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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 March 2007, 10:56 GMT 11:56 UK
UKIP and Europe
On Sunday Sunday 25 March, Andrew Marr interviewed Nigel Farrage, UKIP Leader

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

ANDREW MARR: Wilkommen Mr Farage.

NIGEL FARAGE: Good morning.

ANDREW MARR: Good morning. What are you, what are you doing celebrating in Berlin?

You don't seem to be the kind of person I would imagine at a hoolie for the EU.

NIGEL FARAGE: Well I, no I think somebody, I think someone needs to come along and see what's going on.

There is a party going on, however the people celebrating are politicians and bureaucrats that are paid by the European Union.

I was out in Berlin last night and there was no evidence of hundreds of thousands of German people celebrating fifty years of the EU.

In fact what's really happening of course is that the peoples of Europe don't want the European Union. The project has never been as unpopular as it is today.

ANDREW MARR: Let me ask you about this, this so called Berlin Declaration because it's a little confusing. It's being sold as a general declaration of good things and the EU getting down to proper business. Do you think that in some respects it is a proto-constitution coming in through the back door?

NIGEL FARAGE: Most of this declaration is platitude and it's nonsense. However it's the last paragraph you want to look at, which says that by two thousand and nine we will have a new order in the European Union.

And that means that despite the French, despite the Dutch saying no to the constitution they intend to bring it back. But to bring it back in a form whereby we don't get a referendum on it. And that to me is monstrous.

ANDREW MARR: Looking ahead at your own party's campaigning, is that going to be the focus of it do you think, the constitution?

NIGEL FARAGE: I think the constitution is very important but there are wider issues, bigger issues. You know if you look at the opinion polls in Britain - and there was one last week in the Financial Times, a Harris poll that showed by a majority of two to one Britons now think we'd be better off outside the European Union with a simple Free Trade Agreement. So I would like a referendum not just on the constitution but I'd like a referendum on Britain having a different relationship with the European Union and I'm convinced we'd win it too.

ANDREW MARR: Let's turn, turn to look at UKIP itself. You've had a bit of trouble on the financial side to say the least. Just talk, just talk us through. Are you, are you broke at the moment or are you some, solvent?

NIGEL FARAGE: No we're not. We're not. You know the Electoral Commission was set up to stop foreign and anonymous donors dominating British politics. We have a retired bookmaker from Broadstairs who's given the party substantial sums of money. He was on the electoral register in two thousand and four.

He was on it in two thousand and six. And in two thousand and five, for simply forgetting to fill in one piece of paper the Electoral Commissioner tried to forfeit over a third of a million pounds from us. This will go to court. We intend to fight it and I think we're going to win.

ANDREW MARR: On the...

NIGEL FARAGE: Cos it's not within the spirit of the law is it?

ANDREW MARR: On the, on the broader question of the party's agenda, you've talked about talking of the party as the Independence Party widening its, its appeal if you like to broader issues.

This is because is it that you think there's Cameron, Blair, Brown, there is no real division at the moment in mainstream British politics, they're all pretty much the same or ..

NIGEL FARAGE: Well I think they are, you know they look the same, they sound the same. I mean frankly you can't put a cigarette paper between them on most major policy issues.

And yeah we're a party that wants our country to be independent. But we're also a party that's now providing the real voice of opposition. You know we believe in lower taxes, we believe in grammar schools.

And we believe the state has got far too much say over our lives. And I think with this broader agenda you're going to see UKIP getting votes not just in European elections but in domestic elections too in increasing numbers.

ANDREW MARR: It's been a bit of a long tramp out of the wilderness to the sun lit up lands. I mean you've got some, some MPs in the European Parliament. And you've got some peers who've come over to you. How far away do you think you are from making any kind of breakthrough in British national elections, either at the local or parliamentary level?

NIGEL FARAGE: I am very confident that on May the third we are going to win seats in the Welsh Assembly. If we do that it'll be our first significant domestic success and we can then move on from there and get ready for the next general election.

ANDREW MARR: Well we'll watch that with great interest. Nigel Farage, thank you very much indeed for joining us.

NIGEL FARAGE: Okay, thank you.

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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