5 Months on from the Referendum and Look What We’ve Achieved
As if winning the EU Referendum wasn’t enough, we’ve caused the tectonic plates of politics to shift onto our territory. The government is making soundings that we are leaving the single market, by negotiating trade deals beforehand. They’ve stolen our policy of grammar schools. Priti Patel is considering cutting the foreign aid budget – yet another stolen policy.
It’s not just policy, look at how much effect the vote had on the parties. David Cameron is gone, he will go down as one of the worst Prime Ministers of modern times – down there with Ted Heath and Tony Blair. In his place is someone who I used to dislike, however, let’s give her credit, she seems to be making good noises on Brexit. She appointed a good cabinet, full of leave campaigners, and she isn’t afraid to take tough decisions. It is yet to be seen if she will deliver what we want, but so far; so good.
Nigel Farage has cemented his place as a global politician. He was the first foreign politician to visit President-Elect Donald Trump. While I was initially sceptical of his seeming endorsement, this gives us great power for our party and country. We have connections with many in the Republican Party and his inner circle, while the government scrambles to build bridges. Mr Trump seems very willing to put us ‘at the front of the queue’ for a trade deal – one that should not be a big business stitch up like TTIP.
We should celebrate and reflect on what we’ve achieved over many years. In 1999, UKIP sent its first MEPs, including a young Farage. In 2004, we came third in the European Elections. Then second in 2009, beating Gordon Brown’s Labour Party. Shock county council results in 2013 lead to us becoming the first party to win a national election since the Liberal Party in 1910. 2015 established us in parliament with two shock by-election results and becoming the third largest party in terms of vote share at the general election. 2016 further cemented us in Wales with 7AMs and even London with 2AMs – turns out London doesn’t reject us after all.
We should be so proud. Our party came from a dusty room in the London School of Economics, to changing the face of British politics forever. When Mr Blair said to Nigel in 2005: ‘you sit with our country’s flag, you do not represent our country’s interests!’ He couldn’t have been more wrong. We spoke for the silent majority and that is what we must continue to do.