Now we have a Prime Minister who has spun the idea of an in-out referendum to quell growing discontent among the British, which at least shows mere recognition of public opinion, even though he knows that simply by losing the next election, which is likely, he will never have to deliver, writes UKIP Leader Nigel Farage on the Daily Express.
• It is amazing to think that a year or so ago, when the Daily Express bravely came out in favour of a referendum on our relationship with the European Union, it was denounced as being extreme, impractical, obsessed, or in some way beyond the pale.
It is the line that we at UKIP have been championing since our formation in 1993.
Twenty years later, and we finally have an open discussion whereby the concept of leaving Europe is not just a topic of conversation for “fruitcakes and loonies”, but acknowledged as fundamental to the opinion of British voters.
Now we have a Prime Minister who has spun the idea of an in-out referendum to quell growing discontent among the British, which at least shows mere recognition of public opinion, even though he knows that simply by losing the next election, which is likely, he will never have to deliver.
This was a man who denounced the very idea of giving the people a say about their future. Now he claims to have been courageous.
But the people who have been really courageous are the editors, writers and readers of this newspaper, and the hundreds of thousands of UKIP members and supporters, who for years have taken a simple belief in democracy, and this country’s independent future and stuck by it.
They can take credit for forcing this vital issue up the agenda. They can take credit for forcing the PM into at the very least acknowledging our side of the argument, even though he has failed to deliver us any real choice.
But don’t for one minute think the work is done. It isn’t. It has only just started. From now on the forces of the establishment will be ranged against us. Money will pour in from Europe to skew the debate. The political elite will close ranks. They want us to stay in.
They and their friends will issue blood-curdling threats about how dangerous it will be to regain our independence. But remember, these are the same people who told us the UK would fail if we didn’t join the euro. They were wrong then, and they are wrong now.
This country is home to the most imaginative people in the world. We look forward to a country that is able to negotiate deals on our own behalf, that can trade freely with the world, that can hold its head up high, rather than take dictation from Brussels.
At last, thanks to this paper and its readers the way is now open. It will be hard work, and there will be setbacks, but in the end we will win. This country will be free again.