UK Politics

Show backbone, An Independence From Europe party tells MPs

Mike Nattrass

The anti-EU party An Independence From Europe has urged Westminster politicians to show some "backbone" in their dealings with Brussels.

Launching his party's campaign for the European elections, leader Mike Nattrass accused the Conservatives, Lib Dems and Labour of being "scared" to make a break with the organisation.

He also promised to push for railways, the Post Office, prisons and toll motorways to be renationalised.

The elections take place on 22 May.

The recently formed An Independence From Europe (AIFE) is fielding a full slate of candidates in every region of England.

Mr Nattrass said AIFE had very different policies to the UK Independence Party, of which he was once deputy leader.

'Backbone'

He told BBC Two's Daily Politics: "We are not the same. We are to the left of UKIP. We don't believe in privatisation as such.

"We are dead against privatisation in the National Health Service."

Mr Nattrass added: "But of course we want to get out of Europe. That's our main policy."

He was highly critical of the the way Westminster politicians had dealt with the issue of the European Union, arguing that they had the power to ensure the UK left, without having to hold a public vote,

Mr Nattrass said: "Our constitution doesn't need a referendum. It really needs MPs with backbone... but they need a referendum because otherwise they are scared to do it."

Asked about reports that he and UKIP leader Nigel Farage do not get on, he responded: "I don't know if he despises me. I don't know if I despise him, but I would rather stay well away."

AIFE is also campaigning for stronger links with the Commonwealth and for English MPs - when they are not in Parliament - to sit in assemblies voting on issues affecting the regions they represent.

Mr Nattrass said leaving the EU would provide more money for schools and the NHS.