UKIP leader Nigel Farage has today blasted the Conservative-led government for its undemocratic forcing through of plain packaging for cigarettes – after no debate was held in the Commons chamber on the issue.
Mr Farage said today: “How anyone who believes in free markets can now support the Conservative Party is beyond me. This legislation breaches property rights and trademark laws, and the government will no doubt have to use taxpayers money fending off numerous legal challenges from tobacco companies, over this piece of legislation that has had no impact where trialled elsewhere in the world.
“UKIP believes in democracy, Britain’s parliament, and evidence-based policy. It’s clear that the evidence is not there, given that the illegal tobacco market grew by 25% in Australia after the introduction of plain packs. It is clear that the government had no mandate for this – and thusly they allowed no debate in the Commons chamber on the matter.
“I know Britain has given up some 75% of its law-making powers to Brussels, but to have a vote on this legislation without a debate in parliament truly shows that the Conservatives think parliament is now irrelevant. What is the point in a parliament if not to debate issues like this?”