In order to afford the infrastructure and services that go with a modern society, we need a strong economy.
Now that the EU has become, by stealth, an integral part of almost everything that goes on in the UK, is our continuing membership on current terms going to provide long-term growth in an ever more competitive world?
At present the EU appears in practice to mean ever greater regulation, bureaucracy and cost plus ever slower decision-making (eg delaying broadband improvements and hundreds of thousands of tons of wasted fish).
With local government facing continued reductions in funding, why are inefficient EU institutions seeing increases?
Local authorities are producing 15-year local plans which are partly based on population estimates.
However if the UK has minimal control over EU immigration, how reliable are those estimates and consequently the plans going to be?
Critics of giving the British people a vote on how this country is actually run cite grave economic consequences.
The same was said about staying out of the Euro.
Those who softly believe ‘working together within the current system with our partners’ will produce the necessary changes are deluded at best.
That approach will disguise business as usual.
If the EU prospers so does the UK, but if it cannot fundamentally reform then that will not happen and the UK will need to decide whether it is better off having the freedom to operate independently.
A policy of time-limited negotiations followed by an in/out referendum provides the means for the UK to have a clear and real choice in its economic and democratic future.