The population of Gateshead and Newcastle settled in the UK last year

New figures released today by the Office of National Statistics show that net immigration into the UK rose to 318,000 during 2014, an increase of 109,000 on the year before. The total immigration figure stands at 641,000. These troubling figures come despite continuous pledges by the Conservatives and David Cameron to reduce immigration to less than 100,000 per year.

UKIP’s North East MEP, Jonathan Arnott said “Yet again we see figures that highlight the continuing and growing problem of uncontrolled mass immigration. The numbers of people that have settled in the UK last year are greater than the population of Gateshead and Newcastle combined, it’s ludicrous.

“People all across the North East are seeing a huge strain on our public services. It affects everything from getting GP appointments to finding school places for our children, not to mention the huge impact such numbers have on rent prices and jobs.

“The free movement of people from the EU to the UK must be halted, and a sensible points-based system introduced not only cope with the strain on our services, but to ensure we get the right quality of people settling in the UK.”

Labour suppress democracy in Sunderland

The UK Independence Party has accused Labour in Sunderland of suppressing democracy after a Labour candidate’s appeal to the Vice Chancellor of Sunderland University resulted in the organisers’ decision being overturned.

The local UK Independence Party candidate was unable to attend the debate because he had to look after his ill wife following a serious relapse in her chronic condition.

The event organisers were therefore informed that Jonathan Arnott MEP would attend in his place and speak at the debate. But on arrival Mr Arnott was informed that the Labour Party refused to debate him.

UKIP therefore provided a statement to the organisers of the debate to be read out so that students would understand the reason why the party was not the percentage.

However, after the organisers agreed to this, the Labour team contacted the Vice Chancellor of the University and was successful in ensuring that any statement would be suppressed.

UKIP’s representative Jonathan Arnott said “All of the other candidates were happy to debate me.  The Conservative candidate even passed on his best wishes for a speedy recovery for Mrs. Forster.  But Labour insisted that the event must be stage-managed to such an extent that the audience would not be allowed to know why a UKIP candidate was not present.

“I rearranged my diary at very short notice in the interests of democracy. Sadly, for Labour politics is all about spin not substance and stage management not genuine debate.  By contacting the Vice Chancellor they show their contempt for democracy.  This shows just how terrified Labour is about UKIP in the north of England.”

 

Local fishermen supported by UKIP

Support for the North East’s struggling fish fleets was demonstrated by UKIP in Sunderland today. (Thur)

The region’s MEP Jonathan Arnott was present at the Fish Quay at the city’s harbour along with the the party’s three candidates for Sunderland, activists and fishermen.

“UKIP have always shown great support for our fishermen and we have held a number of talks with them. Our national Fisheries spokesman, Ray Finch, has been up three times to North Shields, Blyth, New Biggin, Hartlepool and Alnmouth.

“It is an on going movement right across the North East and the fishermen fully support UKIP who are fighting their corner. It is an issue close to our hearts,” said Mr Arnott, who addressed the throng from a fishing boat awaiting repairs on the quayside, which like others had hoisted a UKIP flag.

Aileen Casey, UKIP’s parliamentary candidate for Washington and Sunderland West spoke of her anger that the fleet in Sunderland, once about 100 strong, has been decimated following the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy.

“Please join us and get our fishing fleet back,” she urged.

Local fisherman Norman Shaw told how EU fishing quotas have devastated the industry and rules and regulations, both local and international, have driven many fishermen to give up their trade.

He also told how the off shore wind farm at Blyth is causing further problems because of an exclusion zone.

UKIP is fighting to help the country’s fishing fleets and is strenuously opposed to wind farms, both on and off shore, as being inefficient and adding to energy bills.

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Wake up call to voters

Research showing that the North East has the highest number of safe parliamentary seats should be a wake up call for Labour voters, said the region’s UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott.

“It is depressing that our region has the top number of safe seats at 79.3%, with many seats not having changed hands for generations. Unsurprisingly these safe seats in the North East are all Labour and it explains why the party is content to ignore this part of the country, confident that they can treat their supporters with disdain but still get elected.

“We hope to change all that by challenging Labour in their heartlands”  said Mr Arnott, who is contesting the Easington constituency – which, since 1979, has overall been the safest seat anywhere in England.

“People are beginning to realise this and turning to UKIP as the party that most represents their working class values and common sense views.  Even so, the Electoral Reform Society’s figures clearly show the need for a more proportional voting system so that everyone’s vote matters and is equally valuable.”

“The data on predicted General Election results drawn up by the Electoral Reform Society “confidently predicted” 56% of the total results. That should be a wake-up call for all voters in the safe constituencies, not to let their votes be so taken for granted.”

UKIP launch North East election campaign

UKIP launched its election campaign in the North East today (Thur) – and threw down the gauntlet to Labour.

Speaking at the event in Gateshead local MEP Jonathan Arnott said, “The Labour Party has dominated North East politics for decades.  But today, standing in every constituency, we take our message of hope into the Labour heartlands that they’ve taken for granted.”

Mr Arnott spoke of the growth of the party in the North East, taking just 2.7% of the vote in 2010 to last year when they took almost 25% where UKIP stood in council elections and 29% at the European elections.

“We are a vibrant, dynamic Party looking to shape the future of politics in the North East.  Today we launch a General Election campaign – and you can say what you like about it.  Some people will welcome us with open arms, and others will hurl accusations and lies.  But no-one can deny what happened five years ago, and ignore us.  Across the country the biggest political story of the last few years has been the rise of UKIP.

“The local newspapers have surveyed thousands of people, putting together their people’s North East Manifesto – and it reads just like a UKIP Manifesto.  What local people stand for, we in UKIP stand for.  From raising the tax threshold so that no-one pays any Income Tax on the minimum wage, to ending the current free-for-all on immigration and introducing an Australian-style points system instead.

“From giving our NHS the funding to do the job, to dualling the A1 to give business the connections it needs.  From saving the £55 million a day we send to the European Union to cutting our foreign aid bill.

“These are the policies that local people are desperately crying out for.  In UKIP you might find some right-wing policies.  You might find some left-wing policies.  But what we stand for is actually firmly at the core of what people believe.

“We’re not here to make up the numbers.  We’re not a Party that shies away from tough fights, or from saying what needs to be said.  We’re a party of real people not stage management.

“And we have a tough fight here in the North East.  Not against the Liberal Democrats, whose support has collapsed, or against the irrelevant Conservatives.  But at this election we shape the battleground for the years to come.

“Because we believe in the power of the people.  Because we believe in the future of the North East.  And because we believe in Britain,” he said.

Also at the launch at the Marriott Hotel in the Metrocentre were many of UKIP’s 29 parliamentary candidates for the region including Phillip Broughton, who is standing in the hotly contested Hartlepool seat.

Did Labour even bother to read the North East Manifesto?

UKIP’s Jonathan Arnott MEP has hit out at the Labour Party over its comments on the North East Manifesto after they claimed that it’s close to the Labour Manifesto.  From the deficit to foreign aid, energy to the NHS, immigration to crime, the North East Manifesto goes against everything which Labour stands for – leading the local UKIP MEP to ask the question ‘Have they even bothered to read it?’

“All six of the headline local North East policies fit UKIP’s views like a glove, but the results of the remaining questions are startling – and diametrically opposed to everything that Labour stands for.  They should be treating this as a wake-up call, but bizarrely they’re claiming that it’s close to their position instead.”  Amongst the findings of the Journal and Chronicle’s survey for the North East Manifesto were:

  • Immigration “should be controlled more strongly with a points-based system”
  • The government’s top priority should be “immigration and Europe”
  • Foreign aid “should be cut back while we rebuild our economy”
  • We should “hire more police, build lots more prisons and deport foreign criminals” but also “Cut red tape for police and give criminals tougher sentences”
  • To reduce the deficit we should “Leave the EU and vastly reduce foreign aid”
  • Our GPs should be “freed from paperwork”
  • Yes to shale gas exploration
  • We should support “English votes for English laws”

 

This is in addition to headline policies like cutting local small business rates, dualling the A1, protecting our NHS and scrapping the bedroom tax.

Arnott continued: “I don’t think that the Labour Party can honestly claim they’ve done a complete U-turn on all of these issues.  I think it’s more likely that they only skim-read the headline policies and didn’t bother to read the full results to see what local people are actually saying.  How else could they make such a claim?  Fortunately though, there’s one Party which is truly standing up for the North East – and that Party is the UK Independence Party.”

North East Manifesto “reads like a UKIP Manifesto” claims Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP North East MEP Jonathan Arnott has expressed his delight at the publication of the ‘North East Manifesto’ which was set up by the Chronicle and Journal, and in which over 1,500 readers participated to show the key issues affecting local people at the General Election:

“The North East Manifesto is a great initiative, and it’s great to see so many people engage with this novel democratic idea from our local newspapers. I’m delighted that the North East Manifesto has shown that UKIP’s priorities are so in tune with local people’s needs. We’ve been calling for a cut in small business rates, dualling the A1, not only protecting our free NHS but investing another £3 billion a year into it, cutting rates for small businesses, and making sure that spending cuts don’t hit frontline services. These are five of the top six priorities in the North East Manifesto.

“As far as the other one (devolution) is concerned, we’d also love to see more power come back to the North East. The devil will be in the detail though – the people of the North East voted massively against a regional assembly in 2004: we don’t want yet another tier of elected politicians. We’ll support the right devolution, but we won’t write a blank cheque – and we don’t think that local people would want us to.

“In fact, the North East Manifesto reads like a UKIP Manifesto – and the good news is that people will have the chance to vote for it in May.”

EU Commission accused of “bare faced cheek” for taking legal action against Britain over energy

Local UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott has accused the European Commission of “bare faced cheek”  for taking legal action against Britain over energy.

The European Commission has stated that it will launch legal action against 27 EU member states over their failure to impose the EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive into national law.

The controversial EU rules have already made the industry pay between £86.6 billion and £93.2 billion in regulatory costs.

“These EU rules left local power generation at the Teesside power plant – which was one of the largest in Europe, still relatively young and with plenty of remaining working life – uneconomical and the demolition is expected to be complete in the next few months.  EU rules are costing local people jobs as well as pushing up consumer prices,” said Mr Arnott.

“How the EU continuously believes it has the right to interfere in our affairs astonishes me. It displays bare faced cheek from the Commission, and the British people have simply had enough.

“It is time we left the European Union and regained control over our own energy industry so that we can take the decisions which would best fit Britain’s needs, not the needs of 27 other countries.

”The EU has already done untold damage to our energy industry and it is high time we said enough is enough. I call on the Government to fight the Commission in court and finally stand up for Britain’s interest.

“The European Commission is already taking to UK to a European Court to change our laws on immigrant benefits, so this latest move is clearly more of the same treatment. It is very unwelcome. “

“These EU rules left local power generation at the Teesside power plant – which was one of the largest in Europe, still relatively young and with plenty of remaining working life – uneconomical, and the demolition is expected to be complete in the next few months.  EU rules are costing local people jobs as well as pushing up consumer prices”

North East infrastructure must not be upgraded on the cheap, the whole of the A1 must be dualled

A government road scheme has been described by a local MEP as “trying to upgrade North East transport on the cheap’”.

The proposed ‘expressways’ scheme would remove roundabouts and traffic lights from some of the country’s A-roads, creating motorway-style slip roads and junctions to ease traffic flow.

On the list of projects is turning the A1 north of Newcastle into such an expressway.  Restrictions are likely to be placed on the new class of road, including new traffic rules and a ban on bicycles.

But UKIP Euro-MP Jonathan Arnott believes that the plan is fundamentally flawed, because there is still no commitment to make the whole length of the A1 dual carriageway.

“The whole of the A1 must be dualled, with no exceptions. If they were planning to do that, then I would be all for this new proposed ‘expressway’ which would help to cut journey times still further.  But my worry is that once again, the government is trying to upgrade North East transport on the cheap.

The Chancellor’s ‘Northern economic powerhouse’ looks pretty shaky when London has 25 times the public spending per capita on transport that we get here in the North East.

“My simple message to the politicians in Westminster is this: Stop expecting us to be grateful when we’re given the crumbs under the table after London has had its share.”

UKIP has been campaigning for the dualling for the A1 and A69 for years, since Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall’s announcement at the 2013 North East Conference.

Mr Arnott has previously branded the single-carriageway A1 as ‘a disgrace’ given that it is the main road between London and Edinburgh, saying that development of business requires proper transport links.

The new expressways will be an entirely new road classification, intended as a halfway house between an A-road and a motorway.  Similar transport schemes exist already in Italy, Holland, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.

Report shows jobs meltdown claims are untrue

A report from the influential Institute of Economic Affairs “gives the lie to ridiculous claims that leaving the EU would cause a jobs meltdown,” said UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott.

“The other three main parties peddle these ridiculous claims but as the author of this report notes, there may well be net job creation in the wake of a British exit.

“What is quite clear is that the ability to trade does not rely on membership of a political union, but the ability to be an independent democracy relies on not being absorbed into a political union.”

“David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband should all level with the British public. The reason they want to stay in the EU is not because of any likely adverse effect on jobs or the wider economy, it is because the British establishment is doing very nicely out of the EU when it comes to jobs for the boys,” said Mr Arnott, Euro-MP for the North East.

“It would be a rash punter who gambled against at least one of these gentleman ending up as an extremely well paid EU commissioner in the very near future.”

“But over the long-run, EU membership has been prohibitively expensive and disastrous for many of our industries – from fishing to coal mining. Britain would be better off out.”