Louise Bours – 2015 Speech to UKIP Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Louise Bours to the UKIP conference held on 25 September 2015.

Ladies and Gentlemen.

12 months ago, in this very hall I delivered my first national conference speech as your spokesman for health.

After my speech some media commentators moaned because they found me a bit… shouty.

Well, 12 months ago, the NHS was under threat from the Westminster bubble, but now the NHS is facing an even bigger threat from the European Union, and whilst that remains the case let me assure you… I will not stop being shouty!

And I say to the media and anyone else that doesn’t like it – deal with it. This is about the NHS, it is about the people of this country for whom the NHS is a lifeline, and I’m not going to be quiet about it!

There are many areas of the NHS that are affected by our full membership of the EU.

There are reams of rules, regulations and directives that defy logic and leave clinicians and managers in a head-spin and the pending TTIP trade deal threatens the very fabric and principles that the NHS is built upon.

There are also many unplanned, unintended consequences of wider EU policies that add pressure and confusion to the health service.

The most fundamental of these is uncontrolled immigration. We hear how there are not enough nurses and doctors in the NHS. It takes years to train for these professions, but how can the government know how many doctors the NHS will need in 7 years’ time, when they don’t know how many people will be living in the country in 7 weeks’ time?

It’s no surprise we need so many nurses from overseas at short notice when we can’t predict how many patients there may be in 3 months’ time, let alone in the 3 years it takes to train a nurse.
We can’t plan for the amount of beds, ambulances, medical equipment, drugs or midwives we might need because from one day to the next we cannot tell how many people will arrive here to live.

No establishment can plan properly under these circumstances, and what is particularly worrying about the NHS not being able to plan properly is that the results can literally be the difference between life and death.

There are of course, many specific regulations and initiatives that threaten the structure and efficacy of our NHS, I have nowhere near enough time to go through them all, that’s a whole conference in itself, but I will just mention a couple before going on to talk about the TTIP Agreement.

The Working Time Directive is a health and safety initiative that on the surface may appear reasonable and helpful, but in practice is restrictive and unwelcomed by many in the NHS.

Ipsos Mori and the General Medical Council have reported negative effects on medical training and on health services throughout Europe.

But it is not just the future quality of training that is being effected by the EU, it is also the future quality of treatment.

From next year medical researchers will be blocked from using historical patient data records for research purposes. Cancer Research UK have been particularly vocal in their opposition to the new regulations claiming that many lives will be lost as a result.
It is vital for those looking for new cures and treatments to be able to track the medical history and developments in people, and this regulation will stop that.

Last year I spoke about the desperate case of Ashya King, the little boy that couldn’t get NHS treatment for his brain tumour. Today I have to tell you about the EU’s ‘Medicine for Children’ regulation.
It prohibits medical trials being carried out on children. The Institute of cancer research and other major cancer charities oppose the regulation and health experts say it has resulted in many unnecessary child deaths throughout Europe because half of all new cancer drugs developed between 2007-14 have not been tested on children and therefore cannot be licenced for use on children.

How can the EU in all conscience say to the family of a dying child that they cannot have a new drug? One that may cure them or help them die without pain or fear? Giving terminally ill children access to new treatments and drugs is vital in the fight against childhood cancer.  It is barbaric to deny them an opportunity to extend their lives, or maybe even the possibility to cure them, simply because of a European Union regulation.

It must be stopped and if we leave the EU just so we can ditch that regulation alone – it’s worth it.

Now before I go on to the biggest threat to our NHS I want to dispel a myth about the EU.

Many Europhiles say that without the freedom of movement that we have in the EU, our NHS would grind to a halt.

But despite the propaganda, controlling immigration will not damage the NHS.

Whilst we have a system where new nurses have to have a university degree we will never be able to provide the numbers of nurses the NHS needs.

Why do those that leave school without A-levels have to do an access course to learn how to write essays, before they get anywhere near to a patient who may need a glass of water, or help being fed a meal, or someone who needs comfort and reassurance?

We are not training enough, and it is not that there are too few people wanting to become nurses, it’s because we refuse to accept that not all those entering the nursing profession need a university degree.

Commenting on the need for more UK training, the head of the Royal College of Nursing, Dr Peter Carter, points out that last year there were 57,000 applicants for 20,000 nurse training posts.
He said it was a matter of huge regret that thousands of people in the four countries of the UK who want to train as nurses are being turned away, while we’re going off and raiding the often impoverished workforce of other countries.

Let us have a system where those that excel academically can achieve the degree they aspire too, that should be applauded, but let us also encourage and enthuse those who see nursing as a vocation – let us see the return of the State Enrolled Nurse.

All of the above are about specific issues within the health service, how it delivers what we want it to deliver.

But the biggest threat the EU poses to the NHS is TTIP, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, that Brussels want to sign with the USA.

It would not only change how services are delivered, but go further, it would change why services are delivered.

It would take us from a health service motivated by delivering the best for patients, to a system motivated by delivering the best private profit.

We have the most established healthcare system in the world, nearly 70 years-old, America doesn’t have one at all, and the confusing ObamaCare is barely 70 days-old.

We should not be giving other EU nations the power to influence our health services, let alone allow investors from a country where some people have to sell their homes in order to get life-saving treatment.

The Tories say there is no need to exempt the NHS from TTIP because it is not at risk.

Labour MPs say they want exemptions, yet their own MEP’s are helping to push the agreement through the committee stages in the European Parliament.

TTIP will allow multi-national companies to sue national governments if they introduce policies that harm their investments. Does that not seem a bit topsy-turvy? Shouldn’t it be the other way round, aren’t corporations supposed to serve us, rather than us serve them? Surely a private company should be fitting into our rules, not us fitting into theirs.

If Labour are serious about protecting the NHS they should stop their MEPs helping the agreement go through.

And I say to David Cameron: If you are sure TTIP won’t involve the NHS, why not introduce legislation to stop it. The legislation may not be needed as far as you are concerned, but it is needed as far as the public are concerned, because Mr Cameron, we don’t trust you.

Why don’t we trust him?

Let me share with you a little known line from the EU, I found it in the EU document library, it’s from June of this year, in a document specifically about TTIP, it says:

The EU reserves the right to adopt or maintain any measure with regard to the provision of all education, health or social services which receive public funding or state support in any form.
What do you say now Cameron? Get out of that.

Last year I produced a letter from Jeremy Corbyn’s boss, Len Mclusky. In it he asked us to support UNITE in their fight against TTIP.  I responded, I said we would stand side by side with them in this fight.  Come on Len, I am still waiting for your response!!
Presiding over so much infighting, bitterness and backstabbing, before long the Labour party will become less the Jeremy Corbyn show and more the Jeremy Kyle show.

If you want people to believe your party cares about the British people and the NHS, you must advocate leaving the EU.
The UK needs to be able to run its own NHS, full stop.

I am livid that they are systematically ruining our country’s proudest achievement, and now want to sell it off to the highest bidder.

I am angry for the elderly who have paid-in all their lives only to see the EU decimate the care available to them, angry for the seriously ill that will suffer longer because of EU restrictions on research, angry and upset for the children whose lives will be blighted by the EU rules against medicine trials, angry for every bit of interference from the EU into our beloved and vital NHS.

So let me make this pledge to you, between now and the referendum, I will fight tooth and nail to make sure the public know the hugely damaging effect the EU is having on our NHS and therefore our health, and the massive dangers it faces if we stay in the EU.

I will do everything I can to ensure the public know we have to leave the EU if we believe in the NHS.

And don’t forget… I can be shouty, so in case you haven’t heard, we believe in Britain, we believe in the NHS.

Thank you.

Mark Reckless – 2015 Speech to UKIP Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Mark Reckless, the party’s economic spokesman, to the UKIP Conference held on 25 September 2015.

It has been an eventful year.

One change for me from last year is that this time you have been kind enough to advertise me in the programme.

As our new Economy Spokesman, I would first like to thank Patrick O’Flynn for the solid base of work he has left me, as well as for his hard work on the general election campaign.

Second I would like to thank Nigel for all the support he has given me both before and since the general election. I could not have asked for more, from him or from you.

Would Britain be better off outside the European Union?

Trade deals

For the first time in forty years we would be able to negotiate our own trade deals, rejoin the World Trade Organisation, and sit on the global bodies which set product regulations.

We could press for trade deals which would open up new markets for the business and financial services at which this country excels. In return we could offer the free trade in food and agriculture which the EU sets itself against.

We could reach deals with the big emerging economies, like India and China, with which eight million Swiss have a free trade agreement. Yet the EU blocks us from trading freely with China, so every British woman pays an EU tax every time she buys a bra.

UKIP wants to end those EU tariffs to cut costs for consumers.

We also want trade deals with the United States and Canada. But we would seek free trade deals, based on eliminating tariffs and mutual recognition of standards.

That could not be more different from Cameron and Corbyn’s TTIP. Their Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will in reality be a corporatist’s charter constructed behind closed doors to shield incumbent companies from competition.

Now that Jeremy Corbyn has gone back on his word and handed David Cameron a blank cheque on Europe, it is UKIP and UKIP alone that can fight TTIP.

Paying our way in world

Ever since we joined we have run a large trade deficit with the European Union. In good years we have paid for it with a surplus on our trade outside the European Union.

Despite having no authority over trade, where the EU is in charge, David Cameron promised to double UK exports under what George Osborne termed a “march of the makers”.

The reality within the EU has been anything but. We now have, along with Turkey, the largest overseas deficit of any advanced country globally, between 5 and 6% of GDP.

The problem is three fold and all relate in significant degree to the EU.

First, the UK trade balance in goods and services has been running about 2% of GDP in deficit. More than all of this is with the EU.
Second, we now run a similar deficit on investment income, largely due to a deteriorating balance with the EU and Osbrown more than doubling our national debt.

Third, and most easily dealt with, if only we were to restore our independence, we transfer a net 1-2% of everything we earn overseas every year. In other words we give it away.

It is one thing to give money away in overseas transfers if, like say Germany, you run an enormous trade surplus with which to pay for it. It is quite another when, like the UK, you run a 2% of GDP trade deficit and another near 2% deficit on investment income.

Yet on top of that 4% deficit David Cameron’s Conservatives transfer overseas a further 1-2% of GDP leaving us with a current account deficit of 5-6% of GDP, or £100 billion per year.

What that means is that every year we have to borrow from or sell to foreigners the equivalent value of British assets.

So when people complain to me, including some people in the hall today, about all that fancy London property being sold to foreigners, and not our own young people, I say don’t blame them, or think you can somehow solve our problems by restricting those purchases.

The emptying out of prime central London property to overseas owners is a symptom, not a cause of our problems. If foreigners didn’t buy our most expensive property, we would have to sell them something else, or pay them more to lend to us, adding yet more to our deficit.

We must instead tackle the problem at source. That means improving our trade balance. We must shift the focus of our trade from the EU, where we run a massive deficit, to outside the EU, where we run a surplus.

The need to cut overseas transfers

We must also stop giving away money we do not have. That means cutting the enormous overseas transfers we are making.
Fifty years ago it was Britain’s huge overseas defence burden which drained resources from the UK. So the call went out to end commitments East of Suez, because our chronic balance of payments couldn’t support them.

Today our massive overseas transfers do not reflect defence spending, but EU membership, overseas aid, and likely now migrant transfers.

If you don’t want to have to borrow an extra £55 million a day from overseas, that you will later have to pay back with interest, then don’t give the EU the £55 million a day you then need to borrow.

If you don’t want to sell £13 billion more London property to absentee overseas investors, then don’t run an overseas aid programme that requires the UK to finance £13 billion of overseas spending.

You can’t spend money overseas unless you borrow or sell something overseas to pay for it.

And just as we should never blame overseas investors for buying something we need to sell, we should never blame people who come here from overseas for trying to do the best for themselves and their families.

That will often mean sending wages which they earn here back to their family who are still overseas. So we need to increase UK exports to pay for those overseas remittances. If we don’t, and they continue, then we will add to our already record current account deficit.

The Brexit dividend

Cutting overseas aid and ending our EU contributions will cut our current account deficit. It will also give us more money to spend at home.

Patrick and Suzanne set out how we might spend our Brexit dividend in a superb manifesto fully costed and independently verified. Leaving the EU would yield enough to finance widespread tax cuts as well as billions more for the NHS.

That exceptionally well received manifesto will remain the baseline for policy development which I now undertake, and there is just one change I will announce today.

Our manifesto was so good that we have already seen the government adopt a number of our ideas. One area where we can now come close to declaring victory is inheritance tax.

It is now eight years since George Osborne promised to raise the inheritance tax threshold to a million pounds, and until this summer it was eight long years of inaction.

There are three aspects of the changes he now proposes where I would like us to be able to go further, and which we may seek to address in our next general election manifesto.

First, I would prefer a threshold of a million pounds per person, as George Osborne first promised, and not a million pounds per couple. Second I would not further distort the market by restricting the new allowance to housing for descendants. Third, I would not add yet more complexity to the system by clawing back the extra allowance from larger estates.

However, making those changes is not the priority for our Breixt dividend. That lies somewhere else.

Public sector pay

As an MP in the last Parliament I voted for severe restraint in public sector pay.

I thought there was no choice if we were to cut the record deficit. I also thought it was fair after several years of relatively more generous public pay settlements and then a sharp fall in real private pay in the recession.

Public and private pay are now in better kilter.

Despite that, the Conservatives now propose to continue their assault on public sector pay for another five years, while private sector pay accelerates.

The government said in the Summer Budget that it would only fund 1% pay increases on average across the public sector.

Last Monday Greg Hands, the Treasury minister and Conservative MP for Chelsea and Fulham, went further and stated on the parliamentary record that their policy was one “of a one per cent cap on public sector pay increases”.

And what have we heard from Labour? On Budget day their Acting Leader declared they supported the Conservative policy. And under Corbyn, nothing. A Treasury minister just hardened a 1% pay norm to a 1% pay cap and the Labour front bench didn’t even notice.

If public sector pay rises at that 1% a year, or barely 5% over the Parliament, then the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast implies that private sector pay will increase by 25% over the same period.

5% v 25%. How can that be fair? How could we recruit and retain the quality staff we need for our public services? Why do the Conservatives so dislike people who work in the public sector? And who will defend those public servants when Labour is riven by extremism and division?

UKIP will. It is not just people in the private sector who deserve a pay rise but public servants too.

And unlike the other parties, UKIP can find the money to pay for fairer treatment of public sector workers, from the £55 million a day we give the EU.

So I have an announcement.

Instead of using £5 billion of the Brexit dividend to abolish remaining inheritance tax, UKIP would use that £5 billion to give public sector workers a pay rise.

We would end the government’s 1% pay cap in the public sector, except for those at the top end who already earn more than £50,000. The extra £5 billion could fund 2% rises every year, or one 5% pay rise above the government’s policy.

We give the EU up to £55 million a day. If Britain votes for Brexit next year then that money will be available for the NHS, it will be available for tax cuts, and it will be available to give people in the public sector a long overdue pay rise.

When we vote to leave the EU we will not only be more than a star on someone else’s flag. We will be prosperous, democratic and free.

Roger Helmer – 2015 Speech to UKIP Conference


Below is the text of the speech made by Roger Helmer to the UKIP Conference held on 26 September 2015.

Good Morning Conference!

I’d like to share with you something I’ve learned in my years in Brussels and Strasbourg, and it’s this: the EU’s apparatchiks harbour a huge contempt for public opinion.  Isolated in their ivory towers, they can mostly afford to ignore the voters.  They think that people like you and me are just too stupid and ignorant to understand the huge benefits of EU membership.

But once in a while, reality strikes back and bites their ankles – for example, in 2005 when the French and Dutch voted down the European Constitution.  So did the bureaucrats see the error of their ways, and change course? The hell they did!  No.  They stood wringing their hands, and saying “Perhaps we haven’t explained it well enough”.

My response is, that I have spent the last sixteen years explaining the European Union to the voters, and the more I explain it, the angrier they get.

But now at last, with the up-coming Referendum, we’re facing the opportunity of a lifetime.  So I’m going to change the habit of a lifetime.  I’ve spent the last sixteen years telling the British people what’s wrong with the EU.  But now it’s time for a change.   It’s time to talk benefits.  It’s time to talk positively about the massive opportunities offered to this country, to all of us, not by the EU, but by freedom and independence.

And nowhere are those benefits clearer than in the field of energy.  For three years now, as UKIP’s Energy Spokesman, I’ve been setting out a plan to deliver secure and affordable energy.

And while we in UKIP have a consistent and workable energy policy, other Parties do not.

Alex Salmond of the Scots Nats wants to finance an independent Scotland on the back of North Sea Oil and Gas.   But he also says he wants 100% Green Electricity by 2025.

Jeremy Corbyn talks about re-opening the coal mines, and coal currently produces a third of the UK’s electricity.  But don’t believe Mr. Corbyn – because he also says he wants carbon-free electricity by 2030.

In any case, we in UKIP can’t implement our plan while we’re in the EU, because we’re hog-tied by EU climate policy and emissions rules.

So the positive message is simply this: after Brexit, we’ll be free to implement a rational energy policy that can deliver the secure and affordable energy we so desperately need.

But of course Brexit doesn’t deliver that policy by itself.  We still have to fight what Owen Paterson calls the Green Blob, in Westminster.

But fighting the green blob is not as hopeless as it sounds.  In this area, as in so many others, UKIP policies are starting to gain traction.  We’re already seeing signs of the alarmist consensus breaking down.  There’s been no global warming for eighteen years.  The costs of renewables are increasingly unaffordable.

We have a Prime Minister who’s given up hugging huskies, and who reportedly wants to “Get rid of the Green Crap”.  We’ve seen wind farm subsidies cut, and wind farm plans knocked back, including most recently the enormous Navitus Bay offshore project that would have despoiled the Jurassic Coast in Dorset.

Amber Rudd, described as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, came into office last year with ambitious plans to cover the nation’s roofs with solar panels.  Someone – maybe it was George Osborne — must have talked her through the costs of solar power, because she’s just announced a dramatic cut in domestic solar subsidies.

As I recently tweeted: “Not so Green?  Amber Rudd gets the Red Light on Solar Subsidies”.

More generally, there’s a recognition that many of the assumptions behind the rise of renewables were just plain wrong.  We were warned of the threat of “Peak Oil”, which was predicted to be happening by now.  But instead we see a world awash with new oil and gas fields.

Of course fossil fuels are finite and will one day be exhausted, but that event is so far off that it has no bearing on today’s policy debates.  We need to be worrying about pensioners with hypothermia today.

An underlying assumption of the dash for renewables was that as fossil fuels became scarcer, they would get more expensive.  In fact the reverse has happened.  We’ve all seen what’s happened to oil prices recently.  And in the USA, gas prices have dropped by two thirds, thanks to the shale gas revolution.

With Brexit, we can sweep away the threat to our security of supply issues, we can exploit indigenous coal and gas resources, and we can eliminate our over-dependence on intermittent renewables.  But stuck with EU rules, as we are today, serious industry commentators are warning of blackouts in the winter of 2016.

Under the terms of the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive, we’ve seen a series of coal plant closures – with consequent job losses and threats to generating capacity.  Kingsnorth in Kent; Longannet in Scotland, and Eggborough in Yorkshire, with Ferrybridge not far behind.

These closures will make not a scrap of difference to the trajectory of atmospheric CO2, nor to the climate.  There are reportedly 1200 new coal-fired power stations in the global pipeline.  Perhaps surprisingly, even über-green Germany is building or refurbishing a couple of dozen – and importing dirty brown coal from Poland into the bargain.

Our closures will make no measurable difference in the overall picture.  The IEA predicts that coal use will rise for decades.

We’re currently seeing a haemorrhage of production and jobs and investment out of the UK – and out of the EU – as a direct result of energy prices.  I’ve often quoted former Energy Commissioner Antonio Tajani, who famously said “We are creating an industrial massacre in Europe”.

We in UKIP don’t want to be a part of that European massacre.

You’ve heard me talk before about energy-intensive businesses.  Recently we’ve been losing steel companies.  Tata Steel cut 500 jobs in North­umberland.  It’s mothballing its plant at Llanwern in Wales. This affects Bill Etheridge as well – there are knock-on job losses at Tata’s plant at Wednesbury in the Black Country.

Since I started drafting this speech, we’ve had an even bigger blow to the steel industry.  In the North-East, Redcar, the second largest blast furnace in Europe, is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.  Its Thai owners have failed to meet scheduled repayments, and 2000 jobs are at risk.  My message for those 2000 steel-workers: you’re being sacrificed to climate hysteria, and to Brussels bureaucrats.

We’ve lost several aluminium smelters, like Anglesey Aluminium in Wales, and Alcan Lynemouth in Northumberland.

It’s the same with petroleum refineries.  Petroplus closed Teesside in 2009, and Coryton in 2012.  Murco closed Milford Haven in 2014.  Research commissioned and published by the British government shows that overseas refineries typically emit 35% more CO2 per unit than UK refineries.

According to Jim Ratcliffe, the CEO of INEOS, the chemicals giant, twenty-two UK chemical plants have closed since 2009, and he says that unless we resolve the energy price problem, there’ll be no chemical industry left in Europe in ten years’ time.  And remember they use gas not only for energy but also as a feedstock.  The list goes on – glass, cement, paper.  All these industries, all these jobs, are under threat from energy prices.

Across Europe, there are increasing concerns about the costs of renewables.

Denmark is scaling back climate and emissions targets which are proving just too expensive to deliver.

Meantime in Germany, Der Spiegel reports that the German renewables business is in crisis.

But despite these concerns, you can bet that the EU will cling doggedly to its perverse energy policies for years to come.

The good news is that with Brexit, we can stop the haemorrhage.  We can keep those jobs here at home.  We can reverse the tide, so that industry and jobs and investment come back to Britain.

That means that outside the EU, we in Britain will have a dramatic competitive advantage on energy prices against the rest of Europe when it comes to inward investment.

Britain after Brexit will become the manufacturing capital of Europe.

That’s the story from industry — but there’s the issue of domestic prices as well.  As we get into the referendum campaign, you may find people on the door­step who care about jobs – but don’t always enthuse about the problems of companies.  But they all get electricity bills, and many are suffering.  Maybe they – or their elderly relatives – are struggling to make ends meet.  For them, Brexit means the lower energy bills they desperately need.

That’s the positive message of Brexit for the voters of Britain.  Lower domestic bills.  More jobs.  More investment.  More growth.  More prosperity.  Not a bad prospectus.

So Conference, I think it’s time for us to speak up for those 2000 steel-workers in Redcar, and for all the other British workers whose jobs are threatened by perverse climate and energy policies.  It’s time to send a message to our Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, Amber Rudd.  And to the Chairman of parliament’s Climate Change Committee, John Gummer, now ennobled as Lord Deben.  And to George Osborne and David Cameron.

Let’s send a message from this hall in Doncaster, from this Conference, from this Party, that will reverberate in the Palace of Westminster.

Do we want secure and affordable energy?
Do we want Britain to become the manufacturing capital of Europe?

Do we want our country back?

Colleagues – thank you so much.  And if I may borrow David Steel’s famous rallying cry: Let’s go back to our constituencies and prepare for independence!