Ukip will run its own separate campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, the party’s leader has confirmed.
The eurosceptic party’s campaign will run parallel to two already-existing campaigns, a decision the party says is justified by the its unique ground campaign strength.
“Ukip is a political party and whoever gets the designation as the official campaign will have to be an umbrella of some kind,” Nigel Farage told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“The unique role that UKIP can play within this is that we have 50,000 members, hundreds of branches across the country and we can do the ground campaign.”
Mr Farage however said he would not refuse to work with anybody and that he would welcome everyone, including Labour and Conservative MPs, into his group.
“The last time we debated the European elections in Britain it was the European elections in 2014 and Ukip won those elections,” he said.
“If you add up all those people who voted Ukip you get probably 60 per cent of the vote the no campaign needs to win this campaign.
“When I speak at townhall meetings around the country I’m very happy if Conservative politicians or Labour politicians work with us.”
Eurosceptic Tory MPs
Eurosceptic Tory MPs
1/7 Owen Paterson
Formerly a cabinet minister, Owen Paterson is now free to make his opinion known on the backbenchers. On the subject of Europe, he does so regularly – claiming recently that the EU referendum was “rigged” in favour of staying in
2/7 John Redwood
A longstanding eurosceptic, Mr Redwood warned last year that businesses that spoke out in favour of EU membership would be punished at the check-outs by anti-EU
3/7 Bill Cash
Awkward squad rebel Bill Cash said last year that he thought the EU had become an undemocratic, German-dominated project. “An increasingly assertive German Europe is at odds with British national interests,” he wrote in the Daily Telegraph
4/7 Philip Davies
From the Conservative party’s hard right wing, Philip Davies has been a longstanding critic of the EU. He founded the Better off Out campaign and is so eurosceptic that Ukip decided not to stand a candidate against him in 2010 because they agreed with him
5/7 Nadine Dorries
Outspoken Tory MP Nadine Dorries has previously advocated an alliance with Ukip. At the height of the Greek crisis in 2013 she said that the EU was “dying on its feet”
6/7 Liam Fox
The former defence secretary is a central figure on the right wing of the Conservative party. He’s long put pressure on David Cameron over EU negotiations
7/7 Zac Goldsmith
A socially liberal eurosceptic, Goldsmith was one of the founding members of the People’s Pledge campaign to get MPs to sign up for an EU referendum. His father ran the Referendum Party, a precursor to Ukip
Mr Farage said that the issue of migration would be key to the campaign, claiming Europe's asylum policy has “opened the door to an exodus of biblical proportions”.
The ‘out’ campaign was handed a boost today by the Electoral Commission after it recommended that the wording of the referendum question be changed to be more neutral.
The Government had originally planned a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question – where ‘yes’ meant staying in the EU and ‘no’ meant leaving.
But the Commission said voters should now be asked to choose between “remain” or “leave” options.
David Cameron has pledged to hold a referendum on EU membership by 2017 but has first said he would produce a renegotiation package to change the terms of membership for the UK.Reuse content