This is the second of 2 posts on UKIP. This one is on the future of the party post-EU referendum.
UKIP has always been focussed on 2 things: Reducing immigration and leaving the EU. Now that we are leaving the EU, it seems like both of the party’s goals have been satisfied. So now there is the question: What will become of the party now that we’ve left the EU and will it still be relevant to UK politics?
Firstly, let’s look at what leaving the EU will actually mean for the country. Assuming that we no longer allow free-movement of EU citizens into the UK, we will then be able to control immigration. In the next few years, while the Brexit negotiations are taking place, the party is likely to lobby for what they believe to be the best possible deal for Britain.
OK so that will give them something to do for the meanwhile but what about after? It will take time to actually put into place the proposed points-based immigration system. UKIP will likely lobby for what they want to happen with this as well. Let’s assume though that by 2022, immigration figures are down (low ‘enough’), the country is doing well and we’ve long ago left the EU…
With the demise of the BNP a few years ago, I think that UKIP will stick around and take their place as the country’s far-right party. They are currently more well-known than the BNP and can take some credit for Britain leaving the EU.
At the moment, UKIP is on a high after the referendum. I reckon that their support will increase. However, in the next few years, if they get less media coverage (which is likely), I think that they’ll gradually find themselves running out of things to say. UKIP will never again be the party it is today but don’t expect them to just vanish; they’ll always be there murmuring something about too many immigrants.
Update on 15/09/16: Today ex-director of UKIP Steve Stanbury announced live on Daily Politics that he will leave the party and rejoin the Conservatives. He said that UKIP’s job is done following the UK’s decision to leave the EU and that the party’s “best days are behind it”. Stanbury added that “Going forwards it’s the Conservative Party that’s better placed to deliver on Brexit.”