• Disgraceful that Theresa May calls for closer UK ties with brutal Saudi Arabia

    MargotParker.jpgResponding to calls from Theresa May today for closer ties with Saudi Arabia, UKIP's Women's and Equalities spokeswoman, Margot Parker MEP said:

    "Whilst visiting Saudi Arabia, we call on the Prime Minister to raise the issue of horrific human rights abuse which takes place in that state every day.

    "Theresa May must convey to the Saudi authorities that women are not second class citizens.

    "To ignore brutal abuses on women and the flagrant discrimination against religious minorities in Saudi Arabia is to condone what is going on in this brutal regime.

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  • We need investment, not cuts, for the Armed Forces

    bill3.pngUKIP Defence Spokesman Bill Etheridge has slammed a decision by politicians to force the Army to cut £10bn from the defence budget over the next decade calling it "irresponsible and illogical."

    Mr Etheridge said the decision to make the Army and the Navy "scrap it out" for funding was "bad government" and "all of our Armed Forces should be properly funded."

    "This failed policy of pushing the 'soft power' of foreign aid rather than hard power of a properly defended country is an irresponsible and illogical policy which has not worked so far and will continue to fail.

    "Only this week there were rumours that our helicopter carrier HMS Ocean was being sold to Brazil: this is part of 3 Commando brigade which are one of our two brigades who can rapidly deploy to theatre. Are we only going to be left with one?

    "Instead of hiding behind this bureaucratic shield that the government are meeting the NATO targets of 2% of GDP we need urgent investment in the military, which the Army's own think tank concluded would be unable to withstand an attack from Russia for longer than an afternoon.

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  • EU negotiating guidelines show they have learned nothing from Brexit

    Paul.jpgThe statement put out today by the European Union setting out their guidelines for negotiating with the UK over the next two years is "bound to create more division amongst EU nations", said Paul Nuttall, the UKIP Leader today.

    "By wrapping the negotiations in a bureaucratic straitjacket all that they guarantee to do is highlight the already glaring differences of approach amongst the rump 27 nations in the bloc."

    "As we near March 2019 and the UK''s final days as a member, national politicians in national capitals will realise that the package approved by Brussels will not be in their own specific interests nor that of their citizens.

    "Brussels wishes to play hardball with the reciprocal rights of individual citizens. How will Poland, for example, react when 1 million plus Poles live in the UK and only about 30,000 UK citizens live in Poland and their rights are threatened? Those million citizens vote, so do their friends and families. Polish people will expect their own Government to do a deal to protect their own citizens. The EU’s rigid approach will be seen as the problem, not the UK.

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  • Paint job whitewash

    bill2.jpgUKIP Defence Spokesman Bill Etheridge has slammed an attempted government whitewash in the latest of a long series of delays to the Royal Navy super carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth II as it emerges that divers inspecting the hull of the HMS Queen Elizabeth have discovered that the top coat of paint had failed to adhere properly. The news comes as the current fleet flagship, helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, may be sold to Brazil after twenty years of service in 2018.

    When asked previously in Parliament why sea trials for the carrier were being delayed till the summer, when, all along, the spring had been the intended start date the Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “It has always been our intention that Queen Elizabeth should be accepted into the Royal Navy before the end of this year. We are not giving specific dates as to when the sea trials are likely to commence.

    Then when Defence Procurement Minister Harriett Baldwin faced the Commons Defence Committee she was asked by Madeleine Moon, what was behind the delay. She replied “By the very definition of what you’re going through when you’re going through trials is that you’re potentially in that trial process have to make some corrections to something, that’s the whole point of a trial.”

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  • Today the Government will finally act on the historic decision of the people of this country to leave the EU

    Paul.jpgUKIP Leader Paul Nuttall said, “Today the Government will finally act on the historic decision of the people of this country to leave the European Union.

    “Finally, nine months after our vote the UK will formally inform the EU that we are leaving.

    “UKIP is delighted that this is eventually happening. 24 years ago this party was formed to make this a reality, so it would be churlish to complain. We have been ignored, dismissed insulted and abused, but through determination and with good humour we fought on and we have succeeded.

    “The 9 months delay has, of course cost the taxpayer additional billions, and has allowed those who would block the democratic will of the people to do all they can to spread discord, but we are here now.

    “While negotiations continue we will continue to be the 'guard dogs of Brexit', holding the Government's feet to the fire at home and our MEPs will be working to ensure our friends on the continent do not pull any fast ones.

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  • To have Channel 4 based out of the capital would be exciting and brilliant for diversity in broadcast media

    PatrickOflynn.pngA consultation on whether to move Channel 4 out of London is being launched, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley has announced. The broadcaster will remain publicly owned but how it spends money and where it is based is being reviewed to make sure it is "serving the country".

    Responding to the news UKIP's Media Spokesman Patrick O'Flynn MEP said, "Looking at moving media outlets out of London can only be a good thing. The past year or two has shown us the dangers of a metropolitan bias developing and of London-based correspondents losing touch with wider currents in public opinion. To have Channel 4 based out of the capital would be exciting and brilliant for diversity in broadcast media."

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  • New sentence for ‘Marine A’ a victory for justice

    thumbnail_Marine_A.jpgYorkshire & North Lincolnshire MEP, Mike Hookem, has welcomed the prospective release of Royal Marine Sergeant, Alexander Blackman as a “victory for justice and great news for Alex and his family.”

    Mr Hookem’s comments came after a panel of Court Martial Appeal Court judges reduced the sentence of the long-serving Royal Marine Sergeant - also known as ‘Marine A’ - to seven years following the downgrading of his conviction for murdering a wounded Taliban fighter to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

    Speaking of the Royal Marine’s prospective release in the next few weeks, Mr Hookem said, “I am very pleased that Alex will soon be at home with his wife and family, where he belongs. In my opinion, Sgt Blackman should never have been in prison in the first place, so today’s news is most welcome.”

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  • Legislation not the answer on parental leave says UKIP's Women's and Equalities spokesperson

    MargotParker.jpgMargot Parker MEP has said legislation is not the key which would unlock the gender pay gap when it came to paid parental leave for fathers.

    Reacting to news that MPs are calling for a statutory entitlement to three months of non-transferable paid parental leave for fathers or second parents, at the same rate as maternity pay, UKIP's Women's and Equalities spokesperson said: "This is not the way forward.

    "Figures show that only 3,000 couples took shared parental leave in the first three months of 2016, which equates to two per cent of families in which the mother took maternity leave during that same period.

    "Statutory entitlement to three months of non-transferable paid parental leave for fathers or second parents, at the same rate as maternity pay is a sticking-plaster solution, an easy diversion from the structural and institutional causes of the gender-pay gap by blaming the gap solely on motherhood.

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  • Reaction to SEDE recommendations for Brexit

    bill4.jpgUKIP Defence spokesman Bill Etheridge has issued a strong rebuff to suggestions that the UK could still be involved in a European Army, even after Brexit.

    As with all other committees, the Security and Defence Committee (SEDE), has submitted an initial assessment of implications of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. These reports will form the opening stance for European negotiators such as Guy Verhofstadt and Michel Barnier once Article 50 is invoked.

    The UKIP MEP has picked up on a number of points in the report which he calls “scary”.

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  • What we demand: Six key tests to prove Brexit means Exit