• Nissan announcement shatters Labour EU campaign

    Jonathan-Arnott-photo.jpgA major plank of Labour's campaign to remain in the European Union has been 'shattered' today, according to Sunderland's UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott.

    All parties have welcomed the news that Nissan is to invest a further £100 million in its Sunderland plant, but comments by Nissan Europe chairman Paul Willcox on the ‘Today’ programme make it clear that Nissan is investing in the UK, irrespective of the result of the UK's referendum on European Union membership.

    Mr Willcox stated, "our position in terms of competitiveness is driven by not only the situation in Europe in terms of whether we're in or out of the EU, but more importantly the commitment of the people in the North East and supply chain. Focus really should be in that area because that is why we have such a great success story - the combined impact of our investment but also supply chain and a great workforce."

    Labour's MEPs had threatened that Nissan could leave the UK if Britain voted 'out' in the referendum. The Labour MEPs' website still states "Nissan have said they'd consider leaving the UK if we left the EU. Other countries might prefer if Nissan relocated there rather than have us enter a free trade deal with them."

    But UKIP's Jonathan Arnott said "We are absolutely delighted that more investment is coming to our region, directly guaranteeing 6,700 jobs and a further 27,000 in the supply chain, despite a general lack of government investment in our infrastructure.

    “We also welcome today's categorical confirmation that Nissan is here to stay, as we knew all along. We have guarantees of a free trade deal if we were to leave the EU, and World Trade Organisation rules would prevent the kind of punitive tariffs Labour are warning about.

    "Labour's claims have been utterly shattered, and this news is a huge blow for them. In ten separate articles on their website, local Labour MEPs claim that we must stay in the EU to prevent firms like Nissan leaving the UK.

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  • UKIP win first EU debate of the campaign

    IMG_0271.JPGLast night in Peterborough saw the first of nine EU Referendum Debates across the East of England. This was the first event held by either side in the run up to the EU Referendum. UKIP's Patrick O'Flynn MEP and UKIP Deputy Chairman Suzanne Evans faced off against Julian Huppert, the former Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge and his teammate Laura Sandys, former MP for South Thanet and current Chairman of the European Movement.

    It was a fast paced debate with opening speech from each side and then short cross examination before lots of quick questions from the floor and a wrap up speech at the end from each side. A ballot was taken before the debate and one at the end to see the outcome. People were asked: 'Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?' Results were as follows:

    The pre debate ballot was: YES 11%, NO 67%, DON'T KNOW 22%.
    The post debate ballot was: YES 11%, NO 88%, SPOILT BALLOT 1%.

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  • Zero hour contracts must not be used as a way of reducing the unemployment figures

    jane-collins.jpgUKIP employment spokesman, Jane Collins MEP has blasted the huge rise in the number of zero-hour contracts for British workers saying neither the Conservative, nor Labour understand how “damaging and disruptive” these working arrangement can be for some workers.

    Speaking from Brussels, Ms Collins said, “The fact is, with the growing economy, the UK should be moving away from zero-hour contracts, rather than expanding the use of them. However, with rising unemployment figures, I fear the pressure on government to show improvements in the economy will act as a catalyst to push more and more people onto these contracts, even when they are totally unsuitable.”

    “While I understand that zero-hour contracts can suit the lifestyles and working patterns of some people, I am concerned some unemployed people are being pushed, under threat of losing their benefits, onto zero-hour contracts that offer no financial stability or continuity.”

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  • Mark Reckless says Referendum Purdah rules should be upheld

    CEFF-3KWoAAou8p.jpgUKIP's Head of Policy Development Mark Reckless has today said: "UKIP welcomes the Government rethink on the application of ‘purdah’ during the EU Referendum Campaign.

    "It is important that neither those in Governmental nor in the civil service exploit their office in order to promote one side of the argument or the other. The Government is duty bound to give absolute clarity as to what the ‘exceptions’ to Purdah are.

    "We would also call for the Government to make it clear to the European Union institutions that they too should refrain from announcing new policy objectives and spending promises in the UK during the period of the campaign and also honour British purdah rules.

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  • It’s time to scrap tolls on the Severn Bridges

    tolls1.JPGUKIP has today pledged to fight for the abolition of tolls on the Severn Bridges connecting England and Wales. Leader Nigel Farage, and the party’s Transport spokesman Jill Seymour, travelled to the crossings over the Severn Estuary this morning to make the announcement.

    The tolls are damaging prospects of economic growth, and claims the cost of scrapping charges could be offset by choosing a cheaper option for a proposed M4 relief road. Ownership of the two Severn Crossing bridges is due to pass from a private French-owned firm into public hands in 2018. And UKIP sees this as an opportunity for the tolls to be scrapped once and for all.

    Mr Farage said: “It is simply unfair that motorists entering Wales must pay the highest tolls in the country. It not only hinders transport and economic development for Wales. It divides Wales from England.

    “Abolishing tolls will encourage travel to Wales and boost the economy by an estimated £107 million annually, according to the Welsh Government’s own figures.

    “The UK government has already yielded a massive revenue of £154 million by charging VAT on Severn Tolls, despite promising to waive the additional tax, a promise they were forced to break due to EU legislation.”

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  • Nigel Farage: I will work with anybody to achieve a NO vote

    farage-quote-novote_(1).pngThis morning UKIP Leader Nigel Farage made it crystal clear that he was not trying to be the lead campaigner, and that he and UKIP would work with anybody to secure the precious No vote in the forthcoming EU referendum. On Friday Mr Farage will be speaking in London, adding exciting new details of UKIP's biggest ever outreach campaign.

    He told Radio 4’s Today programme this morning: “Let’s be clear. I am not refusing to work with anybody. I will work with absolutely anyone for us to get a No vote in this referendum.

    “There are two competing groups who want to get the nomination for the No campaign. All I am saying is I am not choosing one side or the other. We will work with whichever of them gets the nomination. 

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  • Chilcot Report must have deadline so families can finally grieve for loved ones

    releasechilcot.pngUKIP Defence Spokesman Mike Hookem MEP has called on the Chilcot Inquiry to end the “open ended right to reply to those who have been criticised in the report".

    Mr Hookem said he did not think Sir John’s response to the families of the bereaved was sufficient and said it was “a matter of urgency that the truth behind the decision for the UK to invade and occupy Iraq needs to be finished sooner rather than later.”

    Speaking as families have threatened legal action over the delay in releasing the report, which was started in 2009, Mr Hookem said he thought the families had “a right to know why their loved ones died and in whose name so they could complete the grieving process.”

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  • Migration figures reflect Borderless Britain and the impotence of the British government

    borderlessbritain-1.pngResponding to the latest record net migration figures released by the ONS, UKIP Leader Nigel Farage said: "These figures reflect Borderless Britain and the total impotence of the British government.

    "If open borders are not part of the Cameron renegotiation then what's the point of it?

    "Given 192,000 from Romania and Bulgaria registered for National Insurance in the year period, how can we believe the ONS figure of 53,000 from the same two countries in the same year?"

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  • Disastrous European Energy Policy behind hundreds of Welsh Job Losses

    CEFF-3KWoAAou8p.jpgUKIP Policy Chief Mark Reckless says it is high time politicians in Wales woke up to the disastrous impact energy policy is having on industry, putting thousands of jobs at stake

    In yet another blow to Wales, Tata Steel has announced mothballing its plant in Llanwern, signalling the loss of 250 jobs. This comes just a year after the steel giant announced closing its site in Port Talbot, costing 400 jobs. Last month Tata closed two sites in Yorkshire blaming ‘crippling high electricity costs’

    “Announcements like these spell disaster for hundreds of people whose jobs rely on a thriving industrial sector. With hopeless energy policy driving up operational costs to unmanageable levels, massive companies like Tata are closing plants in Wales in favour of cheaper sites elsewhere. The real impact on the Welsh economy must not be underestimated.

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  • Meltdown for small businesses as new VAT rules hit hard

    Margot_11_(1).jpgReports that small businesses are closing due to the new EU digital VAT rules introduced at the turn of the year have been met with dismay by UKIP's Margot Parker.

    The party's East Midlands MEP and small business spokesman warned at the UKIP conference in Margate in the spring that small businesses would be hammered by the controversial VAT MOSS rules, which were introduced in January.

    Now, her worst fears are being realised as just six months into the new set-up, reports show micro-businesses are closing down.

    She said: "This was our fear all along - just a few months down the line, small businesses are being seriously harmed.

    "We are hearing of closures and hardship - exactly as we predicted and feared and exactly why UKIP was opposed to this legislation.

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