My position on the UK leaving the EU is as UKIP has reiterated. In Greater Manchester, around 55% voted to Leave the EU, and after Project Fear failed to materialise, he believes that more people have come on board. People can see the advantages of being outside the EU, and that we can continue to have access to the Single Market without having to be members of it.
But the referendum has happened. This is not another referendum. This is not about having a remain or leave candidate, it is about having a candidate who will focus on Greater Manchester.
I welcome Andy Burnham deciding to adopt UKIP’s policy of being outside the Single Market. However, this appears to be against Labour policy, with Keir Starmer on Tuesday (13th December) saying that Labour will fight to keep us in the Single Market. With Mr Burnham’s record on sticking to his principles, he believes this to be a mere tactical move, and IF Mr Burnham is elected, he will no doubt change his position again.
As for the future, I believe that being outside the EU will decrease the burden of red tape on small to medium sized businesses, with less than 10% actually trading with them, and will offer the opportunity to bring more transparency into business. I fully believe that we will have a good trading relationship with the EU, and that by opening the doors to new, emerging markets we can put Greater Manchester on the map and attract better jobs.
The question on 4th May is whether the people of Greater Manchester want a mayor who tries to use this election as a mandate for a referendum we ran six months ago, a candidate who is using this election as a stepping stone to their next political job, or a UKIP candidate who will have 100% focus on Greater Manchester.