Listening to the developments in the EU debate, there appears to be a real prospect of the EU itself and big business influencing the vote in their favour.

It is important that David Cameron sets an even playing field for both the in and out campaign, by ensuring that there is no outside interference and that there is purdah, etc.

There is no reason to fear an out vote, the real fear should be for an unfair vote, one that is against the wishes of the UK electorate.

Whatever the outcome, the UK will succeed.

A country that rebuilt from scratch after two wars will not crumble with worldwide connections, like the underestimated commonwealth of 2.3 billion people, a t hird of the world’s population and another 300 million people in the USA.

If UK businesses cannot find 400 million consumers from this 2.3 billion people to replace the lost trade from the EU, then perhaps the harsh legacy of colonisation needs to be revisited and put right.

Then, of course, there are the 300 million potential consumers in the USA. The UK has more than enough to succeed with or without the EU.

There is a pro-European argument that we need to be in the EU so we can set EU trading standards.

True, but it is not a plausible argument for losing UK sovereignty.

The world is full of countries whose internal rules we do not interfere with, but we still trade with them.

This argument ignores the tremendous powers the UK has to set trading standards for the commonwealth, a third of the world’s population.

It is like chasing thin air to focus on just EU standard setting when we could be doing much more besides. The UK has a lot in its favour than it has against it.

There is a new growing argument that the UK should be in the EU to eliminate future European wars.

However, the biggest factors that could lead to another European war is the current status quo where there is little room for national sovereignty or national expression.

A status quo where one or two countries have undue powers in the EU and virtually tell everyone else what to do, has no long-term future.

In the short term, it is really only tolerable for countries that are net beneficiaries from the EU project.

The reality is that it is a source of sustained irritation for countries that are net contributors to the EU project.

It is important that the UK has a free and fair vote on the EU issue.

The UK government should not fear an out vote. It should be prepared to work with whatever the UK electorate fairly decides.

Nneka Akwaeze

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