The leading Brexiteer is also predicted to call for immigration to be cut to just 30,000 a year but emphasised his commitment to aiding the health service on BBC Question Time on Tuesday night. Mr Farage said: “If the wealthiest in society took out private medical insurance, [or] were encouraged to do so, we could lift maybe as much as 10% off the burden on the NHS for those who cannot afford private insurance cover. It strikes me as a rather bright thing to do.
“The NHS should be free for all at the point of delivery. I am not forcing people who earn over X per year to take out private insurance, I am suggesting as a way of reducing waiting lists and lifting the burden off the health service it would make a lot of sense.”
During the programme, Mr Farage was confronted by various audience members with one asking how he dealt with claims that he was “a racist”.
Mr Farage insisted he hadn’t been accused of being a racist “for many many years” and stated the Brexit Party now had more candidates from black and minority ethnic backgrounds than at the European Parliament elections in May.
When one audience member said the Brexit Party itself had been accused of racism, Mr Farage responded angrily.
He added: “No it’s not. We had more ethnic diversity in our candidates for the European elections than the other parties added together, so I won’t have that.”
UKIP had pledged during the general election in 2015 while Mr Farage was leader that it would “limit highly-skilled work visas to 50,000 per year, including those from the EU, and apply a moratorium to unskilled and low-skilled labour.”
When quizzed about whether he would stand by that, he informed the Peterborough audience: “I do not think our quality of life improves as our population heads inexorably towards 70 million, which is where it’s going to be by the end of the 2020s.
“For 60 years after World War Two, we had annual net migration running at 30,000 to 50,000 a year. We actually had, of all the European countries, the most successful integration and things worked here well.
“For the last 10 years, it’s been running at between a quarter of a million and a third of a million every year. We need to bring settlement down to that kind of sensible post-war number.”
The Brexit Party list of pledges is expected to cover law and order and health policies, but he rejected the word manifesto on LBC – calling it a “horrible, horrible word that equates to a lie” – instead committing to a “contract” with the British people.
Last week Mr Farage announced the party would back off and not contest any candidates against the Conservatives in any of the 317 seats the Tories won at the last election to prevent splitting the vote.
Elsewhere, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson launched the party’s manifesto on Wednesday, promising to stop Brexit and build a future for the UK inside the European Union.
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The party also claimed this would result in a £50billion boom to spend on public services, as well as targeting 80 percent of our electricity coming from renewable energy by 2030.
However, her anti-Brexit stance was ridiculed by BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg after the launch.
Ms Kuenssberg said: “The manifesto actually calls Brexit a national humiliation – is that a way to describe what was a democratic decision?”
The Lib Dem leader responded: “It has been a national embarrassment for our country. When you speak to people in other countries looking at us, they look at us with puzzlement.”
But Ms Kuenssberg challenged her further, asking: “What message do you think that sends to a Leave voter?
“Very candidly, you are seeking to overturn a narrow but clear decision taken by the majority of voters in this country.”
Published at Thu, 21 Nov 2019 00:37:00 +0000