UKIP candidate Michael Virgo is looking to win over the leave vote in Sheffield Hallam in the upcoming general election.
The party stands on a “Brexit and beyond” manifesto with a pledge to leave the EU on 31 January 2020 without a deal, despite Sheffield Hallam voting to remain by 66% in 2016.
Michael said: “We don’t support the current deal as its not Brexit at all. It’s largely the same as Theresa May’s deal that leaves us under EU control.
“I think the EU has made it very clear that they are not willing to give us a deal. I can’t see a lot of point in continuing to negotiate. We support WTO rules, but we don’t like to call it no-deal.”
Mr Virgo is standing in Hallam, a constituency which also has the Brexit Party’s Terry McHale on the ballot paper. Despite this, Michael believes that pro-Brexit voters should pick UKIP on Thursday.
He said: “UKIP was formed by ordinary people 27 years ago. The Brexit Party is a new party and we are not sure what the future holds for them, but UKIP will still be around whatever happens to them.”
The parties manifesto also promises to abolish prescription charges in England and waive tuition fees for GPs. UKIP would also look to scrap HS2, invest in existing railways and re-open old branch lines. The party has pledged to cut net immigration to below 100,000 per year.
Other policies include changing the TV licence to a voluntary subscription and stop benefits to foreign nationals resident in the UK until they have paid tax and National Insurance for five years.
Mr Virgo also gave his support to the emergency services for their work after the recent Sheffield floods.
He said: “I have great sympathy for those who suffered so much. I have great respect for the emergency services and for what they have done.”
“One of the reasons we have so much flooding is because the EU banned the practice of dredging rivers.”
The EU emphatically denied this in a 2016 press release.
Mr Virgo was keen to stress that he would try to do a better job than the previous incumbent, Jared O’Mara.
Michael said: “I was very disappointed by Mr O’Mara as an MP. I wonder if a lot of Labour people may not be so keen to vote for them again, but they could respond the opposite way.
“I think it is all to play for. I am a local person, I believe in hard work and in representing people. If elected, I will try to be the best candidate we could have.”
UKIP is only putting forward 44 candidates across the country in this election, down from 378 in 2017.
The UKIP candidate was not worried to be standing in such a pro-remain area.
He said: “The situation we are in is extremely different from previous elections. The country voted to leave the EU and the politicians are not allowing us to do that, its quite possible I could get a lot of the vote.”
You can read our other interviews for the Sheffield Hallam election below.