Former UKIP leader urges formation of an Irish UKIP to contest European elections
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage was in Dublin last weekend to praise US President Donald Trump and urge Ireland to leave the EU.
He addressed a so-called Irexit conference at the RDS organised by the European parliament’s Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) rightwing political grouping, to which Farage is affiliated as an MEP.
Although he has several times ailed to be directly elected in the UK he has served 20 years as an MEP under the list system by which parties are elected to seats, rather than individual candidates.
At the conference Farage urged supporters of Ireland’s withdrawal from the EU to set up a new party and run candidates in next year’s 2019 European elections for the ninth European Parliament.
Addressing about 400 people at the Irexit: Freedom to Prosper conference at the RDS, paid for an organized by the European Parliament grouping to which he belongs, Farage said: “What on earth is going on in the politics of this country? How much more humiliated can the Irish nation be, having been run by the troika and with its budget seen by the German government before it was even put to the Dail?”
He said Ireland was not as pro-EU as surveys and reports suggest only “the political, media and big business class in Dublin” are pro-European.
“Ireland is not the truly independent country that your grandparents fought for. You are stuck in a currency that does nothing for Ireland and which made the ‘bust’ worse.
“While it is not up to me to tell you what to do, there is a gap in the political market here. You would give the political establishment the fright of their lives and change the whole narrative.”
“Britain and Ireland are closer than ever, a lot of the enmity has gone. Yet there is potentially a problem and Ireland’s farmers will be very badly hurt if the UK does not get a decent trade deal with the EU. Varadkar must argue for an exception on trade for the Republic.”
Former Irish Times journalist John Waters told the conference Ireland is “no longer a democracy or a republic” and that Europe had made “the mistake of believing that a society or culture can form willy-nilly out of a melting pot of ethnicities and cultures”.
Reporters noted several red “Make America Great Again” baseball caps in the audience and a significant number of people from the UK. During his address Farage encouraged those present to cause as much controversy as possible so that they might dominate the news agenda.
“Whatever the mainstream media say about a new political movement in this country that is standing up for the right values, it doesn’t matter.
“There’s a chap in America who’s proved this to a certain extent. “Whether you like ‘The Donald’ or not is not the point, but what did he do?
“He courted as much controversy as he possibly could because controversy means you get more frontpage headlines and you dominate the news agenda.”
“By using Twitter he goes around the back of the political class, the media class, and the big business class. He reaches straight to American men and women and voters and he’s now got 47.6 million followers.”