Principal of the College of Naturopathic Nutrition explains why he is voting Leave

By Hermann Keppler, Principal CNM

Many people have asked me whether I’m in favour of the UK leaving or staying in Europe. Here is my short statement about why I’m in favour of leaving.

I believe in the freedom to choose what kind of healthcare one wants and in the freedom to speak and to educate.  EU bureaucrats no longer allow EU citizens to talk about the healing properties of foods and plants which have been around for generations.

EU Commissioners have not been elected by the public. EU commissioners have been appointed and are not elected by EU members. They make decisions whether we like them or not. They are not accountable to EU MPs or EU public. We can’t vote EU commissioners out if we don’t agree, and we can’t contact them to discuss concerns.

Cronyism flourishes where there is a lack of democracy. British MEP Daniel Hannan says that there are estimated to be around 25,000 lobbyists in Brussels, ‘plying their trade as big business makes links with those who make the laws’.  He gives the following example about natural health products:

  • Twenty million citizens around the EU make use of complementary health products, but in 2005, the EU began to regulate higher-dose vitamin and mineral supplements, herbal remedies and other alternative medicines.  In 16 years as an MEP, I have never had so many letters and emails from worried constituents, for whom this was a burning issue.
  • Why did the EU want to ban or restrict substances that were at best health-giving and at worst harmless?  Regulation should be brought in only proportionately and only where there is an identified need. Of course, Eurocrats see it differently.  In their view, ‘unregulated’ is synonymous with ‘illegal’. 
  • Some of the large pharmaceutical companies, well understanding the Eurocrat mindset, saw an opportunity to put their smaller rivals out of business.  The new legislation required expensive tests that the big companies could afford, but which were beyond the means of small producers.  As independent herbalists reduced the range of what they could sell, and in some cases went out of business altogether, the giants assumed a larger market share. Now, who gained from that procedure and who lost? The multi-nationals did very well out of it, obviously.  Consumers did badly.

Daniel Hannan also points out that the EU uses cash to support its backers and fund influencers, and to pay generous salaries and perks to ‘Eurocrats’ who of course have an interest in maintaining their privileges.

My personal preference  for ‘Brexit’ is based on pro-freedom of choice, and pro-democracy.  If politics are back in British hands MPs can better represent their voters’ thoughts, and they are accountable at the ballot box.

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