UKIP leader Nigel Farage has urged the Leave campaign to move away from defensive tactics and attack the Remain campaign with renewed emphasis on immigration, border control and security.
In a hard-hitting speech delivered this morning in Central London, Mr. Farage attempted to persuade fellow Leave campaigners in the European Union (EU) referendum of the need to attack “the enemy’s goal” by highlighting security problems caused by open borders and mass-migration.
Speaking on the theme of ‘Safer Britain‘ Mr. Farage made the case that outside the EU Britain’s security would be enhanced and that, crucially, the failure of the officially-designated Vote Leave team to make this point will lose them the referendum.
He conceded that the Leave campaign has had to deal with the “remorseless torrent of propaganda” flowing from “all sorts of overpaid, useless people at the IMF and OECD” and the “entire international community,” but in doing so they are yet to “leave our half of the pitch.”
Mr. Farage said that he has been consistently “rebuffed and rejected” every time he has offered to help Vote Leave with security issues. Describing UKIP as “the form horse when it comes to immigration,” he highlighted the problem of a campaign which many identify with the Conservative Party being able to make his points on immigration when Vote Leave’s highest profile campaigners served as members of a government that oversaw mass migration.
“If you’ve been part of a Cabinet that has seen net migration running at ten times the post war average you are not best to make those arguments,” he explained.
Mr. Farage embraced the alternative in this morning’s speech, declaring that UKIP “will make the arguments ourself.” Summing up the problem caused by the EU he stated:
“When Theresa May says that it is difficult to control immigration as a member of the EU, she’s wrong. It isn’t difficult — it’s impossible.”
He pointed out that UKIP has been conscious of the problem for some time. As far back as 2004 the party warned that letting in people from former Communist countries would lead to uncontrolled migration, adding “and we have been proved right”.
The “privileged and wealthy” members of the Westminster establishment are yet to see the problem. Mr. Farage suggested that is because “so many of them think that open door mass immigration is great” because it means “cheaper nannies, cheaper gardeners and cheaper chauffeurs” through “access to unlimited cheap labour.”
The impact, he said “is being felt by ordinary, decent people” with strains on housing, the National Health Service, schools, and substantial reductions in living standards and real income. More importantly, the impact on “social cohesion” has been disastrous with communities in British cities and market towns becoming increasingly “divided, fragmented and segmented” as a result of unchecked immigration.
Mr. Farage attacked the EU’s “ill thought out” common asylum policy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s welcome to Syrian migrants, which he described as “one of the worst decisions by a western leader since 1945.” The effects of both mean that it is now essential to “fight tooth and nail” for Europe’s “modern liberal traditions” against those imported from other parts of the world.
He highlighted not just the fact that two of the eight Paris jihadists re-entered Europe via Greece posing as migrants, but also that those involved in the “mass, open, sexual molestation of hundreds of women” in Cologne on New Year’s Eve will be able to travel throughout the continent on a European passport in just a few years.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) April 29, 2016
Mr Farage also asserted that “none of this is going to get better ” now the EU is in negotiation with Turkey. With visa-free travel for Turks due to come in by October, and with Chancellor Merkel saying Turkey must become an EU member state “by 2025 at the latest” he saluted the negotiation skills of President Erdoğan and suggested “it is a shame Cameron didn’t hire a Turk” during his recent EU renegotiations.
He warned that voting to remain in the EU meant voting for Turkey’s membership, continuing:
“I use to worry we were living in an increasingly German-dominated European Union; from what I see it will be a Turkish-dominated European Union.”
Concluding his speech by bringing the issue back to the referendum and how it will be won, Mr. Farage stated:
“For too long immigration and borders was on one side and EU membership was on the other. But we know that EU membership and uncontrolled migration are synonymous.
“This may be the last opportunity we get to be a normal country once again…
“…I want us to live in a safe Britain. If we get this right we will mobilise people to turn out and vote on 23 June. If we get this issue right we will win the referendum and 23 June will be our independence day.”