UKIP could lose €1.5 million if Five Star leaves its EU party
Nigel Farage sold Brexit as a cash bonanza for Britain, but its proving bad news for the finances of his own party.
UKIP has struggled to raise money since achieving its raison d’etre of Britain leaving the EU, and needs to repay the EU parliament €500,000 after misusing EU funds for its referendum campaign.
Now UKIP could be losing its assembly group in the European parliament – at the cost of €1.5 million a year.
Italian rabble-rouser Beppe Grillo has invited his 5-Star Movement to consider leaving the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD), UKIP’s party in the assembly.
As Politico reports, Grillo wrote on his blog:
“UKIP has achieved its political goal … remaining in the EFDD means spending the next two and a half years with no shared political objective, within a delegation that is not interested in producing concrete results.”
A five star walkout of Grillo’s 17 MEPs would leave the EFDD with only 27, barely above the 25 needed for EU funds.
The Times reckons this could cost cash-strapped UKIP as much as €1.5 million per year.
Farage, who starts his new talk show on LBC tonight, said Grillo’s proposal to join the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats was a bad call. He said:
“In political terms it would be completely illogical for Five Star to join the most Euro-fanatic group in the European parliament.”
For ‘illogical’ read ‘expensive’.
Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.