An important message from UKIP Leader Nigel Farage:
It now looks clear that our once in a lifetime chance to break free from the European Union is almost upon us.
However pathetic David Cameron’s renegotiation appears to be, I believe that he will rush to a referendum in June and we must be ready.
Ever since the General Election I have made it clear that I will work with anyone from across the spectrum that wants to fight for us to leave the EU.
As two groups emerged to contest for the Electoral Commission’s designation, Leave.EU and Vote Leave, I have maintained a neutral stance between the two and tried my hardest to get them to come together and merge.
Sadly this has proved to be impossible.
However a genuine cross-party group has emerged: Grassroots Out. And I pay tribute to Conservative MPs Peter Bone and Tom Pursglove along with Labour’s Kate Hoey and others for launching this initiative.
What a pleasure it is to work with people who understand that this issue matters more than party politics and tribal division.
The aim of GO is for us to campaign together on the ground and to hold a series of big public meetings across the UK.
The first of these was held in Kettering the other day with 2,500 people turning out to see Peter Bone, Tom Pursglove and Philip Hollobone, all local Tory MPs on the platform with Labour MP Kate Hoey, the DUP’s Sammy Wilson and the surprise appearance of former Defence Secretary Liam Fox.
UKIP’s Margot Parker MEP chaired the event and I was on the stage with the others.
This is the way forward.
With the unanimous support of our MEPs we now commit to supporting Grassroots Out and want our branches and members to join with GO as a means of working with activists from other parties and none.
Full details of how this operation will work will be explained at our Llandudno Spring Conference later this month. You can find out more about Grassroots Out here.
As for the two groups that are contesting the designation, our MEPs view was clear: we congratulate Arron Banks and Richard Tice for bringing a fresh approach to British Politics with their Leave.EU campaign.
They now have approaching 500,000 supporters and they are bringing new people into this campaign who have never been interested in politics on a large scale.
They’ve also shown a willingness to work with and help anyone that is on our side. We wish them well with their campaign.
I have to tell you that myself and the UKIP MEP group have grave doubts and reservations about Vote Leave. They do not believe that open borders, immigration and our security are key to this referendum.
All polling shows that they are wrong.
Of course we must debate economics and the business case in order to combat the fears put out by politicians and their big business supporters.
But amongst the undecided voters the top issue by far and the one that will influence where their vote goes is our lack of border controls as EU members.
They also repeatedly have refused to merge and work with Leave.EU and will not rule out the idea of campaigning for a second referendum.
The idea that we would vote to leave so that we can get a better deal from Brussels and then vote again is against everything that UKIP and I have ever stood for.
So let us organise and mobilise our people’s army around the GO banner for this referendum.
See you on the hustings.