Monday, August 22

UKIP founder Dr Alan Sked- a Europhile turned sour

This week, UKIP founder Dr Alan Sked gave an interview to cafe babel, the European current affairs magazine. The staunch euro-sceptic is now highly critical of his former party, which he set up as a pressure group, for being too right wing and having disconnected policies. Here is what he had to say:

In 1993 he founded UKIP, with the withdrawal of Britain from the European Union as its central policy. “I was busy turning the Tory party [the Conservatives] into a Eurosceptic movement. But I didn’t think things were moving quickly enough, so I formed UKIP. If parties see their share of the vote shrink, they will adapt their policies much quicker.” Mr Sked believes he has been successful on this front. “All three main parties in Britain [Labour, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives] used to be pro-European. Now only two are.”

Yet the relationship between UKIP and its founder has deteriorated over the past few years. “They hate me now. Maybe even more than they hate Brussels”, he laughs. “The party has just become too right-wing and has completely changed its policies. We never used to want MEPs, there would just have been empty seats in the European Parliament.” This does not mean, however, that Dr Sked’s political career is over. If the Conservative party ‘dares’ to choose a pro-European leader, the academic vows, “I will probably establish a new party. I’ll probably call it the International party, because that’s what I’m for.”

I’ve heard and absorbed a lot of negativity about the whole European project. Just for a change, might it be possible for the historian to imagine a positive future for EU cooperation? “A popular Europe is feasible, but only if we have a common enemy, like Islam for instance. But I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen.”

To Read the full cafe babel interview click here

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