The Remain campaign has only one fundamental premise: leaving the EU is a risk. That’s it.
The role of the Leavers is to explain why people should take that chance.
There are two parts to this. First of all, the Remain campaign massively exaggerates the likely impacts of Brexit. There is no reason to suppose that the British government or EU institutions would behave in the irrational and self-defeating manner the Remainers impute to them.
Second, there is no need to exaggerate the benefits of leaving the EU. Britain is an important global power. Britain is a founder member of NATO, a founder member of GATT, a founder member of EFTA, and a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
Leaving the EU is not a “leap in the dark”, as David Cameron so insulting scorns independent self-governance. Leaving the EU is as much about holding onto what we have as it is about bringing powers back.
Yes, independent trade, aid, energy, environmental, agricultural and fisheries policies are worth having for their own sake, but in an economy that is increasingly global, Britain needs a more flexible interface to the rest of the world than EU representation allows.
That means recovering and enhancing the ability of national electorates and democratic citizens to hold their governments to account, working together with international partners where possible and exercising a national veto or right of reservation where necessary.
Britain and the EU are at a fork in the road in that regard. Only David Cameron claims that Britain can continue as a member of the “ever closer union” club without participating in “ever closer union”. To which one can but ask, “Why?”. If British politicians do not intend to opt-in to further political integration why should Britain remain a member of the EU?
Supranational governance is the raison d’être of the EU institutions. There is no reason for Britain to remain.
Far better for Britain to leave and agree a new relationship with the EU founded upon trade and intergovernmental co-operation. Economic and cultural collaboration and cross-fertilisation do not and never have required a centralising power. Indeed, it is when a strong centralising power has attempted to control the continent that freedom and friendly relations have been threatened.
Without Britain dragging its feet, the EU can move towards its real goal of creating a new political state, while Britain can continue to do what it has always done best—leading in the world, promoting a vision of independent nation-states working together where it suits, but protecting and preserving their uniqueness where appropriate.