Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Ukip rise due to recession, says PM

David Cameron said his was the only political party to be able to offer a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU

Prime Minister David Cameron has said he believes the increase in support for Ukip is a result of the recession.

Mr Cameron said the economic crisis made it " quite easy for someone to come along with some popular messages and some great rhetoric".

Appearing on ITV's Good Morning Britain, the Tory leader also said his was the only political party to be able to offer a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union.

"The truth about British politics is you'll only get that with me as British prime minister," he said.

"Labour and the Liberals won't give you a referendum, Ukip can't give you a referendum. I offer a clear plan: reform, renegotiation, referendum - all very much in Britain's interests."

Asked why Ukip and its leader Nigel Farage have managed to engage with the British public in recent months, Mr Cameron told the programme: "I think when you've had a difficult recession, when you have problems like a welfare system that needs reform and problems with the European Union, it's quite easy for someone to come along with some popular messages and some great rhetoric.

"But what I'm asking people to do is to look through the rhetoric and try to find the politics of what I call the answer, rather than the anger, or in Labour's case the envy. Let's look for the politics of the answer - who's got the plan.

"And my argument is, I'm the only one with the plan to get a better deal for Britain, to renegotiate, to hold that referendum, and as prime minister I can get those things done, just as I have with my team helped turn around the British economy.

"We are a democracy, and part of the problem with the whole European debate is we voted in 1975 but since then we've had the Maastricht Treaty , the Nice Treaty , the Amsterdam Treaty, the Lisbon Treaty.

"Powers have been passed from Westminster to Brussels - not by the Government I lead, we want powers back. And the public haven't been consulted and so I think it is right once I have secured these changes then to ask the public in a referendum, stay or go.

"I have a very clear plan to get these powers back, to make these changes, and then to hold a referendum where I will be advising people to stay in a reformed European Union. I think that is the right answer."

Asked if he would be able to remain as prime minister if the public voted against staying in the EU, Mr Cameron said: "Of course."

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