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UKIP Briefing Note

UKIP Briefing Note

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Published by Harry Cole

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Published by: Harry Cole on Oct 29, 2012
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UKIP Briefing Note for London Region Conservative PartyActivists by Dr Charles Tannock MEP25/10/2012Background:
UKIP took 13 MEPs at the 2009 Euro-election,although this was at the height of the MPs' expenses scandal protest.Two MEPs have since left UKIP: one formed another party and theother defected back to the Conservatives. One Conservative MEPdefected to UKIP, so they currently stand at 12. Two UKIP MEPswere sent to prison in the last parliament for fraud.
The threat:
UKIP poses a direct threat to Conservative re-election prospects by splitting our vote and allowing Labour to slip ahead inmarginal seats.
UKIP probably lost us 20-30 seats at the last General election in 2010in constituencies where its vote was larger than the amountConservatives lost the seat by. Some estimate that 75% of UKIPvoters were previously Conservative voters.In the 2011 local elections UKIP retained seven councillors inEngland, and it has come second in a number of recent local by-elections.In London the Euro election is probably going to be on the same dayas the local elections and there is a danger of a “spill-over effect”,with UKIP voting losing us local seats, and potentially even control of some boroughs.UKIP has the overly simple message that a straight withdrawal fromthe EU and the European Court of Human Rights will solve all our economic problems.In addition, its non EU policies resonate with many social andlibertarian Conservatives: e.g. strongly pro-nuclear and climatechange sceptic, pro grammar schools and opposing more EUimmigration and favours strengthened Commonwealth links.
 At the 2015 general election, we will probably have to fight without the help of boundary changes to establish a level playing field. UKIP  polling at even 8% could be critical in splitting our vote and, paradoxically, help achieve the result of a small majority Labour  government, or Labour-LibDem coalition - which is more pro-EU!
What voters should hear about UKIP
* Much of UKIP’s economic programme is NOT properly costed or tested, such as a flat rate income tax, and raising defence spending by40%!* UKIP has historically failed to deliver for UK plc in Europe. NigelFarage MEP rarely if ever turned up to vote between 99-02 as amember of the European Parliament Economic Committee (ECON),when key UK national interest votes on the Financial Service ActionPlan were going through.
* Godfrey Bloom MEP, who claims only UKIP can save the City of London, recently failed to vote as a full ECON member on anamendment designed to kill the Financial Transactions Tax whichtherefore passed.* UKIP is totally opposed to any form of European Arrest Warranteven if reformed with safeguards, even though most of its use is inreturning eastern Europeans to their countries of origin to facecriminal charges. Under UKIP they would be allowed to stay longtimes in the UK appealing against their deportations under legal aid.
What to tell voters about a referendum:
The Prime Minister will gointo the 2015 election with an explicit manifesto guarantee for areferendum, as already enshrined in law, on the new Franco/GermanEU Treaty proposals, and undertaking to campaign for the UK to be part of an EU looser outer tier in a multi-speed Europe, whileretaining EU membership and access to the single market. It isanticipated that another EU Treaty will be proposed around the timeof the 2015 general election, which will automatically trigger the‘referendum lock’ guarantee. An incoming Conservative governmentwould therefore have an excellent opportunity to look afresh at our relationship with the EU, which may look different by then anyway.

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