More specifically, Britain has seen a real political earthquake as predicted by Nigel Farage – the leader of Ukip, the far-right anti-immigration party. Even though what the earthquake will lead to has yet to be determined for certain, we have good reasons to think that UK's attitude – along with
the French and Italian ones respectively influenced by the National Front and the 5 Star Movement – will have a huge impact in the new European Parliament's agenda. According to some, Ukip's propaganda was able to touch upon Brits' interests by bringing back that passion and energy that
inherently belong to politics. Some others belittled the outcome singling out the lowest British turnout (36%) and the innate euro-skeptic British nature. What is clear to me is that oversimplification hardly leads to a full understanding of any political process. This is the reason driving me to look at what exactly Ukip succeeded in and what this event may result in. First and foremost immigrants. They are with no doubts the core question of the Ukip's campaign.
As a matter of fact, being European comes with the advantage of having equal chances to access, work and thereby settle in any European country. However, when these rights are connected to the generous benefits the British welfare provides for British and Europeans citizens alike, burning
questions arise. Ukip pointed at the most vulnerable people making them into scapegoats for system loopholes. Emphasis laid upon social drawbacks and that UK can no longer be considered an English speaking country. Ukip upheld its position by appealing to immigrants to speak "correct
English" and to close external borders for the next five years. Paradoxically, this technique did not convince Londoners – surely the most multicultural city in the UK – who believed that the patriotic fervour has actually turned into an overwhelming chauvinism inclined to fascist beliefs. By
contrast, regressive views held the interest of the rest of the country – Scotland included – while particular appeal was placed on the will to leave the EU. Indeed, Ukip's goals cannot be pursued if the Union's free movements policy is in force. Farage announced that Britain will hold an in/out 'eu
referendum as first important step towards the earthquake.
Traditionally parties could not ignore the recent elections. Tories seem to recognize the value of the referendum on the EU and preferred to play this card at the next national elections, taking into account the European fallout. However, the unexpected poll outcome pushed Tory MP David Davis
to consider the EU referendum by a year. By contrast, the Labour are historically partial to the idea of an unified and supportive Union, but they did not set forth a very European, intense campaign.
Finally, Liberal Democrats experienced the worst result and Nick Clegg's leadership has been questioned. What Ukip is now focused on is to find alliance partners across Europe and to establish a valuable anti-european group. Throughout the last weeks, one of the most likely candidate emerged in the
Italian 5 Star Movement. Farage hosted and manifestly courted its leader Beppe Grillo. This move, however, has caused reactions among those euro-skeptic parties willing to build up the agenda with Ukip. The triumphing Marine Le Pen did not hide her disappointment stating "Ukip and Beppe
Grillo! If so, it could turn Ukip into useless". Likewise, Grillo himself showed serious doubts about the projects in which Ukip and the 5 Star Movement can cooperate and play a part in. Even though the European Parliament (EP) provides for freedom of vote to every single party regardless of its
own group's strategy, in 1999 Bruxelles proved that the EP can dissolve alliances if lacking of a common set of political guidelines. This shed the light on the meetings between Ukip and the 5 Star Movement. Following is a short summary of the main points the two parties agree and disagree on:
– EU and economy: Ukip's ultimate and main goal is to push Britain out of the EU and to pursue a liberal economy based on transnational exchanges that prevent international organisations interactions. The 5 Star Movement has a more moderate position. It is critic of the EU but it mainly hold the euro as first cause of the crisis. It relies on a in/out euroo referendum but wants a state-regulated economy.
– Immigrants: despite of the relevant distinction of what Ukip and the 5 Star Movement mean by immigrant (respectively, non-British citizens and non-EU citizens), they are both for restrictive measures as means to favouring national security and economy. Old views for a new, conflictual partnership.
– Energy: Ukip rejects the current climate changing and urges for nuclear power. Grillo emphasizes the role of alternative energies being more likely to share his views with the Green's program.
The strategic alliance will better to lay stronger foundations if they mean to affect the EU politics as
their voters demand.
Matteo Di Battista