Until recently I was in favour of staying in the European Union subject to satisfactory renegotiation by the prime minister.
Regrettably, however,we now know how little Mr Cameron was actually able to achieve in this regard and indeed his shortcomings only enforce the view of people like me, that the EU has much too much power over us, our country and most importantly perhaps our constitution.
As a result, it is now clearly time for doubters like me to reconsider our position in relation to this critically important issue and as a result I am fast coming to the conclusion that “Brexit”, with all its potential issues, is the more attractive option.
However,there are two particular issues of great importance, which we must be convinced on, before finally getting to that stage.
The first is the possible break-up of The United Kingdom if we vote to leave, in which case the Scots will definitely call for another referendum on whether they stay in the UK or not, as they appear to be determined to remain in the EU and bearing in mind the closeness of the last referendum, the strong possibility is that this time they would vote to go.
This would of course be most unfortunate, to put it mildly.
Secondly, if we vote to exit the EU, what will be the effect of that on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic Of Ireland?
Would we have to revert to “triptics”, customs officers and other general border controls, all of which were dispensed with many years ago and made our numerous trips to ‘the South’ somewhat less straightforward as they thankfully are today.
These two specific issues, as well as the many other matters to be considered, are worthy of great consideration and clarification, before one should make any final decision.
One other brief matter I would like to cover is the nonsensical remarks from Sinn Fein and the SDLP, that because of her views on our membership of the EU Theresa Villiers, the secretary of state for Northern Ireland, should resign her position!
Whilst I understand that ‘all Ireland’ nationalists and republicans have political points to try to score, this is far too important an issue to “play politics” with.
Further, because of the enormity of the issue, it is absolutely essential that true democracy must prevail and each and every one of us must be free to argue our points of view and vote as we see fit, right from ‘the man or woman in the street’ up to and including a member of the Cabinet.
Jack Irwin, Bangor (Conservative Party Assembly candidate for Lagan Valley)