FACTCHECK: UKIP's Conference Venue Wasn't EU Funded, It Was UK Taxpayer Funded

FACTCHECK: UKIP's Conference Venue Wasn't EU Funded, It Was UK Taxpayer Funded

A well-known Conservative Member of Parliament once told me, “I wish we were the Labour Party. Not because I agree with them. But because it is so easy being on the left.”

A lot of what you can find on the Left Foot Forward blog totally ties in with this claim. It is really easy for them to basically concoct things, and then argue against them as if they were arguing a point that has been made by the mainstream right. I recall James Bloodworth, who has done some excellent stuff on real extremism recently, doing such a thing with the debate around what caused Britain’s floods. 

His last point is his piece entitled, “10 right-wing myths about climate change and the floods” took a loony statement by a nobody UKIPer and used it as if the “right-wing” collectively believes such a thing. He says, “Perhaps, if you really believe this, you ought to be on the street hollering and selling pencils from a paper cup”. 

Quite. 

But Bloodworth has found himself in ‘paper cup’ mode today, as he tries to point out hypocrisy over UKIP’s choice of venue for its spring conference. He writes

“The Riveria International Centre in Torquay, where the UKIP conference is currently being held, was partly funded by a European grant of £3 million…

“…it has been revealed that the town in which the party’s conference is being held has benefited to the tune of £7.4 million from European Regional Development Funds (EDRF) since 2007”.

I suspect Bloodworth knows he’s being disingenuous, and is simply seduced by the thought of lots of Europhilic web traffic. 

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Riveria International Centre was not “partly funded by a European grant”. It was funded by British taxpayer money, which just so happens to have been funnelled through Brussels for a few weeks, paying some 40,000 bureaucrats along the way.

There wasn’t really £7.4m of EDRF funding since 2007. It’s just our own money we’ve been kindly handed back from Brussels, having given over £20 billion in return.

Or perhaps it is hypocrisy for UKIP to use a venue that has been in receipt of “European funds”. By the same logic, the following must be true as well: 

  • UKIP has support from Europeans. Bloody hypocrites!
  • UKIPers abide by the 70 percent of our laws created for us from Brussels. Charlatans!
  • Some UKIP members probably wear clothes made in Italy. The Cheek! 

The reality is it is probably quite hard, given the intrusion of the European Union into Britain, to find a venue which hasn’t had an EU logo stamped on it somewhere. One Liberal Democrat said the EU money had helped “create 1300 jobs”. 

Bullshit.

Britain’s net contribution to the EU is about £10-12 billion a year now. To say that routing our money through the EU – for it to make our laws, force open our borders, and attempt to usurp our national institutions – is risible at best.

The real place our money has “created” any jobs via this method, is in Brussels. 


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