The first duty of any British government is to act, entirely, in Britain’s interest. It’s what it was voted in to do, what it is paid to do. Thus it must allow this country to disentangle itself from the wreckage of the European Union. If it does not, then Britain may well go down with it. The financial and economic turbulence created by the euro’s almost inevitable collapse will hit us. Of course it will. But unless we start to move now, the damage to this country will be all the greater. A year ago €100bn (£80.2bn) would have settled the markets for months on end; this week, the panacea lasted a mere four or five hours. Spanish, Italian and other bond spreads merely hiccupped on their way towards new highs. Getting out will not be painless, but staying in could certainly be fatal.
Nigel Farage is leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party and MEP for South East England.
The UK should not leave the EU – the single market has greatly strengthened the British economy. To continue trading so much with the rest of Europe, the UK would still have to follow the rules set to regulate the single market. But from outside the EU, we would have no influence over what rules are set. Much better to be in the club and able to shape their design. The EU also plays an important role over energy and climate policy, both linked to future economic growth. Europe needs a modernised and extended electricity grid, including a North Sea grid. Building this would enable the UK to harness enormous quantities of offshore wind power, thus increasing UK energy security as the oil and gas runs out. It would be possible if the UK leaves the EU, but easier and more efficient if we remain a member.
Stephen Tindale is an associate fellow at the Centre for European Reform.