THE key argument for Brexit is what it always has been. Nothing to do with immigration, trade, or wealth in any way. Independence, self-determination, sovereignty are what it is all about. In perhaps the best word – democracy.

Our British democracy might well be flawed. But we can, and do, throw out governments. How can we throw out the EU government? We can’t – and not only because 27 other nations would somehow have to be involved. There isn’t an EU government to throw out.

The EU rules through its Commission, a faceless army of technocrats and bureaucrats. The "Commissioners" at its head are, usually, politicians retired or rejected from roles in their own countries. The EU Parliament is a sham, and even the EU Council (of Prime Ministers) exerts little influence on the Commission juggernaut.

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Did you know that the price of curry will rise in December due to a new Commission diktat slashing levels of a pesticide used by farmers in India? The move is taken as a precaution, with not a shred of evidence of need. Japan and the US accept different levels of the pesticide in question. Brexit would allow us to make a similar choice.

Meanwhile another powerful argument for Brexit is highlighted by the stalemate over the Brexit talks. They reveal the sheer disorganisation of the EU. Notoriously, its accounts have never been signed off. In her recent Florence speech, Theresa May promised that Britain would honour its financial commitments.

As I wrote at the time, you would expect nothing else. But the EU complains that we haven’t spelt out our commitments. You would think that these would have been clearly recorded: how much, in lump sums or instalments, at what intervals and over what time. But it seems the EU’s arrangements are so slack that rival sums can virtually be plucked from the air and bandied about endlessly.

There is now a ludicrous suggestion that British planes could be unable to operate in Europe, as though existing landing rights couldn’t simply be transferred, putting Britain on a par with every other independent nation using European airports. Similarly there is no reason why co-operation over crime and scientific research shouldn’t continue as now.

But what is the chief reason our Brexit talks are getting nowhere? It is that most of the British negotiators haven’t got their hearts in it. They have no passion for Brexit, upholding the primacy of our democracy. A surprise? Not really. Despite the lip service all politicians pay to it, many dislike, even distrust, democracy. In power they do their best to frustrate it. They bury bad news and massage language to obscure the truth. The public, really, is a damn nuisance. Granted only after years of pressure, the referendum went ahead only when our rulers were confident it would deliver the pro-EU anti-democracy result they wanted.

But the people demanded Brexit in the biggest-ever electoral turn-out. There are now signs that our resolve is weakening, with a poll showing 47 per cent now favouring Remain against 43 per cent for Leave. An original Remainer, Mrs May has refused to say whether she would vote Leave now. Some leader! We who keep the faith must stick to it – rout the doom-mongers. Or is Britain no longer capable of being great?