A political party worker says Britain and Hartlepool would be better off if the country voted to leave the European Union in June’s referendum.
John Tennant, chairman of the Hartlepool branch of Ukip, says time he spent working in the European Parliament convinced him the country would be stronger out of the union.
We would be able to govern ourselves which is essential to democracyJohn Tennant, Ukip Hartlepool chairman
Mr Tennant, 29, worked as a parliamentary assistant in Brussels until 2014.
He says leaving the EU would give Britain control of its own borders and boost business by freeing small firms, including those in Hartlepool, from red tape.
Mr Tennant, who works for North East Euro MEP Jonathan Arnott, said: “Working there really did open my eyes to the mentality of the people who work there.
“A lot of people who work in the European Parliament and for the Commission have this almost blind allegiance to what they call the project.
“On the one hand I admire their honesty that they want this, but at the end of the day this is down to the voters.” He added: “The EU has shown time and time again it has no interest in reforming. It is more interested in introducing its own view of how the EU should work.
“The European Commission is an unelected body that makes its own rules.” Mr Tennant dismissed talk of uncertainty if Britain decided to quit Europe saying: “One thing I am certain of is we won’t have to join the Euro, we won’t have an open immigration policy and we would be able to govern ourselves which is essential to democracy.
“We would have our integrity back I think.”
He added the EU had shown an inability to deal with crises including the current mass migration situation and problems with the Euro.
Voters will go to the polls on June 23.
‘Border control and trade key to in/out debate’
Numerous issues are likely to help decide whether Britain stays or decides to leave the European Union.
John Tennant, chairman of Hartlepool’s Ukip branch, gave his views on the issues of trade and border control.
Trade – Prime Minister David Cameron has said being part of the single market allows UK businesses to trade without the threat of tariffs and leaving could cost jobs.
But Mr Tennant said: “Jobs are not decided by politics, jobs are decided by business.
“The real jobs under threat are 73 British MEPs and one commissioner.
“Britain has to leave so we can decide our own trade deals with the rest of the world.”
Border Control – Mr Tennant said the EU’s open border policy threatens Britain’s national security.
He said: “We have one of the strictest immigration policies for the rest of the world in English history.
“We cannot introduce our own policy while we remain in the union.”