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Light the Blue Touchpaper

Like a modern version of the gunpowder plot, perhaps one day we will look back and trace Britain's exit from the European Union to a speech given one evening by the Conservative MEP, Daniel Hannan in Thanet; setting light to a political fuse that may lead to an explosion in Brussels later this month.

Hannan is a remarkable figure and an inspiring orator of the kind that no longer exists in modern politics. The last time I came across an intellect as powerful, it was Gary Kasparov and like the former world chess champion, Hannan has an astonishing memory for detail, facts, figures and quotes.

His thesis, is that the European Union was created for the purpose of trade but instead it delivers suffocating regulation into every tiny corner of our lives.

He argues, that from Britain's point of view there is no national benefit to being a member, rather than being a free trade partner like Norway or Switzerland, simply because our balance of trade has moved away from Europe; they need us a great deal more than we need them, as our economy increasingly looks to the United States the Far-east and young nations like Brazil.

What we pay into Europe's tax and regulation coffers each year he claims, would very quickly bring down our own deficit and membership of the EU is strangling our own ability to recover, given that alone of all the members, as we remain outside the faltering common currency we are incrementally rebuilding our battered economy with new jobs and less debt.

Without any shadow of a doubt, Hannan delivered the most stirring and indeed logical, political speech I've every had the privilege of hearing and it's a shame it could not have been played to a national audience, rather than a small room, here in Thanet. However, I firmly believe its message is heard very clearly in the corridors of power, both in Brussels and Westminster and may well prove the prelude to a referendum decision from David Cameron before the month ends.

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