Mike Penning claims the UK will be ‘better off outside the EU’ as he confirmed he will vote to leave the union.
The MP for Hemel Hempstead said he will be voting, not as an MP, but for ‘what I believe to be best for my family and for our country’.
“I simply believe that we in the UK are better off in control of our own laws, courts and borders,” he said.
“We should take back our sovereignty so that laws affecting the way we live are made by the MPs we elect to represent us at Westminster. It is as simple as that.
“It has been my long-held view that the UK is better off out of the EU and that view remains unchanged.
“I fought against proposals to join the Euro more than a decade ago. It is now clear that joining the Euro would have been an economic disaster for this country given the recent troubles in the Eurozone.
“Now, the same people who said our economy could not survive if we didn’t join the Euro are saying a vote to leave the EU will be a disaster. They were wrong then and they are wrong now.”
Mr Penning thinks arguments such as continued peace and the loss of trade are ‘wrong’.
He said: “I have always been concerned that this important debate will be hijacked by personality politics and the politics of fear.
“We can’t let this once in a lifetime opportunity descend into who shouts the loudest.
“The pro-EU lobby will attempt to scare people into voting to remain. They will use arguments such as the EU has ensured continued peace in Europe – wrong, that is down to NATO.
“Or they will say that we will lose trade with the EU – wrong again. The EU needs us a lot more than we need them.
“We are the world’s fifth largest economy and we buy a lot more from them than they buy from us.”
Mr Penning congratulated David Cameron on negotiating a special status for the UK, but described it as ‘not enough’.
On Saturday, the prime minister announced that the date of the in/out referendum is June 23.
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