UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage today urged his party’s supporters to begin the fight for a no-vote in the EU membership referendum with the rallying cry “We want our country back”.
Mr Farage described the referendum as a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to achieve the party’s main aim as he confirmed Ukip would be part of the leave.eu movement in the campaign.
He talked up the party’s prospects in next years local, London and devolved administration elections after a disappointing General Election produced just one Westminster seat.
But he urged supporters to “dedicate” themselves to winning the in-out referendum on EU membership promised by David Cameron.
Speaking at Ukip’s conference in Doncaster, Mr Farage said the ‘no’ campaign could only win with a postive message about Britain’s future outside the EU.
And he called for eurosceptics from all parties to join forces to secure Britain’s EU exit.
“This is the moment to put country before party, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get independence and self-government of this nation.
“Our message is clear - we want our country back.”
He added: “I believe the tide has turned. I think something is changing out there and I believe we are on course to win the most historic and most important political victory in any of our lifetimes.”
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The Ukip leader criticised the “soft eurosceptics” calling for the referendum campaign to be paused until it is clear what concessions Mr Cameron has secured from Brussels in the renegotiation.
“He isn’t asking for anything substantial at all. Nothing,” he said.
Mr Farage also rejected suggestions that under new leader Jeremy Corbyn Labour would win back supporters it has lost to Ukip in the North.
Criticising Mr Corbyn’s failure to sing the national anthem at the Battle of Britain comemorations, his comments on the Falklands and the IRA, Mr Farage said: “For all those reasons Corbyn is a thousand miles away from those Labour voters who have come to Ukip.”
Mr Corbyn had “capitulated” on the question of Britain’s EU membership under pressure from a Labour Party “completely obsessively Europhile in every way“, he said.
“I now think that a whole new flank of the Labour vote in the Midlands, the North and Wales and right across this country, I believe a whole new flank of the Labour vote is there for Ukip.”