Here in the United Kingdom we are lucky enough to have inherited a system of governance based on constitutional monarchy, parliamentary sovereignty and Common Law which have long been tested and tried in our history. On the whole they have percolated from the bottom up, brewed through time and experience – as opposed to being intellectual ideas imposed from above as Roman law and Napoleonic codes are in Europe. These attributes are the envy of the world, as is testified to by the fact that they have been so widely exported to other countries and other regimes. Added to these carefully evolved successes has been our ability to conduct an astute and independent foreign policy, to make fruitful alliances and to maintain world-class military forces famous for their resilience, their traditions and the fact that they draw on men and women from all corners of the kingdom. These resounding successes derived largely from our being an island nation. This meant that we could experiment with and develop our own institutions with a large degree of independence. At many points we capitalised on and made a virtue of that independence and the flexibility it gave us. The essence of conservatism is the ability to recognise, to winnow out and conserve these things that work well. Unfortunately, the original European trading union – the Common Market which we joined in the 1970s – has stealthily evolved into a grand federalist project: a United States of Europe with ever greater union proposed, that threatens to subsume our distinctive identity and achievements in a kind of homogenised continent. It is a semi-utopian project backed up by a technocratic globalist vision which expects to end war forever and to dissolve borders in a dream that John Lennon might have penned. It might speak of respect for national characteristics but de facto routinely supersedes them. For example, it has emerged that, if we stayed on in the European Union we would lose the ability to fashion our own foreign policy, while our military independence as free members of NATO would be abandoned as we became part of an incipient European army. Most people in the UK voted to Leave the EU but it has become apparent, because of the bad faith and obstructing tactics of the last Parliament, that this will only happen if Boris Johnson achieves a real working majority and is able to ratify his hard-won deal. And he will only be able to do this by winning close-run seats like Portsmouth South, where I am standing as the Conservative candidate. When we leave in this way we will be able to reclaim our identity and allow our excellent institutions such as our legislature and our judiciary to function independently again. We will determine our destiny in foreign policy and use our military as we see fit. Another long-developed and carefully nurtured tradition has been our ability to make the most of free trade. Outside the EU’s Customs Union we will be able to make the most of the network the Commonwealth represents, of our special relationship with the US and of the high reputation in which we stand worldwide. Although in a different relationship with the EU, we have well-established relationships with European countries, as is evident in the Entente Cordiale with France, which we will continue to be able to exploit and contribute to. With our technology industries, our world-renowned financial services and the trust-based environment which our legal regimes provide for inward investors, there is no reason why we cannot prosper and go from from strength to strength outside of the European Union.