By Janice Atkinson independent MEP and vice-president of the Europe of Nations
Michael Fabricant said in yesterday’s Brexit Bulletin that he would like to see other nations leaving the EU but there is a flaw in his plan. As this illiberal, populist crackpot leaves her bed she occupies with Marine Le Pen, Viktor Orban and the rest of the unsavoury EU toxic coalition who want Britain to succeed and back Brexit, I’d like to remind him that there will be no other EU nations joining the UK in ‘break [ing] free from the shackles of the EU’ without the people he derides.
In his piece, there were quite a number of factually incorrect statements. The M5S does not sit with the Lega Nord in the EU Parliament. The M5S sits with Nigel Farage’s Ukip, a rather unholy alliance, as the M5S is a green/left/high tax party that tried leaving Nigel’s group last year to ally with Verhofstadt’s liberals, who rejected them.
The Conservative party’s allies in the Parliament are the ruling Polish party, the right wing populist PiS who are currently being sanctioned by the EU for implementing their democratic mandate at home. The EU recently removed the MEP elected cross party PiS vice president of the Parliament as they did not like his views. The Conservative’s natural ally, Hungary’s Viktor Orban (populist), is being taken to court because they, along with the Czech Republic and Poland, are refusing to accept mandatory migrant quotas. Who are the authoritarians here? Orban’s Fidesz sits with Merkel’s bloc.
My friend and close colleague, Matteo Salvini, is accused by Mr Fabricant of veering into xenophobia because he wants to deport illegal immigrants. That’s what Italy’s voters asked him to do. According to the EU’s own figures, 40% of rapes in Italy are committed by foreigners and immigrants make up 32.6% of its prison population (2015 latest figures). There has been a 15% year-on-year rise in the number of migrants reaching Italy. There are around 5.4 million illegal immigrants plus 200,000 who are classified as asylum seekers. Salvini wants to deport 500,000. Mr Fabricant also called him ‘unsavoury’ and a former communist. Salvini would like to see a 15% flat tax.
The reality is that the EU authoritarians are seeing the voters reject their policies by voting for populists and that is why we have seen a bit of a reality check with Verhofstadt this week peddling a softer approach to Brexit. They’re scared. And it’s my friends who are making them change their minds.
Presumably, Mr Fabricant would not like these populists supporting a good trade deal, including services, for Britain, which the Polish PiS does? Presumably, he does not support President Trump, a populist, who wants to put the UK ‘at the front of the queue’ for a trade deal? Presumably he does not support US Secretary of State Wilbur Ross, who told me in Washington in December, ‘Janice, do not accept the poison pill of an EU trade deal if you want a good deal with us’. He also told other MEPs present in the room that they were protectionist and didn’t understand free trade.
I do not understand who he thinks the Conservatives’ allies are that are likely to follow us and Exit?
The Conservatives’ traditional allies are hindering, not helping, Brexit
It is the Conservatives’ traditional allies in the EU who are obstructing Brexit and trying to damage Britain because their ideological federalist future is at stake. He should also be careful about the language he uses. It is interesting to note that the hyperbole of our opposition in the Parliament changed quite dramatically when they realised that their own voters felt alienated from the traditional old guard parties for using the terms ‘xenophobe’ and ‘racist’. Instead, they now call us populists which, according to the Oxford Dictionary, means representing the ordinary people. We’re happy with that.
There is a populist wave across the EU and I predict another earthquake when my friends, in Nigel Farage’s group, the Swedish Democrats win their elections in September, who are also supporters of Brexit. The Scandinavian countries’ electorates are also revolting because they’ve had enough of the liberal left and migration.
Italy will have its populist government. Even the Greeks and the Spanish have new populist (conservative) break-aways from the traditional conservative parties. Vox in Spain and Nea Dexia in Greece are all conservatives and, like many Ukip members, felt their conservatives parties had abandoned conservatism. They are all Eurosceptics. They will win MEP seats. Bulgaria has already elected eleven populist MPs in the new party, Volya, and will do well in the 2019 European elections.
I left the Conservative party in 2011 because they were only conservative in name, not in actions. I am still a conservative, Thatcher is still my hero. But I have been more pragmatic than Mr Fabricant and have chosen my political friends and allies because they are conservatives (some are libertarian) but what unites us all on the populist right is a love of our countries, belief in the nation state and its sovereignty, taking back control of our borders, abandoning Schengen, opposition to forced migrant quotas for failed open door EU policies, a belief in trading and co-operation without the euro and protectionist trade policies, lower taxes and rolling back the state.
Does this remind you of Taking Back Control, Mr Fabricant?