David Campbell Bannerman is a Conservative MEP for the Eastern Region. Follow David on Twitter.
Recently I was informed that a UKIP Dorset branch had burnt me in effigy for returning to the Conservative Party. I was also physically threatened by a senior UKIP member. Neither was it easy or comfortable to let down good UKIP people who had backed me. I was accused of personal ambition for leaving.
But the reality was much simpler: I put my country first, and I had seen first hand that only the Conservative Party could save our nation from immersion in a United States of Europe that has been so often denied as fantasy, but is now being openly advocated by Angela Merkel, as the Chancellor of Germany and by the President of the European Commission, Mr Barroso.
If you believe in leaving the European Union, as two thirds of Conservatives believe or three-quarters according to the latest ConHome poll, what are the choices? Clearly the Lib Dems are predominantly arch EU federalists. Labour are a million miles away from Old Labour’s 1983 manifesto advocating withdrawal. So the choice is: a UKIP Government or a Conservative commitment to an In/Out Referendum.