After the referendum – what is UKIP’s role now?

Neil Hamilton warns against Establishment backsliding on the public’s decision to leave the EU.

The referendum result was truly momentous, and for almost everyone, a bit of a surprise.

Strong passions surged on both sides, although much of the Remainers’ passion  vented itself only after the result in a spasm of panic and fear.

We have been hoping against hope for this result since our inception.  The surprise is that so few seem genuinely perplexed by the question ‘what happens to the UK now we have voted to leave the EU’.   

I am not worried about the future of Wales or the UK because we have been plotting out different options for some years.  We must reassure those with genuine worries, that everything will be fine and, in fact, a lot better.  To keep things in perspective, George Osborne’s ‘Armageddon’ Treasury model forecast only a few weeks ago showed that, if we stayed in the EU, our national income would be 37% higher in 2030 but, if we left, it would still be 29% higher.  No one would be poorer, but incomes might not rise quite as fast. Osborne’s extrapolation that Brexit would cost every household £4300 per annum was a gross distortion of the Treasury’s own skewed analysis. 

Such pretended arithmetic certainty fourteen years hence is obvious rubbish.  But the economic benefits of Brexit can be achieved only if the UK properly leaves the EU, as voters decided.  UKIP’s role is vital in ensuring this happens.

In the coming months, the different political parties will produce ideas about the best kind of deal, but different factions within the parties will put forward other variants.  The Welsh voter could face a complex and confusing array of detailed options compared with which finding the best energy deal would look like child’s play.

UKIP is the most trusted party on EU issues and, as we are not in the throes of a leadership contest, the public can be confident that our opinions are genuine and not influenced by personal ambitions.  Whatever internal differences I have had with Nigel Farage, on this matter we are absolutely united.

In the 2010 General Election, EU membership was low down in voters’ concerns, but some intimately connected issues were right at the top, uncontrolled immigration first and foremost.   Since then, UKIP has been very effective in joining the dots in peoples’ minds between EU membership and voters’ concerns on domestic issues.  As we exposed the connections between the problems people were facing and the EU, we gained public trust.

Post-referendum polling showed the top motivation for voting Leave was to regain democratic control which has leached to the EU since 1973.

This is where UKIP’s presence on the political palette comes into its own.  The last General and Assembly elections show we take votes from all the other parties, and even when we don’t win the seat, we can dramatically affect the result. 

We would not have had a referendum at all without UKIP.  Our vote in 2010 cost the Conservatives the majority they hoped for, so Cameron offered a referendum to try and shoot the UKIP fox in 2015.  ‘The best-laid plans…’ In the last few days we have started hearing noises from politicians, saying that a Brexit deal with the EU may still require the freedom of movement that the electorate decisively voted against.   Jeremy Hunt and Daniel Hannan are both in this camp.  Hunt has even suggested a second referendum to see if the public really did mean they want the UK to leave the EU.

This would be a dangerous betrayal of the referendum result – although entirely in keeping with the EU elite’s response to previous referendums elsewhere. It would be beyond parody if the direct-democratic decision of the referendum, based on the public’s demand to reclaim sovereign democracy, is ignored by our elected representatives and a second referendum proposed.  But this would be no great surprise to UKIP.

One  reason why the public are so angry with British politicians is that their genuine concerns have been ignored for years by an Establishment which thinks it knows what’s best for the public.  There is no reason to suspect this attitude will change anytime soon.

So UKIP is there to ensure there is no backsliding and the Brexit which most of the country voted for actually happens.  We will ruthlessly expose any shortcomings in the Brexit deal being negotiated. 

The Establishment should take the referendum result as a sign that people have had enough of not being listened to.  Any attempt to subvert the clear result of the referendum will be met with an explosion of anger by the people of Wales and the UK.  That anger will quickly reach the ballot box, and voters will switch to UKIP from the Establishment parties in droves.

The EU has gone from bottom of the list of peoples’ political concerns to the very top, and UKIP will make sure it stays that way until the Government delivers exactly what the British people voted for.

Neil Hamilton is the Leader of the UKIP group in the Welsh Assembly.

3 thoughts on “After the referendum – what is UKIP’s role now?

  1. ‘UKIP is the most trusted party on EU issues’. I had to laugh out loud at a statement like that coming from Mr. Hamilton of all people. Irony is obviously not his strong point.
    But then, as he is paradoxically trying to point out himself in this post, and as recent events are showing with more clarity politicians are not known for their robust connection with reality. Perhaps we should be grateful to our ‘Brexcema’ (it does feel like we’ve contracted some sort of illness which is not particularly nice to look at) for this new revelation of how naked many of our emperors have been all this time.
    However, for populist politics to be effective, the distortions have to be mixed in with dollops of truth, and I can’t argue with his assertion here that ‘One reason why the public are so angry with British politicians is that their genuine concerns have been ignored for years by an Establishment which thinks it knows what’s best for the public’. I suppose we can’t really blame an opportunist like Mr. Farage or his cronies for encouraging, and pandering to, misdirected public fears by blaming ‘outsiders’ for problems which are endemic to our own political and economic system; giving encouragement to the miserable bigots in our midst and damaging our national and global identity as a welcoming country which values compassion and fairness, in the process
    The fact that so many people fell for UKIP’s distortions of the truth is a reflection of the need for radical social and political change, and for a huge increase in the level of public understanding of, and subsequent engagement with, ‘the big issues’ which can make that process a democratic and resilient one. In my most optimistic interpretation of the mess we’re now in, if enough people now engage with the process to push things in the right direction, this is what we’re going to get. It will either be that or a retreat to the more autocratic decision making of the past, with even less attention paid to the needs and wishes of ‘the masses’.
    I suspect that whichever way things go, as the light of reality is shone on the current situation and the events that have led up to it, the multiple massaging of the facts and of public feelings undertaken by UKIP will become clear, and like a trusted partner who is discovered to have cheated, they will quickly fall from the affections of that still relatively small proportion of the population who fell for their seduction.
    As they fade from our memories, perhaps we will look back on them with some measure of recognition that, like a regretted relationship can be the catalyst for positive change in the life of an individual, opening the way for a reappraisal and recognition of, and a new commitment to, what was important to him or her, they will have helped move the collective life of Wales and the U.K. forward in a way that they never anticipated or wanted.

  2. The UKIP have achieved their goal in the most despicable way possible. They have been accused, very rightly, of using Nazi tactics and have set a new low in British politics and also set a precedent that should not be followed and should not be allowed in British politics. They lied, lied and lied again to get their way and the day after gleefully admitted on TV they had lied. UKIP for God sake do the decent thing, go, go now, go before you do any more damage to the UK, just go

  3. There’s no doubt that UKIP were able to occupy territory left open by the absence of the other political parties. The British political tradition has mainly been to listen to concerns emerging through the political system and decide best how to manage them. The idea that one should engage with public concerns is a somewhat alien one, though attempts have been made recently on the media. The difficulty with those formats is that time constraints are such that voters feel they only have 30 seconds in which to say everything they wish to and thus become shrill and garbled (but not always) and the politician can still manage the opinion being expressed or avoid it altogether. However there are advantages to this format. The politician gets to hear what the voter is actually thinking and saying and also the strength of feeling behind it, rather than being mediated by the courteous professionalism of the TV interviewer.

    However back to UKIP. It was good to be able to read UKIPs point of view from the horse’s mouth, i.e. their leader in the Assembly. But it seems to me that there really isn’t a great deal of change going on here. UKIP’s ‘new’ role is still defined by the referendum, though this time by the result. What we still haven’t seen is a set of coherent policies as to how Wales will develop in the future. This needn’t worry UKIP. The role they have given themselves will keep them going for a while to come,

Comments are closed.

Also within Politics and Policy