A HUGE groundswell of support was last night gathering behind the Daily Express crusade for Britain to quit the European Union.
Senior MPs, peers and campaign groups acclaimed this newspaper’s stand against the sprawling Brussels super-state as a turning point in the battle to win back Britain’s independence.
And Eurosceptic critics of UK membership said the growing financial crisis among the euro nations this week – threatening to cost British taxpayers billions of pounds – has overwhelmingly confirmed the case for British withdrawal.
Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley and a founding member of the Better Off Out group of MPs and peers, led the praise for our crusade last night.
He said: “I think it’s fantastic that the Daily Express sees such a positive future for our country. Britain should be developing trade with China, India, South American and emerging countries in Africa rather than being part of an inward-looking, backward-looking protection racket designed to prop up inefficient European businesses and French farmers.
“As a nation built on trade, we should be ashamed to be members of the EU. It is a major breakthrough for a national newspaper to support the case for British withdrawal.
“The Daily Express and the rest of public opinion are way ahead of a lot of politicians.”
The spiralling cost of Britain’s EU membership – expected to exceed £6billion in net contributions alone next year – was last night being cited as a clear-cut reason for Britain to walk away from the discredited European club.
And the warning earlier this week that UK taxpayers may have to pour billions of pounds more into saving failing euro economies like Greece and Portugal after the Government’s decision to lend £7billion to debt-laden Ireland was understood to be hardening public opinion in favour of withdrawal.
But opponents of European Union are also angry about the threat to Britain’s democracy by meddling Brussels bureaucracy.
Critics claim Britain’s Government has lost control of immigration due to freedom of movement laws for EU citizens.
And the country’s law and order – and basic common sense – are being undermined by the European Convention on Human Rights, which all EU states are obliged to sign up to.
Nigel Farage, Euro-MP and leader of the UK Independence Party, said: “I am delighted to support the Daily Express in its new crusade to liberate our country from the clutches of the European Union. It follows in a fine tradition in which your newspaper has fought for Britain’s liberty.
“I am convinced that the vast majority of ordinary men and women of this country will support your crusade. It will no doubt make the political establishment very uncomfortable. Good, so it should.”
Douglas Carswell, Tory MP for Clacton and a leading critic of the EU at Westminster, said: “There are millions of people across the country who will be right behind this crusade.
“This is a watershed. For the first time, a popular, mainstream newspaper has said we should get out of the EU. It is a significant moment.
“It shows that supporting British withdrawal from the EU is not the preserve of a minority sect but has become part of mainstream opinion. When my grandparents’ generation was locked into the EU, they were told it was about the economy.
“But our priority today should be trade with the world, not just the member states of the EU.”
Lord Stoddart of Swindon, an Independent Labour peer who began campaigning against the Common Market in 1962, also welcomed the Daily Express crusade.
“We should never have joined in the first place. It is extremely expensive, and becoming more expensive all the time,” he said.
“What we should be doing is rebuilding the Commonwealth and going out to build trade with emerging economies like China, India and Brazil. That is where the future for a good, independent country lies. We are, ratchet by ratchet, losing our sovereignty.
“Our Parliament loses power every time an agreement is made. The EU is an undemocratic and dangerous construct.”
Leading Eurosceptic campaign groups were last night swinging behind the Daily Express crusade.
James Pryor, chief executive of the EU Referendum Campaign, said: “When Britain is broke, can we really afford to send £48million a day to Brussels? Around 70 per cent of our laws are now made in Brussels and that is just not democratic.
“The financial crisis over the last 10 days has really woken people up to the scandal of the EU.”
Thursday November 25,2010
By Macer Hall, Political Editor
Source: The Daily Express