BBC NEWS Channel has started a series where the interviewer puts the questions from the viewers across to the guest invitee from different parties for the European Parliamentary elections. The other day Ben Brown had a distinguished guest from UK Independence Party MEP for London, Mr. Richard Braine. He answered questions put forth by the viewers.
To the first question from Tony Thompson, on referendum over the last votes, Braine said he never really thought about it. He also mentioned that EU had spent 160 million euros in Brexit institutions. He believed 52% win was a huge victory for the party. He said his party had been campaigning for Brexit for past 27 years. When asked that other parties were almost 10 times ahead of his UKIP as predicted by an opinion poll, he was confident that estimated poll results could be manipulated and that his party would get good results in the coming elections.
Regarding the policies of his party on various matters, he talked about the current scenario in UK with respect to free speech, excessive mass immigration, course of extremist Islam in UK and Europe. While talking about competition for job, healthcare, housing and school and everyday issues he was put on backfoot by Brown when he showed him the party manifesto that did not talk about employment and even the party website did not elaborate on the issue. He defended his party manifesto being concise and that many parties did not even have one, he even called the election uncalled for and illegitimate at this time. He believed in his party leadership which helped the UKIP to grow in terms of memberships and funds.
Answering a query on how to mitigate the harm to the economy and living standard in UK, Braine said most of the parties share the same strategy. He discussed leaving EU by repealing 1972 European Community Act, and the choice between working on own terms or that laid by WTO.
He opined that EU has damaged economy of not only UK but also of Greece and Italy, Germany being an exception and he predicted a Brexit Boom as compared to fear of unemployment. He believed that UK and Ireland can have strong cordial relations and there are no hard borders between the two countries.
Richard Braine advocated strong democratic values and faith in leadership within the party. He considered the controversies in context with fellow party leaders as bad jokes that had no ground. He said that the statement made by his party candidate that feminism is like cancer does not find endorsement from him, but he did believe that feminist agitation had gone too far in some cases. He advocated equal rights for women.
In short, Richard Braine smartly answered most of the questions put forth by the anchor. He talked on diverse topics like economy, education, women empowerment. He maintained his stand on Brexit and believed that distrusted politicians were dishonor to the country.