Farage challenges Cameron to EU referendum debate

 Nigel Farage Market Street Eastleigh

Nigel Farage learns he is going to Downing St on Monday

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has used a meeting in Eastleigh to announce that he will be going to Downing Street to challenge the Prime Minister to a public debate over the issue of an EU referendum.

Farage had received the phone from Downing St confirming the appointment while on a pre – meeting walkabout of the town’s shopping centre on Thursday.

The high profile MEP later told an audience at the Towns Railway Institute:

“I have today obtained a permission from the police to go to Downing street on Monday morning (July 16) and hand deliver a letter issuing a personal challenge to David Cameron to have a public debate with me over why people in this country cannot have a vote to decide whether we are members of the European Union or not.”

During the same speech the party leader also refused to rule out his standing in an Eastleigh by-election should Chris Huhne be forced to resign.

“Coming to Eastleigh is like coming home” Farage has said of the town where he first started his political career by standing in the 1994 by-election and earlier in the day he appeared relaxed while chatting to shopkeepers in Market Street in an effort to discover how EU regulations impact on their business while also indulging in a bit of early electioneering – Ukip have vowed to stand a candidate in every division in next May’s Hampshire County Council elections.

Butchery manager Sam Smedley told Mr Farage how EU regulations forced him to sell his wares in kilos while his many of his customers prefer their meat served up in pounds and ounces.

“ I’m not just a butcher, I’m a mathematician – I constantly have to do conversions in my head”

Nigel Farage speaking to butcher in Eastleigh

Sam Smedley – not just a butcher

Simeon Field, director of Churchill’s Estate Agency thought Energy Efficiency Packs –  introduced as a  result of an EU directive – had added a extra layer of cost and bureaucracy to moving home.

Simeon Field manager Churchill's Easlteigh with Nigel Farage

Simeon Field with Nigel Farage

More controversially, a manager at the greengrocers claimed that sales of Jersey Royal potatoes had plummeted since the EU had introduced a ban on farmers using the traditional application of rotting seaweed as a fertiliser on crops for export

“They just don’t taste the same anymore”

Unfortunately, although it sounds credible, it would appear to be a popular ‘EU myth’.

In fact, far from banning the use of seaweed it seems the EU have actually protected Jersey Royals with ‘Designation of origin status’ i.e. only kidney potatoes grown in this manner on Jersey can be legally described as ‘Jersey Royals’ in the same way that only sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region can be marketed as ‘Champagne’.

If Mr Farage chooses to repeat this story, it will be interesting to see whether or not a member of the cabinet plagiarises it for their party conference speech.

Nigel Farage speaking to shopkeepers

Some shopkeepers complained of high parking charges 

The Ukip leader also stopped at the Costa café where he eschewed a frothy continental latte for a pot of Twinning’s Tea – production of which has recently been switched from Hampshire to Poland thanks to EU subsidies.

Nigel Farage at Costa Coffee Eastleigh

At Costa with Bishopstoke Parish Cllr Martin Lyon

Later that day Mr Farage gave an entertaining speech delivered without the aid of notes or a microphone and answered questions from the audience on a wide range of topics including defence, law and order and immigration .

He told his audience that Euroscepticism had moved from a minority view to the mainstream to the extent that Ukip were now consistently polling higher than the Lib Dems.

Mr Farage said the party planned to stand a record number of candidates in next year’s local elections and forecast Ukip would win the 2014 Euro elections to become the biggest UK party in the European Parliament, triggering an “earthquake in Westminster” and with a General Election due the following year; “Who knows what might happen?”

Mr Farage also predicted a swift and potentially violent end for the Eurozone as the currency collapsed and more countries were forced into austerity.

Speaking about Chris Huhne’s current predicament – the Town’s MP is facing a trial for perverting the course of justice – Mr Farage said:

“I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen with Chris Huhne’s case but if Chris is found not to have told the truth then it is clear that his position as MP for this town will be untenable.

“So we face the prospect perhaps of an Eastleigh by-election – it could happen in October or November this year, perhaps spring next year but be assured if and when there is an election we will give it everything we have got”

Given that he had stopped short of vowing to re-contest the seat he first stood for 18 years ago, after the meeting I asked Mr Farage if he had ruled himself out.

“I didn’t say that” replied Mr Farage with a twinkle in his eye.

See also: Farage cat tale snares May

Ukip advertising van

Will Mr Farage drive to Downing St in this van?

Photos: © Eastleigh News

  18 comments for “Farage challenges Cameron to EU referendum debate

  1. Peter Stewart
    July 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    A good article but then I would say that.

    Pity it was raining. Pity more people did not turn up.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      July 16, 2012 at 11:24 am

      The hall seemed full to me?

  2. Tom Collins
    July 15, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    David Cameron would not DARE to debate the EU with Nigel Farage. He has nothing to say, and no defence. Like all previous prime ministers, he has capitulated to the EU.

  3. john l r macgregor
    July 15, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    that guy CAMERON , needs to be told hes an ASS hes totaly out of his depth,

    he needs to be shown that the farmers & fishermen of the UK can & will get us back on track , we can grow more or less all the produce we need if we get out of the bluddy once called the common market.
    together we can do it . come on NIGEL Farage. YOU SHOW UM

  4. July 16, 2012 at 8:11 am
    • Stephen Slominski
      July 16, 2012 at 8:58 am

      Yes, it’s true Pete Milward scored a notable victory over Twinnings with a £10 million hit. Ouch! Take that!
      However Twinnings still moved most of their production to Poland and Pete was one of 400 people who lost their jobs.
      The new factory was sited in an EU subsidised enterprise zone.
      I can’t remember the exact details but there were perks like zero corporation tax for a couple of years..and of course much cheaper labour, lower social liabilities, cheaper energy etc. All the benefits EU brings to bosses by subsidising them to pit worker against worker

  5. mm
    Stephen Slominski
    July 16, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I see Guido has picked up on the story:

    http://order-order.com/2012/07/16/farage-eyes-eastleigh/

    A warm welcome to our visitors. Why not pop down and visit the Town sometime? Choice of two Kebab houses and rooms in the council owned Travelodge start from only £19 (You can see Chris Huhne’s house from the top floor.) You can also get two jagerbombs for a fiver at the council owned pub next door 😉

  6. Peter Stewart
    July 16, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    If there is a by-election and Nigel Farage stands, he will probably get around 5% (3,000 votes).

    But any by-election is likely to be perilously marginal for the conservatives and Nigel would almost certainly split their vote and cost them the seat, just like Chris Murphy did for UKIP in 2005 (only worse this time round).

    The tragedy for the Tories is that all they need to do to win, is have the guts to force the long overdue TRUE CONSERVATIVE REVOLT and promise an IN or OUT referendum.

    There is no other way for them to win, either the Eastleigh by-election, or a General Election. Certainly they will not fool the people again, by offering a fuzzy referendum, with its three options, all deceptively designed to fool the people into staying in.

    Bah! Humbug! You know where you can stick your “renegotiation” option Mr Cameron.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      July 16, 2012 at 10:40 pm

      Not sure why Ukip’s popular party leader – a frequent panelist on BBC TVs Question time – would only poll 5% in Eastleigh while Ukip are consistently polling 7%-9% (latest poll = 8%)nationally?
      I certainly would expect to see him do better than that though I would agree, a win would seem unlikely.

  7. July 17, 2012 at 7:17 am

    We’ll only be allowed a referendum, when it is politically convenient for the Government of the day and they’re pretty sure they’ll get the result that they want…

  8. Peter Stewart
    July 17, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    The UKIP vote is liable to drop in a by-election, because many ex-Tory UKIP supporters will panic and be fooled into voting for the so-called “Conservative” candidate, in the mistaken belief that this will increase conservatism in the Commons. It will do nothing of the kind, because pro-EU Tory elite do NOT allow conservatism to flourish in the Commons. The proof of this, is the Conservatives’ track record since 1973. I predict we will see another 2005, when UKIP split the Tory vote and handed the seat to Chris Huhne.

  9. July 17, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    fully agree! think peter stewart is way out on his prediction ,last time ukip split the Tory vote, this time I believe there will be a tremendous surge to ukip given the general discontent in Eastleigh from all parties, constituents have become disillusioned with lies and empty promises.

  10. July 18, 2012 at 9:06 am

    A recent yougov poll had only 25% in favour of UK withdrawal from EU. It looks like the referendum wouldn’t give the result that UKIP claim to want.

    • Stephen Slominski
      July 18, 2012 at 10:49 am

      Would that be the same Yougov poll that showed 51% in favour of leaving? The figure of 23% was the size of the MAJORITY in favour of exit.
      Only 28% of those polled wanted to stay in!

      http://yougov.co.uk/news/2012/05/21/will-britain-vote-leave-eu/

      I have a feeling if a Yougov poll really showed 75% wanted to remain in the EU we would be having that referendum tomorrow!

  11. PETER STEWART
    July 18, 2012 at 10:15 am

    A TRUE Conservatives government must take the lead and campaign to get out of the EU.

    By the time the birds pluck up enough courage to fly their cosy little EU cage, Britain would be a 3rd world country.

    If UKIP is to continue to force reform of the Conservative Party, it must acknowledge its weaknesses and work on them.

    It would be nice to think UKIP would do really well in an Eastleigh by-election, but unless it takes measures to counter the inevitable drift of conservative people back to the Tory party then it will suffer a drop in vote compared to its expectations, due to an unrealistic over estimate of its capacity to hold its supporters.

    To discuss such things is the way forward and can only produce benefits by giving those responsible a bit of a wake up call.

  12. peter stewart
    July 19, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Would that be the same Yougov poll that showed 51% in favour of leaving? The figure of 23% was the size of the MAJORITY in favour of exit.Only 28% of those polled wanted to stay in!http://yougov.co.uk/news/2012/05/21/will-britain-vote-leave-eu/I have a feeling if a Yougov poll really showed 75% wanted to remain in the EU we would be having that referendum tomorrow!

    Perhaps Eastleigh News should run an online referendum. The issue is complicated (or is it really)? If you gave people the choice of whether to leave the EU and keep the cash in Britain, or stay in the EU and carry on wasting around £125 Billion per year (according to the Tax Payers Alliance) then perhaps people would make their minds up more easily.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      July 19, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      The last poll on this site was during the 2010 general election when it was manipulated by Ukip activists – one of whom threatened to ‘report me to the regulator’ (???) after I deleted the double votes.
      If/when compulsory registration is introduced on the site it might be worth trying polls again.

      • Peter Stewart
        July 19, 2012 at 6:49 pm

        Not ALL UKIP activists manipulated the site. I didn’t. There’s always one or two in any group who will screw things up for everybody else. But it makes you wonder whether the 1975 referendum WAS manipulated as was alleged by Christopher Story. Could such a referendum be manipulated again? We think we live in a “free” country. Bah! Humbug!

Comments are closed.