THE European Union wastes too much of your money. It pokes its nose in where it is not needed and it gets too much in the way of British businesses when it should be bending over backwards to help.
Before becoming an MP I started up a printing firm. It still operates more than 20 years later even though it was a struggle in the early days.
When we were trying to hire people red tape, some of it pumped out from Brussels, made it harder to create jobs.
Since then working in Government has made me more sceptical about the EU, not less. Radical change is needed.
If you are tired of people coming here purely to claim benefits rather than to work, I hear you.
If you are sick of EU bureaucrats trying to give prisoners the vote, I hear you.
If you think it is about time we brought some powers back to Britain’s Parliament and then had a proper in/out referendum on our membership of the EU, I hear you.
If you want real change you have to vote for it. And you have to vote Conservative on May 22 in the European Parliamentary elections.
Change will not happen if you vote for Ed Miliband’s Labour Party or the Lib Dems because they want to tangle us further in European laws.
Nigel Farage has been taking people for mugs and making it up as he goes along
Change will not happen if you vote Ukip either. It is no surprise that EU President Jose Manuel Barroso says he “likes” having Ukip MEPs in Brussels because all they do is shout from the sidelines. They cannot deliver anything.
Let me deal with Ukip head-on because these elections matter.
Nigel Farage may be good with a joke and a pint but he does not have a plan to secure Britain’s future, or to get the change in Europe that we need.
As he himself admits Ukip cannot deliver anything it says.
Farage has been taking voters for mugs in this campaign, repeatedly saying one thing and then doing another.
He claimed migrants were taking British jobs then hired his German wife as a secretary and left you the taxpayer picking up the bill.
He (rightly) attacked EU waste but then voted against David Cameron’s plan to slash more than £8billion from the EU budget.
Farage also claims he is “not a career politician” but has tried six times to become a Ukip MP in Parliament.
The list goes on. Farage says immigration needs to be controlled and I agree but he opposed the Government’s Immigration Bill, which is bringing in rigorous new border controls.
Farage has tried to claim Ukip is not a racist party. So why did he ask Zimbabwean builder Andre Lampitt, who said Africans should “kill themselves”, to appear in Ukip’s political broadcasts?
Why did he go further and ask Lampitt to stand as a Ukip candidate on May 22? This goes to the heart of Ukip’s problem: it is not credible.
Here’s another example: Ukip claims that reform of the Common Fisheries Policy is one of its “main campaigning issues” because it leads to the discarding of dead fish but when it had a real chance to do something about it and support a proposal in the European Parliament to end discards of dead fish, what did it do?
Ukip sat on the fence and abstained.
Farage did not even bother to turn up.
Again and again in this campaign we have seen the same old pattern. Farage is a skilful TV performer but on the serious issues he is making it up as he goes along.
Ukip cannot deliver the real changes in Europe that people want to see because it does not have a plan for Britain’s future.
So what is the Conservative plan?
It’s simple: Yes to the Single Market.
Yes to turbo-charging free trade. Yes to working together where it boosts British jobs. No to benefits tourism.
No to “ever closer union” in the EU. No to unnecessary interference on how we tackle crime and justice.
Some people say we’ll never do it. Well they used to say that about vetoing an EU treaty because it was not in Britain’s interests, about getting us out of Labour’s euro bailouts that would have cost billions and about cutting the EU budget for the first time in its history.
David Cameron has already delivered these things and he has a plan to deliver more.
In a few weeks the polls will open.Think seriously about your vote.
Take a long, hard look at the parties. Can they deliver what they say? Are they credible?
Do they have a track record? These are critical elections. If you pay your council tax and if you want a real say on Europe your vote matters.
Britain is an island. We import 40 per cent of the food we need to survive. We are no longer self-sufficient in oil and gas.
Around us the planet is getting more hazardous. A violent crisis is erupting in Ukraine.
A brutal conflict is disfiguring Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean. Extreme unemployment is scarring families in southern Europe.
Three out of five youngsters in Greece have no work.
Britain needs serious leaders for serious times.
Security cannot be takenfor granted. Prosperity is not something guaranteed just by pulling a lever in the Treasury.
We have to work for it: maintaining our energy sovereignty, keeping a tight control on our borders and locking in recovery at home by working through the Government’s long-term economic plan.
Only the Conservative Party and our Prime Minister David Cameron, with a strong team of Conservative MEPs in Europe, can and will deliver economic security at home, real change in Brussels and a better future for Britain.
Crucially we will give you the final say: either to remain in the European Union or to leave it. However first you have to vote for it and you have to vote Conservative on May 22.