Entrepreneur Paul Sykes, one of Britain’s richest men, has thrown his substantial financial support behind the UKIP euro-election campaign. Nigel Farage’s electoral ‘earthquake’ now seems much more likely- and it may just rock the boat.
It is now 6 months until the European Parliament elections take place. In the previous election in 2009, we saw a resounding declaration of Euroscepticism by the British public, with the Conservatives ‘winning’ with 26 seats, and the United Kingdom Independence Party, in second with 13. However, with the Conservative’s now burdened with electorally damaging label of “the government”, and with Cameron’s position of retaining British membership, it will be Mr Farage and UKIP who will now solely hold the flag of Euroscepticism in the upcoming vote.
Paul Sykes, a self-made millionaire, has recently proclaimed his support for the party. In the past he has often supported both Conservatives and UKIP, but this is the first time he has resolutely abandoned the Conservatives, a party of which he was a member of for 27 years, in favour of the Eurosceptics. He contends that “UKIP are the best last hope for Britain”, citing the EU’s objective of a “political union” as one of his many reasons for supporting the cause.
His fears couldn’t be truer. With every treaty, the European Union moves closer and closer to a federal super-state. The Union boasts an (unelected) president, a foreign minister, no internal borders, for many, a single currency, and has many times avowed an intention to create a European Army. Mr Sykes is entirely correct in his assertions that our national sovereignty is rapidly eroding in favour of this federal project, that the British people have not voted for, nor as public opinion-polls suggest, even remotely desire.
Thankfully however, there is hope. It his substantial backing that could well ‘win’ this euro-election for UKIP, and potentially help turn the tide of the political elite in favour of a referendum, and a British exit. Although it is, as yet, unclear as to how much Sykes will be pledging for the campaign, with a net worth of approximately £650 million, it will certainly be a considerable amount.
He predicts that a victory for UKIP will send a crystal clear message to the establishment, ensuring that “the leaders of the other main parties will have no choice but to abandon their slavish support for the EU”. This will no doubt ring true for David Cameron, who still declares his intention to retain Britain’s membership of the EU, albeit after clawing some powers back. However, the most important recipient of the message will be to the man who could very likely become Britain’s next Prime Minister: Ed Miliband, who so far still remains opposed to the prospect of a vote, let alone a ‘Brexit’, could well be forced into pledging a referendum himself.
Nigel Farage professed his intention of causing a political ‘earthquake’ in these elections. It could well be Mr Sykes’ support that will be the jewel in UKIP’s electoral crown, but moreover; become the determining factor that awards the British people a referendum- and thus finally give us hope of an exit from the European Union.