Statement on tonight’s House of Commons vote

My statement on tonight’s House of Commons vote: MPs should consider the consequences of their actions.

Tonight the House of Commons has spoken, on a vote of 309 to 305, to require the future UK-EU deal to be approved by a statute passed by Parliament. Those who supported this motion are seeking to undermine Brexit whilst simultaneously trying to appropriate the language of Brexiteers.

In his famous dictionary, Dr. Johnson wrote that patriotism is ‘the last refuge of a scoundrel’. Ambrose Bierce disagreed, saying ‘I beg to submit that it is the first’. They refer to those who, whilst holding blatant disregard for their nation, falsely drape themselves in the flag to avoid scrutiny.

This evening, MPs have draped themselves in the language of Parliamentary sovereignty and democracy. They will achieve precisely the opposite. It appears that they have short memories. On June 23rd 2016, the British people voted for Brexit. More people did so than have voted for anything else in the entire history of our nation. On June 8 2017, both Conservative and Labour MPs were elected on Manifesto commitments to ensure Brexit and to leave the Single Market and Customs Union. Over 80% of people voted for them; UKIP suffered at that election precisely because both Conservatives and Labour went to the polls pledging to honour the referendum commitment.

There can be no shred of doubt that there is a democratic mandate in place for Britain to leave the European Union. To put it another way, I can think of no stronger mandate for anything in history: there can be nothing stronger than the unique combination of 17.4 million people voting for Brexit in a referendum, a General Election result where over 84% of voters backed parties pledging Brexit, and an Act of Parliament passed following a Supreme Court case. Legally, morally, democratically, and democratically again, Brexit must happen.

Those who drape themselves in the notion of Parliamentary sovereignty in a bid to overturn a referendum, a General Election, and an Act of Parliament, are utterly disingenuous. Whether it is the last refuge of a scoundrel or the first, they are betraying their voters.

To Labour and Conservative MPs whose constituencies voted Remain in the referendum, I ask this: When you stood at the General Election in 2017, did you support your Party’s Manifesto commitment to leave the European Union? Your constituents may, unlike many of you, actually respect democracy.

The mandate for leaving the European Union is unarguable. The mandate for leaving the Single Market and Customs Union is unarguable. And it is pure sophistry to argue against the existence a mandate for regaining control over our immigration system, or for British courts to once again become supreme.

When voting on Amendment 7, MPs should have been asking themselves the Golden Question and considering the consequences of their actions: has their decision made it easier or harder for the UK to negotiate a good deal with the European Union?

They have unquestionably made it harder. Stealing the language of Parliamentary sovereignty, they imperil the possibility of Parliament actually regaining genuine sovereignty over the country. Their vote has been welcomed by the European Union’s chief negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt. The European Union will see this vote as a green light to concede even less to the British side during negotiations.

We can now say, without a single shred of doubt, that any ‘deal’ agreed between the UK and the European Union for Brexit will be heavily skewed in favour of the European Union side. I have seen the workings of Mr. Verhofstadt, Mr. Weber, and others, at first hand over a number of years. I’ve sat in the European Parliament chamber and listened to Mr. Juncker speak. Their utter delight at this Parliamentary vote does not come from vague notions of sovereignty, but from a belief that it will allow the European Union the upper hand in negotiations.

Those MPs who voted for Amendment 7 should remember this day, because it is the day that the last remaining vestige of a chance of reaching an amicable and mutually beneficial trade deal between the UK and the European Union disappeared. If you voted for Amendment 7, you have removed all chance of obtaining a good deal. If the United Kingdom now ends up in a no-deal scenario with the European Union, you will have been the proximate cause. You now forfeit any moral right to criticise others for any fault with the final outcome.

The United Kingdom must leave the European Union. There exists no legal mechanism to overturn the triggering of Article 50; that was, after all, the whole basis for the Supreme Court case. The government must urgently prepare for the possibility of a no-deal exit from the European Union, which would also entail paying precisely nothing to the European Union in any ‘divorce bill’. Our Westminster politicians have mismanaged this entire process spectacularly badly. They must be called to account for their actions at the next General Election.

Statement on the UK-EU Brexit agreement

“Senior EU figures are now openly calling for a United States of Europe by 2025; the good news is that we’re getting off the train before it reaches a destination where almost nobody in the UK wants to go.

When the former President of the European Parliament, now the second-most powerful politician in Germany, joins forces with the European Parliament’s chief negotiator, it’s clear they mean business.

Now, more than ever, it’s vital to our nation’s future that we leave the European Union. Theresa May’s Brexit negotiations are indeed a betrayal of what we voted for, but these plans will eventually result in leaving the European Union.

This is not a hard Brexit, nor is it a soft Brexit. It is a slow Brexit.

EU courts will continue to overrule our own for up to 8 years on certain issues. We’ll still be paying to EU projects well beyond the end of 2020. Our fishing waters will not be regained immediately on Brexit Day, but at some indeterminate point beyond it. The question of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic has been kicked into the long grass.

However big a betrayal this is of our nation, the one silver lining to this cloud is that we will eventually regain our freedom. We will eventually stop paying money to the European Union, and it will eventually leave us regaining our democracy and saving vast sums on EU membership.

The EU ‘divorce bill’ is vast, but watching Remainer faux outrage shows their utter hypocrisy: they have no complaints over the vast sums we pay to the EU every year; this unacceptable amount equates to only two years of gross contributions – an issue on which they remain pathetically silent, being prepared to pay ever-increasing sums in perpetuity.

Having mismanaged negotiations to the point of national embarrassment, Theresa May – or her replacement if her leadership does not survive the coming months – must answer one huge question in the next phase of negotiations. What is the European Union going to give the UK in the next phase in return for acceding to their bloated demands? If their answer is insufficient to justify this King’s Ransom, we must walk away without paying them a penny piece.

Pressure from the DUP forced Theresa May not to concede even more than she did over Northern Ireland. Now pressure from UKIP must keep her from further betrayal as talks progress.”

Budget response

UKIP’s Treasury Spokesman Jonathan Arnott has reacted to ‘a budget of tinkering and gimmicks’, which fails to deal with the real issues underpinning the British economy and fails to plan to take advantage of the opportunities provided by Brexit.Jonathan Arnott said “By failing to plan for Brexit, he plans to fail.

This is a Budget one of tinkering and gimmicks, hammering those who work hard to develop their future and our economy, without dealing with the real issues of planning for Brexit and beyond. To establish ours as a confident, prosperous, optimistic and secure nation post-Brexit takes greater leadership than was on display this afternoon in the House.

“In raising taxes on diesel cars this government is punishing drivers for listening to them. He’s done nothing for hard-working families, trying to pass off the planned increase in the personal tax allowance as something new. But thankfully he’s done the necessary U-turn on universal credit, a policy which wasn’t thought through and was targeting genuine people.”

“He’s talked about housebuilding and affordability, with a whopping £44 billion of taxpayers’ money being promised over 5 years – that’s the equivalent of at least 2p in the pound on Income Tax. This is excessive and it’s not being spent well. We answered the housebuilding question in our General Election Manifesto and showed exactly how we can build enough affordable homes, helping young people to get on the housing ladder and using brownfield sites not greenbelt land. I suggest the Chancellor would do well to read it. Building hundreds of thousands of new, eco-friendly modular houses so tnat young people are able to get their first step on the housing ladder at cost price (with appropriate restrictions on sales to help future generations) would make a massive and rapid difference. However, controlling immigration is still important to ensure that demand is reasonable.

“There was nothing to generate work in areas with plenty of boarded-up houses, nothing to bring jobs back to deprived areas and nothing to enable that housing pool to be opened up. The forgotten and abandoned working classes remain forgotten and abandoned.

“On housing, charging landlords extra for empty properties will unfairly hit landlords who do not qualify for exemptions whilst carrying out essential maintenance. The financial response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy was needed immediately afterwards, not months later with this Budget. It may or may not be too little, but it is certainly too late.

“Most of all, this Budget is one of missed opportunities. If the Chancellor truly cared about our national security, would he not have provided specific funds to reverse cuts to our police, our Border Force and our Armed Forces?

If the Chancellor truly wanted to prepare for Brexit, would he not now be announcing help for British companies through a Presumption of Buying British to replace the EU Procurement Directive, and by ensuring that we procure from British companies wherever it makes sense?”

Hammond’s gaffe insults struggling families

Following Philip Hammond’s gaffe saying there are no unemployed people, local UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott has hit back.

“He should try telling young people and the unemployed in my constituency that there are no unemployed people”, said Mr Arnott, the Party’s Treasury spokesman.

“The Chancellor isn’t exactly a newcomer to politics – he must have known the significance of his words, but didn’t immediately correct them in any way. It’s typical of the arrogance of a Conservative Party which claims credit for job creation following the EU referendum – when in fact, a more competitive pound is a bigger reason for the recent fall in unemployment.

“I meet people all the time who genuinely struggle to find employment; it’s Philip Hammond’s job to help them not insult them.

“If he can’t understand the huge difficulties that persist for people in coastal communities, for young people struggling to get on the career ladder, or for people across huge swathes of the North and Midlands ravaged by the decades-long decline in our manufacturing, then quite frankly he’s in the wrong job. After a gaffe like that, no matter what he says in the Autumn Budget on Wednesday, he won’t be trusted.”

“We desperately need a Budget that will support small business growth, and a Brexit that will allow us to regain control over our borders and our fisheries. If we want to be a global leader post-Brexit, we need to roll up our national sleeves and make our nation truly competitive in the long run,” said Mr Arnott.

It is totally wrong that an unelected police officer is arbitrarily choosing not to enforce a law which carries a technical maximum sentence of life in prison

A furious MEP is calling for Mike Barton, the Chief Constable of Durham Police, to be sacked for introducing a scheme to ‘let off’ Class A street dealers.

“It is totally wrong that an unelected police officer is arbitrarily choosing not to enforce a law which carries a technical maximum sentence of life in prison,” said Jonathan Arnott, UKIP MEP for the North East.

“Heroin dealers should not, especially as a matter of policy, escape going to court. His new scheme will just let off those who deal in heroin and cocaine –  which is dealing in death.

“We all know what will happen – there will be ‘career’ dealers who get away without prosecution because when they’re caught, they happen to have a lesser amount on them. They will work the system.

“I’ve known, and worked to help, people whose lives have been ruined by heroin addiction. It’s not just that this decision sends out completely the wrong message. It’s not just that this could result in more people dying. It’s also that we have a top police officer in my constituency who is clearly refusing to enforce the law.

“Mike Barton is giving the green light to criminals. There’s one way to send out a much better message to criminals: he should be sacked,” said Mr Arnott.

UK citizens are the EU’s Magic Money Tree

Local MEP Jonathan Arnott  has pointed out that last year the UK paid the European Union £159 million per week more than it received back.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that the total ‘membership fee’ was £363 million per week, but the net figure comes after taking into account our rebate and EU funding.

This means that, between the date of the referendum and leaving the EU in March 2019, the British taxpayer will have forked out – net – an incredible £22.8 billion to the European Union.

UKIP’s Treasury spokesman Jonathan Arnott MEP said: “To put these figures into context, the net membership fee alone is the equivalent of over two pence in the pound on income tax.

“This isn’t what people thought they were voting for in the EU referendum. We voted to end British cash going to the European Union, not for the tap to keep flowing. It truly beggars belief that even these eye-watering amounts of money aren’t giving Theresa May pause to think – she’s still agreeing to hand many billions more over to the EU in a so-called ‘divorce bill’, which hasn’t the slightest legal basis.

“British politicians often pretend they have a magic money tree, but the European Union actually has one. It’s called the British taxpayer.

“In a surprisingly political move by the Office for National Statistics, the figures for 2016 have been calculated differently to all previous years – removing the rebate, in an apparent bid to undermine figures used by Vote Leave during the referendum campaign,” he added.