'You can't garage the Farage' - The Reform UK video interview: Part Two
Reform UK’s Alexandra Phillips on Nigel’s return, illegal migrants, NI, Brexit, and EU laws
Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2023
Part two of an exclusive video interview with Reform UK's spokesperson, on policies and possibilities
Today we share the video of the second instalment of our Facts4EU and CIBUK interview with Reform UK, together with some excerpts from the transcript.
Rejecting the status quo, Reform UK's spokeswoman Alex Phillips argues for fundamental political reform including changes to our voting system, the need for a swift resolution of the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill and urgent measures to address the migrant boats crisis.
Looking ahead, she also discusses her own political future and speculates on the plans of her former boss, Nigel Farage.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary
Video interview and excerpts - PART TWO
Click above to watch the second part of the video on YouTube (under 19 minutes).
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In case you missed Part One yesterday, you can read it and watch the video here.
How does Reform intend to get to power given the first past the post system?
“If enough people have the courage of their convictions to vote for who they wanted to vote for, rather than completely absorb the rhetoric of other parties, then actually the cycle would be broken.”
“Very often you hear the argument that.. if you have proportional representation, you only end up with coalition governments and coalition governments don't get anything done.
“Actually the Conservative-led government with the Liberal Democrats got a lot more done than the Conservatives fighting like cats in a sack, and I think that's because when you actually have a real coalition you have the supply and demand. You've got both sides compelling the other: we'll back this bill if you back that bill and actually it tends to drive things forward a lot more.”
In relation to the Northern Ireland Protocol, are you in favour of the Windsor Framework?
“No. Of course it is still the same protocol, just put in a different framework. The DUP haven't come back and decided whether they can accept it or not. That's got to be a decision for them based on the realpolitik.
“[The EU] wanted to use the Northern Ireland Protocol to prevent the UK from diverging. Imagine it like a leash around a dog's neck and that you're holding a country back from running away and being competitive.”
“They've said they’re going to essentially cut that leash. Why would they do that? The only plausible explanation is that they have certain assurances from the Sunak government that the UK will not be pursuing an ambitious post-Brexit industrial strategy or they're anticipating the Starmer government, which would bring the UK into closer regulatory orbit with Brussels.”
On immigration, what policies do you have in relation to stopping the boats?
“You do need to look at leaving the ECHR and changing our legal system to say that if you arrive in the UK illegally then you will not be resettled here and you have no future.”
“We need to have this debate because it's not just about the small boats, it affects all elements of public and private life in the UK and as a sovereign nation we need to be looking at making sure that the laws that are imposed on people in this country are laws that people in this country have voted for.”
Would Reform implement the Retained EU Laws Bill?
“There does need to be a bonfire of the regulations so we can rebuild in a bespoke manner and create a framework of legislation and policy that works for us.”
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Where does Reform stand on Brexit?
“A lot of people are suffering from ‘Brex-haustion’, but we mustn't let that defeat what has been the most historic choice the people of the United Kingdom made for themselves in generations. And that was to be a fully free nation with a strategy to flourish and to prosper. It's very clear that none of the big parties actually wanted Brexit.
“Brexit isn't a mess. Brexit hasn't been delivered. Any of the problems that opponents want to blame on Brexit actually have very little to do with it.”
“There's an economic crisis because of war in Ukraine, there's an energy crisis because of a lack of proper investment and strategy for decades. There's been a food crisis, a shortage of food in supermarkets because of drought in North Africa. But every so often people jump up and say all of these issues are because of Brexit. They're not.”
“Actually Brexit still gives us the whip hand to be able to open ourselves up to the world, create new trading agreements, put money in the pockets of our farmers, develop a strategy industrially that is fit for purpose in a globalised world where the UK makes decisions for itself. And Reform is the only party that says everything is still to play for.”
Would you stand as an MP for the Reform Party?
“Yes, I would. And I know that there's an appetite for change out there. I hope that we can take people with us, with an inspiring message.
“As we close in on the general election next year, we're going to be able to sell to the public a really different and inspiring manifesto that people believe in and people really want.”
Will Nigel Farage stand? Will he become the leader of your Party?
“It is entirely up to Nigel whether he wants to re-enter the fray in the very front line of politics, and I think that's a decision he deserves to make for himself.
“…my gut feeling is given how interesting politics is right now… ... I would be very surprised if the Farage car is locked in the garage.”
Finally, when there will be some form of manifesto detailing what Reform stands for?
“Anybody who's interested in reform can go on to the Reform UK party website and have a look at the policies we've put out so far and get a taste of what it is that we're about.
“In due course we need to work out our policy framework very sensibly and we're very inclusive in the way that we do that.
“And if I were to sum up what it is that people would get if they vote for Reform. It's easy. It's reform.”
On behalf of CIBUK and Facts4EU we would like to thank you for your time.
“It’s been a pleasure and I hope I might have turned a few heads.”
About Alexandra Phillips: Alex was formerly Head of Media at UKIP, then joined the Brexit Party and was elected as an MEP in that party's landslide victory in the UK's EU Parliament elections of May 2019, then became a popular daily presenter on GB News, and is now the official spokesperson for the Reform UK party.
In case you missed it, in part one yesterday Alexandra Phillips talked about policies, tax, freedom of speech, and cancel culture.
As we stated yesterday, Brexit Facts4EU.Org and CIBUK.Org each maintain their non-partisan status. The prism through which we view political parties is shaped by the issues of independence, sovereignty, democracy and freedoms.
With polling for Reform UK now nudging up to the 10% mark, we felt it appropriate to start looking at them and what they stand for. No political party sets out its full stall of policies in a formal way before an election is called and a manifesto is produced. That said, voters are entitled to start forming their judgements well ahead of any election.
We hope this video interview with Reform UK will be useful in advancing the political debate. Will Reform's President Nigel Farage come back as leader? It's hard to see him resisting.
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[ Sources: Reform UK | Alexandra Phillips ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Fri 10 Mar 2023
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