We are now in a Parliament which will deliver an in/out referendum on our membership after a renegotiation by the Government.
The following three points must be achieved if any renegotiation is to be successful:
- A sovereign Parliament. The elected representatives of the British people must have the freedom and power to determine the law which governs life in the United Kingdom. Today, EU rules account for 65% of UK law: those rules must be under clearly-accountable democratic control.
- Freedom to trade. Our great country is an outward-looking, internationalist trading nation. Of course we should trade tariff-free with the nations of Europe but we must have the freedom to trade with the whole world too.
- Power over our own borders. It is abundantly clear British voters expect their Parliament to determine our immigration policy. Complete freedom of movement is incompatible with state provision of welfare, health, education and other public services. British immigration policy must be made in Britain.
Who doubts we need peace, free trade, the rule of law and fundamental liberties in Europe? That is not in question. Whether our Parliament and the people it represents are sovereign, if we may trade freely with the world and the origin of our migration policy are to be decided.
In the fog of detail and clash of personality which will ensue, a successful renegotiation of our relationship with the rest of Europe rests on these three: a sovereign Parliament, freedom to trade and power over our own borders.