Acknowledging new UKIP MP Douglas Carswell’s courage in triggering yesterday’s (Thurs - 9 Oct) Clacton by-election, Hazell stated: “Carswell is right to identify ‘change in technology that redefines the relationship between the governing and the governed’. But as pro-Europeans we disagree with Carswell’s anti-EU stance. Sharing sovereignty within Europe is essential if we are to combat global challenges such as climate change and the growing gap between rich and poor. By working together at the heart of Europe we can shape a better future free of fear.”
“UKIP is also right to call for federalism: we need a federal UK based on subsidiarity, giving people more power over local decisions”, noted Hazell: “But in our interconnected world, no man is an island. UKIP’s insular policies offer a false anti-EU prospectus for Britain’s vulnerable. Brexit would lead to less inward investment and fewer opportunities. Becoming an offshore tax haven for oligarchs and bankers may benefit UKIP’s wealthy backers, but it would leave most people behind. Instead of leaving the EU, we should strive for a leading role in shaping Europe’s future.”
“The British government’s own internal review into the balance of competences finds that Britain benefits from continued EU membership, as the respected CEPS think tank points out. The creation of the EU has ensured a better, fairer Europe based on freedom and security”, said Hazell: “Cameron’s Brexit brinkmanship raises uncertainty and reduces British influence beyond Brussels. By placing internal party politics ahead of the national interest, British PM David Cameron is kowtowing to the Conservative Party’s UKIP Militant Tendency.”
“Cameron’s essay crisis policy-making lacks strategic direction. Reckless tactics such as leaving the mainstream centre-right EPP Group in Brussels reduce British influence, while failing to stem the rise of UKIP. Cameron must stop caving in to Conservative Euro-rebels, UKIP sympathisers like Daniel Hannan MEP. Instead, Cameron should set out a positive vision of Britain’s European destiny. By advocating traditional one nation Tory values and presenting a pro-European plan for Britain’s future we can defeat UKIP’s fear mongering”, commented Hazell.
As the Coalition faces another by-election test in the Kent parliamentary seat of Rochester and Strood - following Tory MP Mark Reckless’ earlier defection to UKIP - Hazell looked ahead to next year’s (Thurs - 7 May 2015) UK General Election: “UKIP looks set to be to the 2015 General Election what the Liberal Democrats were to 2010. And voters are abandoning the Coalition government. In Clacton, the LibDem vote was 91% lower than in 2010. In Heywood and Middleton, the Conservative vote was 72% lower than in 2010. British politics are changing.”
Amid fears in Brussels - plus Liberal Democrat splits in the Coalition - that Cameron’s ill-judged 2017 British EU referendum plan could complicate national election campaigns in Germany and France, Hazell concluded: “The 4 Freedoms Party (UK EPP) is determined to challenge Cameron’s plan to marginalise further the UK. We believe in Britain leading, not leaving, Europe - and will strive to put Britain back at the heart of Europe”. ENDS