RPT - UKIP Candidate Says Labour, LibDems Set For Election Loss After 2016 Referendum 'Betrayal'

RPT - UKIP Candidate Says Labour, LibDems Set for Election Loss After 2016 Referendum 'Betrayal'

LONDON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 03rd December, 2019) Both the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats will likely suffer in terms of vote share in the United Kingdom's upcoming general election since their pro-EU stances have been clearly at odds with the public will expressed in the 2016 Brexit referendum, David Kurten, a UKIP candidate for Bognor Regis and a London Assembly member, told Sputnik.

Speaking to Sputnik in Westminster at a conference launching the UKIP electoral manifesto, Kurten argued that millions of euroskeptic Labour voters would hardy support this party on December 12, noting that the way how this would impact the final result remained to be seen.

"They've completely abandoned the 17.4 million, including 5 million or so Labour voters, who wanted to leave [the EU], so Labour is not the party for them anymore. They want a second referendum also, since most of the people at the top of the party want to go back into the EU," he argued.

Kurten also doubted that the Labour, which he says is becoming an essentially "Marxist" party, was capable of delivering on its economic pledges.

"They'll destroy the economy entirely. As usual they're promising all this free stuff but I think most people are intelligent enough to see through that and know they'll never be able to deliver on all of what they are promising to do," the politician said.

The UKIP candidate then directed his criticism at the Liberal Democrats, who are actively campaigning on a policy of overturning and ultimately canceling Britain's departure from the European Union, calling them "anti-democratic."

"They call themselves the Liberal Democrats but they are basically anti-democratic. They want to overturn the democratic will of the British people, it's terrible. I think even people who are staunch Remainers are looking at them and thinking this isn't right, this isn't fair, you are anti-democracy and are losing support even amongst people they've targeted," he said.

Asked about the situation facing his own party, the politician admitted that UKIP had endured a difficult year following the resignation of two leaders and the loss of their remaining European Parliament members in the May elections.

Yet support for UKIP's message of unequivocal withdrawal from the EU still existed, he argued, especially in light of the arguable inadequacy of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit plan and the party's long-term "grass roots" history of opposing European federalism.

"There's no question this has been a tough year for UKIP. It's been a tough few years since the referendum and all that's happened from there.

We have had some problems, we're sorting them out, we're regrouping and getting together and we're running a very positive campaign in this election. We're not standing in as many places as we did in 2017 but on the ground there's a lot of good sentiment directed at us, as I think people understand at the grass-roots level we've got a lot of good people who have worked very hard over the years to get us out of the European Union, and people see that," he said.

Commenting on the current deal on exiting the EU, the candidate claimed that it amounted to "Brexit in name only."

"I think it's a very bad deal as it still ties us into the European Court of Justice, we'll still be in the single market and customs union for the whole of the transition period and we'll be tied into maintaining equal regulations, taxes, VAT and so on perhaps forever if we fulfil the requirements of the political declarations," he claimed.

With just 10 days to go before the UK heads to the polls to elect a new government, polls remain in favor of the ruling Conservative party by a relatively sizable margin of 7 percentage points. The Conservative are resting on a 42 percent approval rating, with the opposition Labour still trailing behind on 35 percent, an ICM poll commissioned by Reuters showed earlier on Monday.

The pro-Remain Liberal Democrats are still struggling to make gains, with their approval rating apparently unchanged on 13 percent. The staunchly euroskeptic Brexit Party who were easily the big winners when it came to May's elections to the European Parliament are also trailing behind, enjoying a meager 3 percent approval rating.

Such figures may yet reflect the possibility that the general election is not being fought on the sole matter of Brexit. The Labour party has repeatedly attacked the government over what they regard as years of "austerity" policies impacting the UK's broader welfare system, an issue that intensified last week following Labour claims to have uncovered evidence of government plans to allow US corporations to partially privatize the National Health Service as part of a potential post-Brexit trade deal.

The death of two UK citizens last Friday by convicted terrorist Usman Khan has also forced the issue of policing and national security into the electoral limelight. Johnson has thus far insisted that the early release of Khan was due to legislation introduced under the previous Labour government, having repeatedly stressed a tougher approach to both crime in general and violent offenders specifically.

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