UKIP Uncovered
What motivates the leaders of the United Kingdom Independence Party?

Sunday, April 10, 2005 

UKIP offer to Eurosceptics

The following is quoted from a report in The Scotsman, linked here:
The eurosceptic UK Independence Party today offered to give a free run in the upcoming General Election to any Conservative or Labour candidate who declared that they want to take Britain out of the European Union.

Ukip MEP Nigel Farage said the party would not run against any candidates from the major parties who publicly stated their intention to seek Britain’s withdrawal from the EU’s political structures.

His offer will be seen as an appeal particularly to eurosceptic Conservative MPs who are fearful of seeing their support squeezed on May 5 if there is a repeat of Ukip’s strong showing in last June’s European Parliament elections, when it took 16% of the vote.

Mr Farage told BBC1’s Breakfast With Frost that Ukip hoped to gain a “toehold” at Westminster on May 5, and had “real chances” in around 20 seats.

Many of Ukip’s key target seats are in Devon and Cornwall, where it was the largest single party in last year’s Euro-election.

Mr Farage said that Ukip’s General Election ambition was “getting our first toehold in Westminster”.

He added: “What we’ve got to do here is look at the 21 constituencies in which we came first on June 10 last year and to try to secure – even if it’s just a handful – victories in those seats.

“Once the Ukip voice is heard in Westminster, I’m sure it will grow very rapidly indeed.

“We have got real chances in up to 20 seats.”

Ukip would be willing to step back and make way for any Conservative or Labour candidate who announced that they wanted an “amicable divorce” from the EU and a return to a free-trade relationship with the continent, said Mr Farage.

“In those circumstances, I can’t envisage that Ukip would run a candidate against anyone saying that,” he said. “But none of them are.

“What’s a eurosceptic? Just saying you are doubtful about it, that you don’t like elements of it, attacking the symptoms but not the cause, really isn’t good enough.”

posted by Martin |7:33 PM
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