Wednesday 19 April 2017

Voting UKIP is the only way to ensure Brexit happens

Theresa May has secured a vote for a general election and the country will go to the polls on 8th June.

The Tories will be hoping to capitalise on an unprecedented 24% lead over Labour in the opinion polls and wipe out any opposition in the House of Commons. Conservatives and even some UKIP activists are flooding social media with calls to vote Conservative to deliver Brexit, echoing Theresa May's misleading comments yesterday. But this is not the way to get what we want.

Theresa May has a working majority in the House of Commons but she has a problem - the majority of her MPs are pro-EU. Thus far she has managed to keep a lid on rebellions because Brexit is two years away and MPs will be hoping to spend those two years watering it down. As independence day gets closer and a so-called "hard" Brexit becomes more likely she will face more opposition from her own ranks and it could well be blocked by MPs. Bye bye legacy.

What Theresa May tells us is that she needs the country to return a big Conservative majority so she has a mandate to deliver Brexit. She already has a mandate from last year's referendum but let's just explore this idea a little further. Her problem is that most of her MPs don't support Brexit and that's because the Conservatives are a pro-EU party and the majority of their candidates at the last election were Remainers. Most MPs and PPCs will be contesting the same seats they did two years ago which virtually guarantees a Remain majority once again. She will increase her majority but in doing so she will load the dice even more in Remain's favour.

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So if an increased majority is going to make delivering Brexit harder, why is she risking an election now when the result is actually not as certain as the opinion polls might suggest and when the two post-referendum parliamentary by-elections that have been held have shown that Brexit is largely irrelevant when it comes to who people vote for? Because an increased Conservative majority in June will give them 5 years unopposed to do whatever they want to the country. We'll be out of the EU in 2 years' time if everything pans out as it should and then it's three years to the next election during which time the Tories will have no effective opposition.

Only yesterday the papers were talking about a proposal to introduce special immigration rules so EU citizens won't face restrictions if they want to come and work in coffee shops. There are 1.6m unemployed already living here and Theresa May's government thinks we need to import baristas from eastern Europe. Theresa May's government is handing over £12bn a year in foreign aid while tens of thousands of people in this country get fed by food banks. Hundreds of thousands of disabled people are losing their independence thanks to changes Theresa May's government are making to disability benefits. This is what Theresa May wants you to vote for in June.

If the Tories are serious about delivering Brexit they have nothing to fear from UKIP MPs who will support legislation that will deliver Brexit. And if they're serious about Brexit they will, of course, stand aside for UKIP in the 120 seats that UKIP came second in in 2015 to maximise the number of Brexit-supporting MPs in June. But they won't.

The best outcome from this general election is for UKIP to hold the balance of power, supporting the Conservatives in delivering Brexit and holding them to account for the rest of their platform. Tactical voting doesn't work, it just helps someone you don't want to win. Voting UKIP is the only way to ensure a Brexit majority in the House of Commons and an effective opposition.

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