There is a major problem with the ‘Take control’ argument, quaint as it is in a kind of ‘Passport to Pimlico’ way. It is called globalisation.
The same people who get upset about the EU 'dictating' our laws on holiday entitlement seem completely unconcerned that most of our large industries are controlled by Indian, Japanese and German companies, or that our new nuclear programme will be run by the Chinese – or indeed that our military strategy is largely directed by the USA.
Whether we like it or not, we now live in an interconnected world that is light years away from the pre-war Britain that the leave camp seems to want to return to. However seductive the idea of ‘taking control’ might be, an increasingly globalised economy means that larger political and trading groups offer more influence and commercial opportunities to their members. Leaving the EU will not deliver a ‘Greater Britain’, it will simply make us a bystander.
Not even the most ardent supporter of the EU would claim that it is working well. It has many problems that need resolving, and quickly. Equally, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being proud of our country, unless that pride is rooted in xenophobia. However, I will be considerably less proud of it if we vote to leave and exacerbate European political and economic tensions, rather than stay in and work to create a more stable, connected and modern world.
A personal view from Mike Ayre (by the way, if the Passport to Pimlico reference didn't make sense, click here !).