Farage: Migration has made parts of UK 'unrecognisable'

 

Nigel Farage: "We are posing the biggest threat to the political establishment that has been seen in modern times"

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Parts of the UK have become "unrecognisable" due to the impact of mass immigration over the past decade, UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said.

He told activists at UKIP's spring conference that opening the UK's borders to new EU members had had a detrimental impact on social cohesion.

He also said he felt "uncomfortable" about the unwillingness of new arrivals to learn and speak English.

Mr Farage has insisted he believes his party can win May's European elections.

In a speech to party members in Torquay he said that "open door, mass immigration" had hurt the poorest in the UK and that UKIP - which wants to leave the EU - would lead a "patriotic fightback" in May.

'Betrayed'

While UKIP supported migrants coming to the UK to fill specific jobs - where there were skills shortages - he said economic problems in the eurozone meant the influx of low-skilled labour to the UK was likely to accelerate and questioned the social and cultural impact it had had.

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall Deputy leader Paul Nuttall said 30% of UKIP's MEPs could be women in future

"In scores of our cities and market towns, this country, in a short space of time, has, frankly, become unrecognisable.

"Whether it is the impact on local schools and hospitals, whether it is the fact that in many parts of England you don't hear English spoken any more, this is not the kind of community we want to leave to our children and grandchildren."

The UK, Mr Farage said, had been "betrayed" by "a political class that had sold out to Brussels", resulting in the undermining of legal and political institutions and the loss of control over the country's borders.

The latest official figures, which showed a sharp rise in net migration last year driven by new arrivals from within the EU, illustrated the scale of the problem facing the UK, he added.

"You cannot have your own immigration policy and remain a member of the European Union," he said.

He suggested fundamental changes in the UK's relationship with Brussels were "unobtainable" and that David Cameron's pledge of a referendum in 2017 was designed to "kick the issue in the long grass" until after the general election.

'Patriotic'

Mr Farage later told the BBC that UKIP had made debating the issue of immigration "responsible" and that patriotism was "not something to be brushed under the carpet or sneered at".

2009 EUROPEAN ELECTION RESULTS

  • Conservatives - 27%
  • UKIP - 16.5%
  • Labour - 15.7%
  • Lib Dems - 13.7%
  • Green Party - 8.6%
  • BNP - 6.2%

Speaking at a subsequent Q&A session, Mr Farage said he did not blame young Romanians and Bulgarians coming to the UK to look for work, given the disparity in wages between the respective countries.

But, recounting a train journey he had taken recently between London and Kent, he said he felt "slightly awkward" at the fact so little English was spoken and suggested learning the language was vital to the process of newcomers integrating.

Reflecting on UKIP's recent surge in the opinion polls and its electoral success, he said the party was "on the march" and represented "the biggest threat to the political establishment that has been seen in modern times".

He suggested UKIP could pull off the "biggest political shock" in years by beating Labour and the Conservatives in this May's European elections and this would be a springboard for it to get its first MPs elected in 2015.

"This is the moment we have waited for," he said. "This is the big one for UKIP. We can achieve something remarkable and can top these European polls."

Poll hopes

Despite hopes of creating a "political earthquake", one recent poll suggested UKIP was currently in third place behind both Labour and the Conservatives.

While Mr Farage suggested up to a quarter of MEPs in the next European Parliament could hold eurosceptic views, he suggested their numbers would not be sufficient to block legislation.

He also said UKIP would not work with the Front National, the French far-right party, saying its politics was based on "race and religion" and that it was "unreformable".

However, the party has faced questions of its own after it emerged its new slogan 'Love Britain, Vote UKIP' was once used by the far-right BNP.

"It is our slogan now, we are keeping it," Mr Farage told the BBC, saying the party was "reclaiming" the phrase.

Asked about the mixed record of its party since the 2009 elections, which has seen five of its MEPs either defect or been removed from the party, Mr Farage said UKIP had had "one or two bad apples which we have got rid of".

The number of female candidates standing in May showed the extent to which the party had changed, he added.

"The most significant change is the rise of women in the party," he said. "Our women have achieve these positions on the European elections lists through merit, which is the example of the kind of society we want to live in."

 

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  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 1276.

    Realistically speaking, UK needs Immigrants in order to sustain growth and remain relevant in the global market.
    UK would ideally have hard working immigrants that will easily integrate and will Not blow themselves up carrying rucksacks with explosives, if you know what I mean . All in all Britain benefits from EU immigration.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 1275.

    The world is now run by large businesses. They fund parties to make sure they get what they need. Big business is in favour of open borders. So UKIP and others can say what they like. The dead hand of big business is running the show. Democracy is an illusion.We're living in the matrix.

  • Comment number 1274.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 1273.

    The likelihood of Cameron winning a majority at the next election is very low. He has already said he will not enter another coalition so the chances of a referendum and his current assurances are fairly meaningless.He will never renegotiate any real changes to the EU set up, so the only chance we have of worthwhile policy implementation is for the other parties to adopt some of UKIP policy

  • Comment number 1272.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 1271.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 1270.

    I lived and worked in Spain for 9 years, great people when you know the language and live with them. I did'nt take my British flag, i had the pleasure of meeting great people chillaxed, friendly etc. I learned the language, i was not there to suck benefits or housing. Last 2 years business dried up, could not get housing benefit or even a food stamp. Shows the EU don't work both ways. OUT

  • Comment number 1269.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 1268.

    @1254 StrongPimphand
    ------
    Baloney! I'm not your friend and you protest too much.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 1267.

    I don't know about people from other parts of the world but all the EU migrants I have met want to improve their English, they also want to work. Coming out of the EU will not stop migration from other parts of the world, and without migration who is going to pay our pensions, we are not having enough children to keep the money coming in without migrants from somewhere.

  • Comment number 1266.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 1265.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 1264.

    Clearly the conservatives aren't going to hit their target of getting immigration down to the tens of thousands. Does Cameron care? No, he thinks it's funny, it was never something that he was serious about.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 1263.

    It has taken UKIP to start to raise some important questions. We are a small island, struggling to build houses, so having to build on flood risk areas.

    Health services, schools, transport links, prisons are overcrowded. We don't have room for millions more people, no matter which country they are from.

    More entrants to UK, higher birth rate. We just can't cope now.

  • rate this
    -7

    Comment number 1262.

    A lot of comments mention we are becoming 'overcrowded' and 'overwhelmed'. What a load of tosh. Britain isn't even in the top 50 for population density by country. If cities are generally overcrowded, it is probably due to unequal regional economies and poor urban planning. In places like the Philippines, they are having to bury people upright in cemeteries. UKIP are just sad Tory Party rejects.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 1261.

    1217 beammeup
    Absolutely, I am sick of these prejudiced people trying to smear. UKIP
    Is about The UK taking back back control of its destiny and managing immigration in a sustainable way. It suits the EU philes to try and depict them as prejudiced and intolerant from views these EU philes dreamed up. Prejudice and hatred belongs to history not the modern world.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 1260.

    The UK needs UKIP because the traditional parties have sold us out in the most atrocious way possible. The Labour Party in particular has trodden over the people of this country, but the Conservatives appear to continuing with a lot of the policies of Labour that ruined this country. We need a major shake up and UKIP will certainly achieve that.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 1259.

    Vote Tory/Lib dem, raise our taxes cut public funding and give billions away to other countries who don't need it......
    Vote Labour and increase foreign labour for British jobs.....
    Vote UKIP and attempt to get this country back on its feet and give work back to home grown talent...

    The choice is yours!!!

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 1258.

    1224. JuTu
    "The expats in places like Spain are very poorly integrated."..

    British expats in Spain are wealthy and have no political or cultural agenda, they are not in Spain for their welfare system, and they have no issue with Spanish culture or Spanish people.

    Sadly, migrants from certain SE Asian countries do not share this philosophy, and areas of the UK are now Islamic enclaves.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 1257.

    Unless everyone gets behind UKIP at the EU and General elections then it will split the Tory vote and let in Labour. Neither of these parties have a clue and the LibDems are a waste of space. Trouble is, UKIP are not a party of government and are only seen as a protest vote. What hope is there for our once great country?

 

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