Britain stands on the edge of a golden age of independence – but there’s still a long way to go to get a good deal – The Sun

THE hour of liberation is fast approaching – Independence Day is almost here.

At the end of this week, after 47 years of misrule by Europe’s unelected, unaccountable bureaucracy, Britain will become a sovereign nation once again.

To Leave voters, this is a moment for celebration. At times since the decisive referendum vote in 2016, it looked as if Brexit would remain a distant fantasy, thanks to the determination of much of the pro-EU establishment to overturn the result.

But in the end, the will of the public has prevailed over federalist ideology. The dream of national freedom is about to become a reality.

This change in status will represent a daunting challenge for Britain. No longer a regional province in the EU’s empire, we will take charge of our own destiny, with control over our economy, borders, laws, trade and justice system.

With self-governance comes tremendous responsibility – and doubts and concerns about trade deals. But our nation can rise to the test.

Indeed, Brexit could be the cue for the renewal of our institutions and the rebirth of our democracy.

After all, we have achieved so much in the past as an independent nation, pioneering Parliamentary rule, leading the Industrial Revolution, and defeating tyranny in two World Wars.

Given this heritage, there is no reason why Britain cannot embrace a new era of greatness.

Remoaner gloom

Yet that is not how the embittered Remainers see our future. Immersed in their worship of Brussels, obsessed with goal of European integration at the expense of nationhood, they continually preach the gospel of defeatism and despair.

According to their gloomy propaganda, Brexit is a disastrous mistake, which will leave Britain hopelessly in decline.

In their view, our country cannot survive on its own. The cold winds of isolation will be felt outside the warm embrace of the EU federation.

This is the message that the pro-EU brigade has been peddling for years, ever since the referendum was first proposed.

During the 2016 campaign, the Government embarked on its notorious Project Fear, full of grim warnings about the dire consequences of abandoning our EU membership.

One Treasury paper predicted that a vote for Leave would “represent an immediate and profound shock to the economy,” followed by a massive rise in unemployment and a meltdown in sterling.

But these dire forecasts have not been realised. Instead, since 2016, the British economy has proved to be remarkably robust.

There has been no recession, no collapse in the property market, no explosion in the dole queues. On the contrary, the British jobs miracle has continued to accelerate.

Only last week, official figures revealed that unemployment is down to its lowest level since 1974, while the national workforce is at its largest in history.

Particularly striking is the rise in self-employment to over five million, which indicates that the culture of enterprise is flourishing.

Cash pouring into Britain

Investors have not been deterred by Brexit.

According to the Financial Times, “UK equities are positioned to outperform their peers in Europe and the USA."

Manufacturing is also poised to prosper. Last week a survey by the Confederation of British Industry highlighted the biggest surge in confidence within this sector on record.

Commenting on the “bullish” economic mood in Britain, the distinguished German journalist Alexander Von Schoenburg, editor-at-large of the bestselling BILD newspaper, wrote last weekend: “I see a nation with a strong sense of purpose, built on trust in its own capabilities and a powerful economy.

"I see a vibrant, open place that can attract huge amounts of foreign investment, has an unrivalled record in business start-ups and is a global pioneer in scientific and genetic research.”

Von Schoenburg is right. Our independent future can be a golden one. Already the International Monetary Fund, which in 2016 warned of recession, now predicts that over the next two years, economic growth will be twice as fast in the UK as in any other G7 state in Europe.

Strong and stable system

What the pessimists ignore are the huge advantages held by Britain, like the global dominance of the English language, the cultural reach of our arts, music and entertainment industries, the strength of our financial services and the solidity of our political system – which was recently demonstrated again in the defeat of Jeremy Corbyn’s quasi-revolutionary Labour party.

A recent poll of 1,600 chief executives, carried out by the consultancy firm PwC, found that the UK is increasingly attractive to global businesses looking for growth and investment opportunities.

Commenting on the survey, PwC’s chairman Kevin Ellis said that “viewed against the turbulent global backdrop, the UK is a beacon of relative stability.”

Indeed, on the eve of Brexit, the real crisis is faced, not by Britain, but by the EU and its member states.

Whereas Britain can show its dynamism by the embrace of global competition and commerce, Europe is still trapped in outdated economic structures, characterised by heavy regulation, state intervention and unaffordable welfare.

Almost every European nation is now in trouble, dragged down by sluggish growth and political dislocation.

While Germany hovers on the brink of recession, France is in turmoil because of ferocious opposition to attempts by President Macron’s Government to reform its vast public sector and expensive pension schemes.

Spain is now in the grip of socialism, Italy in economic sclerosis. Ireland’s current General Election is unlikely to give any one party more than 25 per cent of the vote, a recipe for more fragility.

EU on the brink

For the EU itself, Brexit represents a threat to its very existence.

That is not just because of the loss of Britain’s budget contributions, significant though they are.

It is more because if Britain prospers outside the EU, then the justification for Brussels rule would be permanently demolished.

All the claims about the necessity of political integration would be exposed as delusions. That is why pro-EU campaigners so dread the possibility of a booming Britain on the continent’s doorstep.

Our success would be the EU’s nightmare.

There is, of course, no guarantee that Britain will flourish.

There could be difficult times ahead, prompted by a global recession or the refusal of the USA to reach a trade deal because of security objections to the involvement of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei in our broadband network.

Equally, the EU might prove tough in its own negotiations with us about a trade agreement. Already this week the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has warned that the EU has “the upper hand” and the “stronger team”.

But the cause of British independence has triumphed over serious obstacles in the recent past.

With determination and vision, our country can do so again, emboldened by the taste of freedom.

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