Northern Ireland Politics 2017 – UKIP Conference Speech

 

Since the election on the 7th March this year the NI Assembly has met for 46 mins and to date it has cost the taxpayer, yes that’s you and I, £6 million to cover MLAs’ salaries and expenses. No provision has been made for an non-operative Assembly. In fact this week the Independent Financial Review Panel determined that they should receive an additional £500 now and a similar increase in 6 months time. Money well spent I hear you cry. If we had the equivalent in my Nottinghamshire County, NI would be governed by 80 County Councillors on approx £20k including expenses.

 

Meanwhile, there are cuts in care packages, waiting lists for hospital appointments are getting longer and Mental Health funding is curtailed. Road safety has always been a major issue in NI. Did you know that more people were killed due to road accidents than during the horrific unrest during the Troubles?

 

Excessive speed on rural roads, an investment in road expansions is urgently needed and potholes abound. A common phrase you can hear is; We used to drive on the left of the road. Now we drive on what is left of the road.

Over 25% are employed in the public sector, the highest region throughout the UK and young people not in Education, Employment or Training sits at approx. 20%. Job losses are announced far too frequently and this week the manufacturing sector in East Belfast has been dealt a significant blow.

 

The names of the Parties may be different but many people vote not for a party, but to ensure that the “other side” don’t get elected. It’s politics of fear and in the NI case it’s largely down to tribal voting patterns on constitutional matters. That’s why I joined UKIP in NI. It offered a non-sectarian Unionist alternative with a UK National party who believe that Direct Democracy through Referendums should resolve issues when politicians cannot agree.

 

The latest stumbling block preventing a return to the Assembly is the demand from Sein Fein for a standalone Irish Language Act.

The Irish language received official recognition and funding under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and for 20 years in Government SF seemed content to channel their efforts through the Irish medium education sector. There certainly hasn’t been desire to legislate for a bilingual public sector with preferential recruitment of Irish speakers. According to the 2011 census, only 4,045 people claimed Irish as their main language.

 

Language should threaten no one – however when language is used as a cultural weapon by political republicanism it clearly becomes a threat to British identity. Stormont has invested £171m in the past five years to promote the Irish language. However, SF has driven more people away from ever cultivating a genuine interest in the Irish language than any of these publicly funded incentives can ever hope to attract. Any legislation, no matter what it’s called or how its packaged, which underpins the Irish language in a legal framework will have massive implications for local government, the courts, the civil service, schools and everyday life in Northern Ireland. Legislative intervention will be used as an employment driver for Irish speakers and will open-up the potential for endless legal challenges on a range of related issues.

 

The parochial Unionist Parties wish to promote Ulster Scots and Nationalists advocate the Irish language. Maybe it’s time to discover the common language spoken throughout the North of Ireland for centuries, Ulster Gaelic. NI politicians should be focussing on that which should unite society – the need to tackle waiting-lists, the crisis in school budgets, and the need to create new and better jobs

BREXIT BORDER

 

On 23rd June 2016 the electorate in the United Kingdom of GB and NI voted to leave the EU together. We are united on this matter. No ifs, No buts, No fudge. Leave means Leave. Northern Ireland is not for sale to remain in the Single Market and Customs Union as proposed by the EU. This crazy idea breaches the Belfast Agreement. Northern Ireland is British. Carving up the UK is not on the agenda, not an inch.

 

Relations between Ireland and the UK have never been better. Ties of language, family, free trade and free travel bind us together. We regard the Irish as our “Kith and Kin”. All of these ties precede the formation of the EU. Irish farmers and small businesses export €1 billion with the UK every week. So you can see that it’s mutually beneficial for this situation to continue. Following the 2009-12 boom and bust in Ireland’s economy it was the UK who rose to the occasion with an offer of an interest free loan. The EU’s response, a € 64 billion Franco – German bank debt imposed on the Irish taxpayer.

 

100 years on from Ireland’s Independence we voted to regain our Independence because we want to make our own laws, spend our own money, act in our interest and determine our own destiny. With Brexit, Ireland has an even greater financial incentive to leave the EU and agree a free trade agreement with the UK. What we are witnessing is the EU’s provocation by interfering in our good relations, fanning the flames of political violence over the Border issue. A recent EU commission ruling on Ireland’s corporation taxation rate has also come as a shock leaving multi-nationals watching Apple Computer’s appeal very closely on the billions the EU says it owes the Irish Government.  But we all know that the EU isn’t about freedom, it’s about enslavement of nations and peoples. You cannot be a sovereign, independent self-governing country while being a member of the EU. To paraphrase Patrick Pearce, “Ireland unfree from the EU shall never be at peace”. Is it now time for the people of Ireland to demand a Referendum to determine whether they want to remain a member of the political EU or be granted Special Status within the EU? Let’s hope commonsense prevails and that our good relationship will continue to flourish and maybe the people of Ireland will join us one day as members of the Commonwealth.

 

Anne Marie Waters UKIP Campaign Launch

Anne Marie Waters recently announced her bid for UKIP leadership. At a venue in Rotherham, Anne Marie outlined her vision for UKIP. In the hour long speech she launched her Manifesto for Forgotten Britain, explaining to a room full of UKIP members why she is the strong leader the party, and Britain, needs.

 

UKIP accuses the Chancellor of attacking enterprise and betraying the self-employed

 

Responding to the Budget UKIP Economy Spokesman Mark Reckless AM said:

“The Conservatives have today lost any claim they may have had to represent either White Van Man or the many women who create businesses as a route to combining a continuing economic contribution with family life.

“In this Budget, Philip Hammond has launched an unnecessary and foolish attack on enterprise. To claim to be making life better for the employed by making life worse for the self-employed is the worst kind of levelling down. It is an approach more befitting of big state socialism than of a party that claims to understand wealth creation.

“Self-employed people create their own jobs. They have no paid holidays, sickness benefits or company pension schemes and in fact no guaranteed income at all.

“They show guts and determination. And like the rest of the electorate they were promised that the Tories would not be whacking up national insurance rates in this parliament. In their case it is going to be a promise broken.”

Mr Reckless added: “The growth and borrowing projections announced in today’s Budget show that the Brexit vote of last June has had no negative impact on the economy and that the dire forecasts of George Osborne were merely a cynical political scare tactic.

“Philip Hammond is right to talk up the prospects of the British economy in the years ahead, rather than irresponsibly talking them down as his predecessor did in the run-up to the referendum.

“UKIP has always argued that the British economy will flourish outside the EU – as we regain the power to agree our own free trade deals and remove ourselves from future waves of Brussels red tape.

“Our relatively buoyant economy is an early sign that the British people were right to disbelieve the merchants of doom.

“That the Chancellor now has some financial wiggle room due to better than expected tax receipts and lower unemployment is reassuring in advance of the Government’s negotiations to exit the EU.

“Mr Hammond is right not to spend this initial Brexit bonus. Our national debt is alarmingly large and while the deficit is lower than previously expected that debt is still growing.

“In fact the Government should be making significant savings from bloated spending areas. UKIP for example would look to cut foreign aid spending by £10 billion a year, scrap the wasteful HS2 project and rebalance the Barnett Formula so resources reflect real needs.

“With some of those savings we could afford to remove VAT from domestic energy, hot takeaway food and female sanitary products as soon as Britain is out of the EU. We could also avoid clobbering the self-employed with extra National Insurance as the Chancellor does today. We need to help hard-pressed people with the cost of living, not clobber the self-employed.”

Green energy eating its own tail

UKIP’s energy spokesman Roger Helmer has spoken out against the latest EU energy policies.

The party’s MEP for the East Midlands spoke in an plenary session in Brussels last week on the EU’s objectives for ‘secure, affordable and sustainable energy.’

He said: “For many years the EU has followed policies which directly militate against those objectives.

“Germany, with the largest renewables investment, now uses increasing volumes of lignite. In the UK, we are planning to use diesel generation as back-up.”

Mr Helmer quoted a front page story from The Economist magazine, ‘Clean Energy’s Dirty Secret.’

He said: “It says we have created regulatory and subsidy structures which militate against energy infrastructure investment, and threaten security of supply.

“Yet the EU’s latest proposal amounts to little more than bureaucratic paper-pushing.”

His comments follow reports this week on the House of Lords report into the energy policies of the past three Governments.

The report criticises the open-ended nature of renewables subsidies.

Mr Helmer said: “Hard-working families, and indeed industry, is hit by the the costs of renewables and the EU and successive Government’s obsession with them.

“The cost of this obsession with weather-dependent energy is plunging us into an energy crisis.

“As reports say, it doesn’t matter how many extra renewables we subsidise, the wind won’t blow harder, nor the sun shine more – and that extra cost burden is carried by ordinary families and businesses up and down the land.”

The message of GM’s EU exit

General Motors’ decision to sell Opel/Vauxhall to Peugeot is a reminder that the European market is in decline. Post-Brexit Britain needs to look beyond it.

As Matthew Lynn points out in the Telegraph, by selling Opel/Vauxhall, GM isn’t pulling out of Britain. It’s pulling out of Europe. That’s telling.

GM hasn’t had an easy decade anywhere. It was bailed out by the US government in 2008, temporarily ending up in public ownership.

But its lack of profitability this side of the Atlantic has much more to do with the European market.

Annual car sales in the EU are still 20% lower than they were in 2007. By contrast, US car sales hit a new record in 2016 – with GM’s sales in December 2016 10% higher than in December 2015.

The EU’s economic problems aren’t going away. Another sovereign debt crisis is imminent. The EU doesn’t have the flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions. And even if it did, the plain fact is that Europe is in demographic decline.

Whichever way you look at it, the European market is shrinking. It’s no longer the comparatively dynamic trading bloc that Britain joined forty years ago.

Britain needs to reorient its economy toward the growing regions of the world to prosper. That would have been the case whatever the result of the referendum.

Of course we want – and will negotiate – access to the EU market post-Brexit. But we can’t stake our future on it.

Brexit provides the opportunity we need to revamp our trade policy for the twenty-first century. Let’s make sure we take it

Real free trade is only possible outside the EU

“Leaving the single market is protectionist”, claims George Osborne. He couldn’t be more wrong. Quitting the ‘single market’ is what will make free trade possible.

The so-called ‘single market’ is really a single regulatory system. Its purpose is not so much to facilitate trade but to create supranational law. As George might recall, that’s what the electorate rejected on June 23rd last year.

Remainers like Osborne seem to believe that free trade requires supranational regulation. But that’s patently false. We don’t need to have the same laws as another country to trade freely with it.

Instead, all we need to do is mutually recognise each other’s laws. Whatever it is legal to buy and sell in the EU, for example, it should be legal to buy and sell here – and vice versa.

Think that can’t work?

Actually, that’s exactly how free trade in the European Common Market worked some forty years ago, before widespread harmonisation. It’s called the Cassis de Dijon principle.

Supranational regulation isn’t just undemocratic. It can be trade-destroying, rather than trade-creating. It results in overregulation, inflexibility, and – worst of all – regulatory capture, as corporate special interests with expensive lobbyists co-opt the rules to cut out competition.

In place of barriers between countries, it creates barriers to small business and disruptive innovation.

We should have a free-trade deal with the EU. It’s in our mutual interests to strike one.

But that deal cannot entail any kind of ‘single-market’ membership. Britain must no longer be subject to EU laws.

If the EU refuses to trade on new terms, we will have no option but to walk away. But that will be their protectionism, not ours.

Post-Brexit, we will be free to set our own tariffs, make our own trade agreements, and decide our own rules. Our trade will be as free as we want it to be.

I’d like to see Britain make a raft of free-trade deals, based on the principle of mutual recognition – as per a forthcoming paper to be published by the UKIP PRU.

Brexit will only end in protectionism if people like George Osborne keep insisting free trade must be tied to supranationalism. That false assumption must now be laid to rest.

The EU has much bigger problems than Brexit

And so it goes on. The Euro crisis looms larger than ever. Six years since Greece hit trouble, financial contagion is still spreading. Britain can’t leave this unfolding disaster soon enough.

As Ambrose Evans-Pritchard highlighted in yesterday’s Telegraph, the Eurozone is set for its biggest crisis yet. The Target 2 payments system has facilitated a huge socialisation of debt.

Debtors in southern states (especially Italian banks) now owe northern bloc central banks, via the ECB, hundreds of billions of dollars – money that they won’t be able to repay. If – or rather when – they default, the aftermath will engulf the entire Eurozone.

The debt crisis happens in the context of a banking system that is already dangerously fragile, even in Germany and France.

Research published by the UKIP Parliamentary Resource Unit in 2015 found that major European banks were still dangerously undercapitalised, in spite of post-financial crisis banking reforms. The weakest of all was Deutsche Bank.

Then there’s the politics. Depending on elections this year and next, both France and Italy could attempt to leave the Eurozone. Either scenario would amount to a huge debt default.

Many British commentators look at Brexit as if it’s happening in a vacuum. They seem to assume we’re leaving a successful economic project that will sail serenely on.

That’s clearly not the reality. We’re leaving a failed political project that is heading for economic catastrophe – possibly, as Allister Heath suggests, even before Brexit negotiations are completed in 2019.

The EU is collapsing under its own weight. The sooner we’re out, the better.

Government must get a grip as migration still spirals out of control

Responding to today’s migration statistics UKIP Immigration Spokesman John Bickley said, “Almost 600 thousand migrants arrived in the UK last year according to figures released by the ONS this morning. After emigration is subtracted – including 228,000 UK citizens that is a city the size of Hull arriving to stay permanently.

“Today’s migration figures show yet again that the Tories’ promise of reducing immigration to the tens of thousands is a hollow promise: are they misleading the British people or incompetent, most likely both.

“Earlier this week the Brexit minister David Davis let the cat out of the bag by indicating that uncontrolled immigration from the EU may never be brought under control. What happened to Vote Leave to ‘take back control’.

“The Conservatives have no intention of controlling immigration: non-EU immigration is something that the Government have total control of and yet they have totally failed in bringing the numbers down in any meaningful way. They simply cannot be trusted to control immigration and our borders.

“Today’s figures also show that migration from Romania and Bulgaria has soared to its highest ever levels. UKIP warned about this but were slated by the political and media establishment, perhaps they might listen to us in future.

“However, let’s not forget that today’s figures, which continue to show immigration at unsustainable levels, were seeded by Labour, who deliberately engineered mass uncontrolled immigration for electoral advantage.

“In last year’s Referendum 17.4 million made their views clear about unsustainable levels of immigration, and with their vote to Leave they voted to take back control of immigration and of our borders. UKIP is the only party telling the British people the truth about immigration and is the only party that can be trusted to deliver what the majority of British people want.“

Bill Etheridge slams do-gooders for “funding terrorism”

Bill Enteridge

UKIP Defence spokesman Bill Etheridge has slammed the soft UK Government and “do-gooder” lawyers for funding terrorism.

His comments come as news emerged that the Mosul suicide bomber was a former detainee of Guantanamo Bay. Islamic State group said two days ago that Abu-Zakariya al-Britani detonated a car bomb at an Iraqi army base in Tal Gaysum, south-west of Mosul.

Al-Britani is believed to be Ronald Fiddler, 50 from Manchester, who was sent to Guantanamo Bay in 2002. He was released after two years of internment and the Daily Mail reported he was awarded a million pounds in compensation.

Mr Etheridge, MEP for the West Midlands, said “These repeated compensation payments are funding terrorism.

“With the recent cases opened about former servicemen and their actions in theatres of war, to the tank-chasing lawyers and now compensation paid to former detainees, we have seen too much money wasted. These are funds that should have gone towards defending our citizens.

“The United States would not have gone through all the time, trouble and international criticism if they had not suspected the detainees were capable of committing atrocities.

“It is time to stop the thinking that there is good in everyone and realise that there are people out there that wish to do us harm.”

 

Paris is no match for London

French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron says he wants London’s talent to move to Paris post-Brexit. A decade ago, Nicolas Sarkozy made a similar pitch to French citizens in Britain. There’s a reason they stayed here.

France isn’t exactly in great shape economically. The unemployment rate in France right now is 10%, compared to 5% here. That figure rises to 26% among young people, as opposed to 12% in Britain.

Which is why many have left France to work here. Estimates suggest London is home to as many as 300,000 French citizens – and has been for years. It’s no coincidence that Sarkozy campaigned here in 2007. France’s loss of so many able people is our gain.

Britain has higher employment partly because our labour market is much more flexible. In France, not only is the working week legally limited to 35 hours, but it can also be impossible for employers to dismiss underperforming staff.

Increased protection for workers is great – if you already have a job, that is. Not if you don’t. Because it’s so hard to get rid of staff, employers are reluctant to hire them in the first place.

Brexit doesn’t change the fact that the cost of employing people in France and elsewhere in the EU is often prohibitive. Far from relocating, as Macron might hope, British banks are already identifying Brexit opportunities.

Not for the first time, business is months ahead of politics.

But there’s a more important point here.

Economic prosperity comes from flexibility. To thrive, economies need to adapt to changing conditions. Static economies decline.

Brexit allows our economy to become more dynamic – because we’ll no longer be subject to single market overregulation. That’s why economically – not just politically – we made the right choice on June 23rd.