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The Prime Minister's Speech Has Made Today a Victory for Ukip

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FARAGE
PA

The very fact that we are talking about the possibility of Britain leaving the European Union is Ukip's biggest victory to date.

Even five years ago the thought of this issue being even discussed was an anathema and it is a great triumph for the tens of thousands of Ukip members and supporters that they have, through calm and passionate arguments, put it on the nation's agenda.

Today we heard the skeleton of the 'Yes' side's argument: how the prime minister will lead a Yes vote. It will be a campaign based on the 1970s 'Common Market' argument where we are bombarded with views on how essential the single market is to this country. Just as people thought they were voting on a trade deal back in 1975 they will be told that the EU is beneficial to this country and our economy.

But we know the clear benefits to being an independent, global country active on the world stage. We understand the opportunities from rediscovering our links with the Commonwealth and not only slashing the regulations to allow our own economy to flourish but engaging in free and fair trade with those countries being left reliant on aid by the protectionist measures of the EU and other trade blocs.

If David Cameron had promised a free and fair In/Out referendum during this parliament I would have cheered him. But we haven't been offered that. Cast Iron Dave - who has a track record on denying the people the chance to have their say - will instead ask the public to forget recent history and trust a manifesto pledge.

It is clear the prime minister has been forced by public opinion to offer a referendum but it is also clear that the renegotiation he speaks of will be little more than lip service. EU leaders have been clear in their warnings to the prime minister that there cannot be an a la carte EU and recently proposed changes can be done without a new Treaty. This denies Mr Cameron the negotiating position he is insisting he has.

They might let us catch herrings in the Solent but not much more.

As far as Ukip goes, claims that there is no longer a need for us are nonsense. The genie is out of the bottle: the fight for our country's liberty starts today and we are more relevant than ever.

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