Nuttall and Farage Coy on UKIP’s Electoral Future

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall declared his party the “guard dogs of Brexit” today as he launched six tests ahead of Theresa May triggering Article 50. They all seem pretty sensible to Guido…

  1. Legal – “Parliament must resume its supremacy of law-making with no impediments… Britain must wholly remove itself from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice”;
  2. Migration – “Britain must resume full control of its immigration and asylum policies…not be bound by any freedom of movement obligation”;
  3. Maritime – “Restore the UK’s full maritime sovereignty and exclusive economic zone”;
  4. Trade – “UK must have full legal rights to set its own tariff and non-tariff barriers…WTO terms are the acceptable fall-back position”;
  5. Money – “There must be no final settlement payment…and no ongoing payments to the EU budget”;
  6. Time – “Brexit must be done and dusted by the end of 2019“.

To which the Telegraph’s cheeky Chris Hope asked if UKIP would still be around in 2019…

Asked how he plans to enforce the tests in parliament after UKIP lost its only MP, Nuttall said:

“Through pressure, exactly the same way as we did when we forced the referendum… you don’t necessarily have to have a UKIP backside on the green leather of the House of Commons to ensure that we can apply political pressure within that chamber.”

Nuttall predicted the party’s vote share would go up in May’s local elections, though notably not that they would gain seats. 

Nigel Farage sat on the back row throughout this morning’s press conference in Westminster, capturing the attention of journalists present no doubt to the delight of Nuttall. As he was leaving, Farage was asked if UKIP would lose seats in the upcoming local elections:

“I don’t know, as with all these elections they’re peak to peak… that doesn’t mean that your strong areas aren’t still very, very strong, I suspect they probably are.”

Asked if the party would gain seats, Nige said: “I’m retired”…




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