Ashley Fox is Member of the European Parliament for the South West of England and Gibraltar
Like so many of my constituents, I am unhappy with Britain’s current relationship with the European Union. I firmly believe it has to change. I am delighted that the Prime Minister now wants to renegotiate our membership of the EU and put that deal to the British people in an in/out referendum.
The EU costs Britain too much money and it does not spend the money it has wisely. Brussels has too much power and meddles too much in our daily lives.
I want Britain to be part of a free-trading Europe of sovereign nations, like the EEC we joined in 1973. If the Conservative Party is re-elected in 2015, David Cameron has promised a referendum by the end of 2017, following a period of renegotiation on our terms of membership. I think that it is now time for us to discuss what powers should be brought back to Britain as part of these negotiations.
In my view this should include:
- Regaining control of Employment and Social Legislation – This would include the permanent opt-out of legislation such as the European Working Time Directive. If we want real economic growth then businesses need to be cut free from the red tape and regulation that is so often dreamt up in the corridors of Brussels and then gold plated by our own civil servants.