Douglas Carswell

05 OCT 2016

Why Britain needs UKIP

Theresa May is off to a great start. We finally have a prime minister committed to taking Britain out of the EU. Repealing the European Communities Act – not exactly a mainstream position when I proposed it in a private member's bill four years ago – is now government policy.

But alas, during her keynote conference speech, she seemed to advocate statism. She says she wants to "embrace a new centre ground" where the government "steps up, not back". That's why Britain needs an unapologetically free-market alternative: UKIP.

I was saddened by Diane James's decision to resign as UKIP leader yesterday. I hope she and her family are okay.

But I also hope that UKIP can regroup quickly. Not just for the party's sake, but for the country's too.

Theresa May has already created a department for "industrial strategy". She has talked about intervening in corporate boardrooms. Apparently, she's now proposing Ed-Miliband-style price controls on energy.

Trying to micromanage markets, businesses, and individual lives suffocates innovation and stifles freedom. It draws on the worst and most disastrous Conservative ideology: Heathism.

In a decade's time, I suspect the Left will have largely imploded. The tragedy of the 1920s, which saw the Labour party displace the Liberals, will have been undone. Politics will be a contest between a patrician Tory party and a radical liberal party (in the Gladstonian, not American, sense).

The race is on to be that alternative. I hope it will be UKIP.

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