Tuesday, 10th July 2012
Back in the Seventies, just before we joined the Common Market, as the EU was called back then, The Who wrote that great song, "Won't get fooled again".
But in the last 40 years, we've been fooled time and time again. We were told our membership of Europe was about trade and opening up markets to British goods.
Instead we got political interference, endless rules and regulations, our fish stocks plundered and foreign criminals claiming the 'right to a family life' in Britain. Sound like a free trade agreement to you? No, me neither.
Now David Cameron is trying to do it again. His 'cast-iron guarantee' on an EU referendum, made in the pages of The Sun, soon rusted.
His next con-trick will be telling you he needs a chance to renegotiate and make a deal. This newspaper is right to look at the possibility of recalibrating our relationship with Brussels but I am sceptical we would ever get the best deal for Britain.
Any agreement needs to be agreed by all the other countries in the EU. It would be like trying to have an amicable divorce with 26 ex-partners who are all blaming you for their problems. Partners who cost you £50 million a day, by the way. They are not going to send us home with a box of Belgian chocolates and a bottle of French red.
At the very best, Mr Cameron will arrive back from Brussels, cheeks flushed with victory, telling us we're just in the 'single market' now and that means trade - nothing more, nothing less.
The single market cripples British businesses. The single market is responsible for all those health and safety regulations and environmental directives this newspaper has campaigned against for years. More than that, if we stay part of it, we still won't be able to strike trade deals with the rest of the world.
While China, Brazil, India and the rest of the Commonwealth flourish, we will be handcuffed to the EU, with their sky-high unemployment rates, doomed single currency and economies set to stagnate for the next ten to 20 years.
Every year, the EU sells us £52 billion more goods than we buy from them. We have more of a taste for German cars than they do for Scotch whisky and it is nonsense to suggest they will refuse to sell us another Merc if we left the EU.
Renegotiation is an option but not a solution. The British people deserve a true choice in a straight in/out referendum. Mr Cameron does not want you to have one in case you don't give him the answer he wants, which is to stay in the EU. But only after a NO vote could we get that free trade deal. You know, the one we thought we'd signed up to in 1975.
62 per cent of Sun readers do not trust the Prime Minister. This gives me hope. Do me a favour, have a listen to that old The Who song on iTunes and don't be fooled again.