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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 October 2006, 10:49 GMT 11:49 UK
UKIP policy
On Sunday 15 October, Huw Edwards interviewed Nigel Farage, UKIP leader.

Please note "BBC Sunday AM" must be credited if any part of this transcript is used.

Nigel Farage, UKIP leader
Nigel Farage, UKIP leader

HUW EDWARDS: ... good morning to you.

NIGEL FARAGE: Good morning.

HUW EDWARDS: How's life as leader?

NIGEL FARAGE: Well I haven't been in the job very long.

What I'm very struck by, the number of people that have said to me thank goodness you're leader of the party, thank goodness UKIP exists because we can't tell the difference any more between Labour, Lib Dem and Conservatives.

They look the same, they sound the same, they're saying the same things.

HUW EDWARDS: Let's test that, not on European policy but on one, one of the main items, today's news. Because we've had a, a big row of course about religious symbols and ..

NIGEL FARAGE: Yeah.

HUW EDWARDS: .. a row about the veil in this country and now a row about a worker with BA wearing a cross. What is your perspective on this as a party?

NIGEL FARAGE: Well both the Labour Party and the Conservative Party over the last thirty years have encouraged mass immigration and promoted multi-culturalism. Now it seems that David Davies and others are saying "Oh" you know "We shouldn't be doing this".

They're the people that have put us into this mess in the first place and our position is clear, that if people are going to come and live in this country they've got to be British, they've got to be loyal to Britain. We could learn an awful lot from Australia in terms of how we deal with these things.

HUW EDWARDS: So what is the logic of that when it comes to wearing a veil for example?

NIGEL FARAGE: Well, that's slightly different. That's slightly different. Because it's quite possible to maintain your religion from a previous country and be loyal to Britain. The veil question though is slightly different isn't it? I mean should somebody who's interviewed as a school teacher and then changes faith mid way through be allowed to teach a class of children where they can't see her face.

HUW EDWARDS: And your view?

NIGEL FARAGE: I wouldn't have thought so, no.

HUW EDWARDS: And British Airways with the cross what is your attitude to that?

NIGEL FARAGE: Well I find that amazing. I mean British Airways are one of those companies that have consistently been anti-British. Whether it's taking the flag off the tailfins, whether it's been one of the few companies that thought we should give up the pound and adopt the Euro so I'm not surprised at all by BA's behaviour.

HUW EDWARDS: Now when you look at the policies that you're developing as a party, beyond the European core if you like, what are trying to do? Basically appeal to disaffected Tories and that's about it?

NIGEL FARAGE: No. It's much wider than that. The underlying philosophy that runs through every single UKIP policy is that we want less government interference in our lives. That's why we're saying we think government should take less of our money in tax. That's why we're saying there needs to be a far greater degree of independence for local government. That's what the party's about.

And it's not just the Tory vote we're after. Do you know there are nine million people who voted in nineteen ninety two in the general election who now vote for nobody because they're disenchanted with politics. Well I'm disenchanted with politics. That's why I'm in the UK Independence Party and we're the only party standing up and saying what most people really think.

HUW EDWARDS: The logic of your position economically is that if you cut back on some of the taxes you're talking about, we're talking about big sums of money ..

NIGEL FARAGE: Yeah.

HUW EDWARDS: Schools will suffer, health will suffer, public services will suffer. It's inevitable.

NIGEL FARAGE: Well we learnt these lessons back in the nineteen eighties. If you cut taxes you stimulate economic growth. You have a wealthier country. You'll also have a lot less of our young people emigrating and moving off to America and elsewhere. You've got to give people incentives. The tax burden in Britain is rising faster than in any other European country. We need to turn that round.

HUW EDWARDS: We'll be talking to the president of the European Commission in, in a short while. The big issue here of course, the expansion of the European Union to take in Romania and Bulgaria, possibly looking at Turkey, what is your view on this and its impact on the Union?

NIGEL FARAGE: UKIP was the only party to vote against enlargement in two thousand and four. We did so predicting a huge flood of migrants to Britain. We were condemned at the time for saying it.

But we've been proved to be absolutely right. We're still the only part opposed to Bulgaria and Romania and we'll vote against that in the European Parliament in a couple of months time. Having the free movement of goods and services between countries is one thing. But to have the free movement of peoples where there are massively differing GDPs we think is madness. But we're getting to the crux here.

As Bulgaria joins, as Romania joins and as we begin to talk about the possibility of Turkey joining the European Union we've got to understand that we cannot have our own immigration policy, we cannot have proper border controls and stay part of a European Union. And that's why the UKIP view is let's trade with Europe, let's be friendly with Europe, but let's be, not be part of full political union.

HUW EDWARDS: Very briefly, some people say that from your point of view the more the Union expands the weaker its structures become, the weaker the decision making becomes and you should be in favour of it.

NIGEL FARAGE: Yeah that's a Tory argument. They were wrong about it in nineteen eighty one when Greece joined the European Union. They're still wrong about it. What the British people want, the majority want, is a different relationship with the European Union.

HUW EDWARDS: Nigel Farage, good to talk to you. Thank you very much.

INTERVIEW ENDS


NB: this transcript was typed from a recording and not copied from an original script.

Because of the possibility of mis-hearing and the difficulty, in some cases, of identifying individual speakers, the BBC cannot vouch for its accuracy


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