On Saturday 15th December, two local branches of UKIP came together to engage with the public in Newmarket. The aim was to promote UKIP’s message of leaving the EU without a deal, as well as to determine how the public might vote in a second referendum were one to be held.
Branch members of UKIP West Suffolk and UKIP Cambs & SE Cambs came together in the bitter cold at the weekend and manned a stall on Newmarket High Street. Aside from handing out leaflets, they invited passers-by to express their preference for how they would vote if there was to be a second referendum.
The public were asked to place a plastic ball in one of two compartments of a ‘mood box’ which had clear Perspex front panels. The left compartment was the ‘Leave EU with no deal’ option. The right compartment was the ‘Remain in the EU’ choice.
For over 2½ hours people ‘voted’ and by the end it was clear there was a preference for ‘No deal’, although it must be said that this was not a scientific opinion poll and cannot necessarily be a true indicator of how the local population would vote.
Speaking of the event, former UKIP County councillor Julian Flood, said: “This is encouraging. A second referendum would be a total breach of trust, a betrayal of the British people, but even if it did happen this looks like we'd vote to leave again.
"The strategy of the Establishment and the EU is clear – delay Brexit and keep us voting until they get the answer they want. Of course it does depend on the questions on the ballot paper - our view is that if there is a second vote, it must be binary and ‘No deal’ must be the sole Leave option. Having May’s Withdrawal deal included is pointless given it won’t even get through the Commons – no one wants it”.
The acting Chairman of UKIP West Suffolk, added: "We voted to Leave – no ifs, no buts, no backstop. Let's have a clean break on WTO rules. Anything else means we'll be a vassal state of the EU, our industry hampered, our trade deals forbidden, our Armed Forces under the command of the French and Germans. As Maggie Thatcher said, ‘No, no, no’. What sort of people do they think we are?
“We really enjoyed ourselves, despite the freezing temperature, and I think so did the public. We had a much higher level of engagement than if we’d just been handing out leaflets. Asking people to give their opinion meant they opened up to us.”