THE BLOG

This Debate Is About the EU, Not About Europe

30/10/2015 12:06 GMT | Updated 29/10/2016 10:12 BST

If you take a look at the pro-EU StrongerIn website, the first thing you will read is the following message - blurting out of the screen in big, bold, white letters: "Britain is stronger, better off and safer in Europe than we would be out on our own."

Let's set this record straight - we love 'Europe'. We just hate the EU!

No one is advocating Britain leaves 'Europe.' No one is suggesting the land mass we are sat on floats further away from the mainland of the continent, or the twenty mile gap between us and our French neighbours be increased.

The word Europe has been used by them for one reason, and one reason alone - to deliberately manipulate the Great British Public.

Although people may not necessarily think we are literally leaving Europe, using 'Europe' rather than the word 'EU' has connotations of detachment and isolationism. While I expect there may be a literal misinterpretation here, there are also the semantics to be considered.

The Great British Public deserves a fair campaign based on the truth and transparency. Therefore, I have taken it upon myself to write this 'dummies guide' to the difference between Europe, the European Union, the Council of Europe and the European Market.

As I am sure you are aware, and as explained above, the referendum approaching us at some time in the near future is regarding our membership of the European Union. Unlike Europe, this is something we are able to leave.

The European Union consists of the European Commission, which make the rules, and the European Parliament, where the MEPs vote on them. As a member of the EU, we must obey these rules and regulations which are often made by these people and institutions in Brussels that we, the voters, cannot hold to account. This is not fair, and it's not democratic.

Our share of the vote in the EU parliament makes up just over 9%. This means we are constantly outvoted on issues which matter to Britain.

The United Kingdom can leave the European Union, and the public will have a say on this in the upcoming referendum. If we decide to vote to leave, we will pull out of this club, allowing British politicians to create our own laws rather than being dictated to."

How about the Council of Europe? The Council is "an international organisation in Strasbourg which comprises of 47 countries in Europe. It was set up to promote democracy and protect human rights and the rule of law in Europe", as it says on its website. It is not an EU institution, so voting to leave in the upcoming referendum will not mean we pull out of the Council. Iceland, Norway and Switzerland all have a seat on this Council - this means they still have an input in major decisions.

The other major differentiation it is important to be aware of is the European Market. This market contains the billions of customers within the European Union which Britain has the potential ability to trade with. Again, Britain does not need to be a member of the EU to access this potential customer base. Many nations around the world have deals with the EU.

Despite the lies we are being told by the Remain campaign, leaving the EU does not mean the United Kingdom will pack up its bags, close the doors, put up a wall all around us and refuse to interact with anyone else.

We were a highly successful trading nation before joining the EEC (European Economic Community), which then morphed into the European Union without the public's agreement. We were led to believe that by joining the Union it would be easier to expand our trading within the member states. This has not been the case. Instead, the EU has discouraged trade with red tape and excessive legislation.

But, to name a few, the Faroe Islands, Albania and South Korea all have smaller populations than the UK, yet they still have their own trade agreements with the European Union. By Leaving we could not only trade with the EU on our own terms, but also with those outside it like China, the US, India, Australia and Canada.

We believe that voters, wherever they decide to put their cross on the ballot paper when the referendum comes, deserve to have a free and fair referendum. We deserve to be told the truth about what we are voting for. Trying to intentionally lie, deceive and scare us is simply wrong. It is not fair in any sense of the word!

When the Great British Public eventually go to the polls to vote in the referendum - whenever David Cameron decides to trust the electorate with our own future - we will not be fooled by lies and emotive language.

Britons love the great, dynamic continent which is Europe.

We want to trade with the EU.

We want to eat European food and travel to European locations.

But it is time to Get Britain Out of the European Union.