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Margot Parker


Margot Parker is a Member of the European Parliament for the East Midlands region for the UK Independence Party. She was elected in 2014.

One of the key predictions of the ‘Remain’ camp during the referendum campaign was that a United Kingdom which was not part of the EU would be a diminished, isolated country, cut-off from the world and sinking into insignificance and irrelevance.

What has become plain since June 23 is that this is complete and utter nonsense. As we position ourselves to once more embrace the world, it is clear that much of the world is prepared to embrace us right back.

Despite the EU’s heavy-handed prohibitions on the UK starting trade negotiations with other countries, (which in itself is a perfect example of why it was right to vote to leave), we are already seeing countries lining up to trade with us post-Brexit.

At the head of the pack are Australia and New Zealand, who are not only extremely keen to sort out a free-trade agreement as soon as possible – they have even offered to share their expertise in negotiating deals with other countries.

Canada is impatient at the EU-imposed delay in getting things started, doubtless prompted by the slow progress in its existing trade negotiations with the EU.

China, India and the Mercosur countries of South America have all expressed interest in expanding trade with the United Kingdom without the constraints of the EU being in charge of what can be discussed and agreed.

In total, 10 countries have said they want a free trade deal and 17 more have expressed interest in negotiating one. That does not sound like isolation to me, it sounds like opportunity and future mutual prosperity for all involved.

Far from the claim that the UK would be isolated by voting to leave the EU we are seeing the beginnings of global involvement and cooperation not seen since we cut ourselves off from our relationships with the Commonwealth and other countries when we joined the EEC in 1975.

This is particularly encouraging in terms of Africa. Countries such as Ghana are eagerly awaiting the chance to export their agricultural products to us without the burden of EU quotas and punitive import tariffs designed to protect the farming sectors on the continent.

Not only will this lower the cost of the food on our supermarket shelves, it will empower developing economies to become more self-sufficient and lessen their dependence on outside aid.

This means more of our foreign aid money could be better spent on humanitarian and medical interventions and not on building roads and other infrastructure projects countries should do for themselves.

The Prime Minister and the ‘three Brexiteers’ she has appointed to oversee the transition from membership of a closed, protectionist and somewhat isolationist political and economic block into a global-facing independent trading nation are potentially the right people to do the job and I am cautiously optimistic – but we need to see some more solid plans even before we trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty and begin the formal mechanisms of leaving the EU.

Speeches at the Tory conference are one thing – solid, identifiable progress is another. Theresa May, David Davis and Liam Fox are all saying the right things at the moment – all we can hope for is that the obstructionists and die-hard ‘Remainers’ in both houses of parliament, made bitter and resentful by their resounding defeat, let them get on with the job and fulfill the electorally expressed wishes of the British people.

Margot Parker is a Member of the European Parliament for the East Midlands region for the UK Independence Party. She was elected in 2014.

Margot Parker is a Member of the European Parliament for the East Midlands region for the UK Independence Party. She was elected in 2014. Margot is campaigning for Britain to leave the EU.

I love Europe. I love the people, I love the history, I love the culture and diversity of countries which are similar in so many ways yet each distinctive in others.

I have spent many years of my life travelling Europe professionally and for pleasure. There is so much to enjoy and admire.

The EU is not one of those things. It is not only bad for the people of the United Kingdom, it is bad for the people of Europe.

My first exposure to the way the EU operates was when I worked for a trade association of small businesses, representing them in Brussels. I did not go there with any anti-EU feeling or agenda, I went there to try and get the best deal for the association and other small businesses in the UK.

It quickly became obvious the EU is not set up to help the little guy – everything is geared towards making it easier for the big boys to operate and make money. Nothing we said or did had any impact – and it was clear national governments were just as powerless.

That started me thinking. It was not long until I saw what enormous opportunities would be ours for the taking if we left. We could still be good neighbours, trading partners and allies in the fights against international crime and terrorism – we did not have to be in a political union.

We could reclaim our democracy, making sure our laws are made by people we elect – at the moment most of our laws are made by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.

As an MEP I sit on two committees in the European Parliament. One is supposed to help small businesses prosper.

Unfortunately, the EU’s habits of endlessly churning out regulations and drowning small businesses in red-tape have not changed, and indeed show no signs of ever changing.

The other looks at women’s issues and problems relating to persecution of groups. As part of the EU, we are exposed to the migration of enormous numbers of people – some genuine refugees, some economic migrants. If we want to have controlled immigration; to avoid horrendous scenes like those on the streets of Cologne on New Year’s Eve, we have to leave the EU.

I have also worked to highlight the persecution of Christians. Christians and other minorities in many parts of the Middle East are suffering through what can only be called genocide.

Sadly we are seeing this problem being imported into Europe by the migration crisis. Germany is having to set up separate camps and centres to stop women, children, Christians and other groups being attacked and persecuted by their fellow migrants.

There is nothing to fear about leaving the EU and many reasons to be optimistic and hopeful. I see Britain independent from the EU as a confident country free to trade with the whole world, free to make our own laws and free to become ‘great’ again.

For the latest Lincolnshire coverage in the run up to the referendum on June 23, follow the EU Referendum category on The Lincolnite.

Margot Parker is a Member of the European Parliament for the East Midlands region for the UK Independence Party. She was elected in 2014.