Entering Parliament for the first time as an MP can be incredibly affecting. The pomp, the procedures and even the Palace of Westminster itself are steeped in history; reminders are everywhere of our history, the way our democracy has evolved over centuries to lead the world.
The opportunity to play a part in that, and to help shape our country for the better, is what motivated us to become MPs.
So we're inevitably horrified to witness at first hand the erosion of not only our democracy - our very ability to make laws as your elected representatives - but also of our independence, our sovereignty and our national self-belief?
We entered Parliament to represent you, and to fight for what is in our great country's best interests. How then are we to respond to this diluting of our freedom to elect, and hold accountable, those who make our laws? How are we to deal with the collateral damage of probably the most destructive currency union of all time? How are we going to respond to an increasingly reactionary and capricious Commission ranged behind the unaccountable figure of Jean Claude Juncker?
The United Kingdom is the fifth biggest economy in the world, the eighth biggest manufacturer. Our universities, judicial system, culture, and our historic values of equality and human rights are the envy of the world. None of this is dependent on being in a Cold War-era trade bloc, and it certainly isn't dependent on the abdication of our decision-making to an undemocratic political union.
No, as a nation, our success has always stemmed from our ability to reach beyond our comfort zone, to seek out new opportunities and alliances. That proud history of trade, cooperation and friendship stretches far beyond the protectionist wall which now keeps us shackled to the slowest growing populated continent on the planet.
We have a permanent bond, formed by our shared history and cemented by our values, with the United States of America. Even without a trade deal, something that has been denied to us by the EU, the US and the UK are each other's single biggest investors. In fact more dollars are traded here than across the Atlantic.
We are leading members of a Commonwealth of 2.3billion potential consumers in countries growing faster than any in the EU. Again our bonds of friendship are inextricably linked to our history, and the opportunities for them and for us of the UK regaining our freedom to trade really do fire the imagination.
Then of course there is the EU itself. We are one of the powerhouses of European trade, innovation and culture and nothing will change that. But we have to accept that the EU is on a different path to us and we need to let them get on with the essential work of shoring up the euro currency and dealing with both the causes and effects of crippling levels of unemployment, particularly for their young people. At this point the single greatest help we can be is to step aside and let them do what is necessary. When we leave, we will become the EU's single biggest trading partner, and it will be in everyone's interests to work together in friendship.
All of this and more is possible if we ignore the doom-mongers. It is clear to us, as members of the 2015 intake of MPs, that the only way to regain our sovereignty and our democracy is to Vote Leave on 23 June.
James Cleverly is the Conservative MP for Braintree
This blog is co-signed by:
Maria Caulfield, Conservative MP for Lewes
Suella Fernandes, Conservative MP for Fareham
Marcus Fysh, Conservative MP for Yeovil
Nusrat Ghani, Conservative MP for Wealden
Andrea Jenkyns, Conservative MP for Morley and Outwood
Kit Malthouse, Conservative MP for North West Hampshire
Scott Mann, Conservative MP for North Cornwall
Tom Pursglove, Conservative MP for Corby
Paul Scully, Conservative MP for Sutton and Cheam
Royston Smith, Conservative MP for Southampton Itchen
Rishi Sunak, Conservative MP for Richmond
Michael Tomlinson, Conservative MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Conservative MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed
David Warburton, Conservative MP for Somerton and Frome
Will Wragg, Conservative MP for Hazel Grove
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