I believe we should leave the EU and why I think gender has absolutely nothing to do with it.

I run my own business (I am a physiotherapist with my own practice), I stood for parliament in Ashfield at the 2015 General Election, I'm a District Councillor and I am a Director of Grassroots Out, the campaign for Britain to leave the EU. In short, I am a busy, politically motivated person who happens to be a woman.

I grew up understanding that my life and ambitions were my responsibility. As a child my parents provided for me and nurtured me, they helped me to become self reliant and to get ready to shoulder the burdens of adulthood. My local community was a safe place where I was known and was given the freedom to take those first steps. Because of this, I believe the most important support structures in our lives are the most local. We need strong families and strong communities.

Beyond that we do need certain centralised services to be run by a central government; education, justice, hospitals, major infrastructure and so on. Those services are, of course, paid for by us through a centralised tax system. The most important aspect of this system is that we get to vote on the people that we entrust with spending our hard earned money for the common good. If a majority don't like what the government is doing then they will get voted out.

This is very basic but it is of vital importance in the EU debate.

When the EEC was formed the public was led to believe that we were joining a free trading community. That seemed sensible enough.

However, as many people warned at the time, a political union has been slowly imposed on us without our consent. The formation of the single currency, the dissolving of national borders, powers over justice, policing, social policy being ceded to the EU. We regularly hear members of the European Commission suggesting tax raising powers, the formation of a European army and a common European foreign policy.

The most disturbing thing about the European Commission is that these people who rule over us are unelected.

British voters have no way of getting rid of the EU Commission. If we don't like the decisions that they are making on our behalf there is nothing we can do to rectify this. Because we are in the EU, we, the British voter is powerless. There is no democratic accountability.

This is the reason the EU Commission do not respect and fear public opinion - because public opinion is worthless.

The EU Commission are remote and unaccountable yet they can spend our money as they choose.

I believe that government should be as close to the people as possible and the EU is the antithesis of that.

People complain that Westminster is too remote from their everyday lives and yet seem unconcerned by the EU having more and more power over our everyday lives.

That's why I'm out every weekend knocking on doors and talking to people about the EU referendum.

While we remain ruled by the EU, Britain will remain undemocratic.

Returning power and democracy to our great nation is something that every proud Briton, should be fighting for, regardless of whether they are man or woman.

Helen Harrison is director of Grassroots Out