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Ukip launches European election campaign with promise to ‘set Britain free’

Leader Gerard Batten urged supporters to vote for Ukip on May 23.

Ukip Party leader Gerard Batten at Ukip’s EU election campaign and manifesto launch at the Dorman Museum in Middlesbrough (Danny Lawson/PA)
Ukip Party leader Gerard Batten at Ukip’s EU election campaign and manifesto launch at the Dorman Museum in Middlesbrough (Danny Lawson/PA)

UK Independence Party leader Gerard Batten has launched their EU election campaign saying they are the only political party with a clear policy on how to leave Europe.

Mr Batten was speaking to a group of around 50 people in Middlesbrough ahead of a nationwide tour.

He urged supporters to vote for Ukip on May 23 and said a victory for the party “will enable us to continue the struggle to set Britain free from the EU”.

Mr Batten, speaking in front of a campaign bus emblazoned with the slogan “Tell them again! Vote Ukip”, said a vote for his party would be a vote to leave the EU.

He said: “If they do that, they will send a clear message to our politicians in Westminster.”

Mr Batten said Ukip’s policy included no second referendum, as holding one would mean “the effective end of democracy in this country”.

He told the crowd: “Our Government needs to stop asking the European Union how it can leave and start telling them how it’s going to happen.

“We need a plan of how to make it happen and Ukip has that plan.

“And we don’t mind if the Government steals our plan because it’s going to be very good for our country.”

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Gerard Batten has a selfie taken with a supporter at Ukip’s EU election campaign launch (Danny Lawson/PA)

Mr Batten said Ukip’s policy included leaving the EU by means of unilateral and unconditional withdrawal; offering the EU the choice of continued tariff-free trade or World Trade Organisation terms; and offering reciprocal rights to citizens.

“Then we can set about repealing and amending the thousands upon thousands of pieces of EU legislation in place but in accordance with our priorities and timescales.”

He said Brexit was being “betrayed”, adding: “The political class in Westminster never had any intention of delivering Brexit.

“The whole thing is in chaos and our country is now the laughing stock of the world.”

He added: “Membership of the EU has been a cancer at the heart of politics in this country since 1972.”

A wholly owned subsidiary of one man’s ego Gerard Batten's description of Nigel Farage's Brexit Party

The party leader also criticised Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, describing it as an “autocracy” and “a wholly owned subsidiary of one man’s ego”.

He said: “Ukip has a plan of how to leave the European Union. The Brexit Party only has empty rhetoric.

“The Brexit Party is an alternative Tory party. A safety valve for disaffected Conservatives. It is Tory Lite. Their light blue colours tell you everything you need to know about them.”

Mr Batten was joined at the campaign launch by local MEP candidates Richard Elvin, Chris Gallacher and Alan Breeze.

As supporters holding placards waited for him to arrive, loudspeakers mounted on a van played music, including Rule Britannia and Jerusalem.

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Ukip leader Gerard Batten at the party’s EU election campaign and manifesto launch in Middlesbrough (Danny Lawson/PA).

One man held a banner stating “Goodbye Remain MPs Killers of Democracy”, while another wore a red cap bearing the slogan “Make England Great Again”.

As Mr Batten finished his speech, the crowd chanted: “What do we want? Brexit. When do we want it? Now.”

PA

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