The Member of Parliament for South Norfolk stated the decision comes down to “whether we want to govern ourselves”, as he declared support for the campaign to leave the European Union ahead of the referendum on June 23.
Conservative Party MP Richard Bacon backed calls to exit the EU after Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent negotiations for a new deal for Britain, which Mr Bacon feels is “not particularly substantial.”
He is one of only two Norfolk MPs to side with the Leave campaign, while in Suffolk — a constituency entirely represented by Tories, including Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich — all MPs support the Remain campaign.
However, in the national picture, there is a much greater split, with both sides drawing extensive support, including the backing of more than 100 Conservative MPs each.
Mr Bacon, a Pulham St Mary resident, said self-government was a major part of Britain’s “cultural identity” throughout hundreds of years of history.
“We have to decide whether we want to be a country where we govern ourselves, where we make our own laws, set our own taxes, issue our own currency and control our own borders,” he told the Diss Express.
“My sense is most people want to be a self governing country.”
Campaigners advocating for Britain to stay in the EU say that membership provides benefits for our businesses, and that leaving would create uncertainty for their trade prospects.
They also argue the flow of young immigrants eager to work boosts economic growth and helps fund public services, and that exiting the EU would damage Britain’s global status in the eyes of other nations.
But Mr Bacon described some arguments of what would happen to Britain if it left the EU as “ignorant scare-mongering” and claimed the country’s future did not depend on “yet another layer of government.”
“The idea that trade can’t happen without all these layers of government is to misunderstand what trade is,” he said.
“There’s no reason why we can’t trade successfully with all the countries in the world, including the ones in the EU.”
On the topic of immigration, Mr Bacon stated Britain should decide who is allowed in based on “what they have got to offer”, like job skills or money to invest.
He added: “I think controlled immigration is generally good for an economy, but you have to be able to manage it.
“We cannot sustain the rate of growth. It’s simply putting too much pressure on the infrastructure of the country.”
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