1 November 2019 | UK NEWS
At the launch of his party’s General Election campaign at an event in Westminster this morning, Nigel Farage announced that he would stand candidates in every seat in Britain unless the Prime Minister agreed to drop his Withdrawal Agreement and negotiate a different arrangement with the European Union for Britain’s departure, leading towards a basic Free Trade Agreement under the terms of GATT Article XXIV. The party did not produce a Manifesto during the launch event.
Dismissing Boris Johnson’s renegotiated WA as a “sell-out” of Brexit, Mr Farage described his “very big, generous offer” as a “one-off opportunity” for the incumbent Conservatives, offering them a “non-agression pact” that could lead to a “big, stonking majority” for the pro-Leave parties in Parliament. Describing further what he meant by this, he said there would be “seats in which we would not stand and there are some seats in which the Conservatives would not stand.” He added: “In particular, old Labour seats that have never ever been Conservative, never ever will be Conservative, where there were Leave majorities in the referendum but they’re represented by Remain MPs. And they, for us, are our number one target.”
Mr Farage further said in his speech: “Of course, I’m open and flexible to local exceptions and already we are in communication with a number of MPs who are prepared to renounce the Withdrawal Agreement, to renounce the deal, and they themselves to stand on a ticket of a genuine free trade agreement or leave on WTO terms.
“And of course in those cases where MPs say this, we will view them as our friends and not as our enemies. But that is not the real deal. The real deal is a Leave alliance that wins a big majority in Parliament. The real deal is a Leave alliance that delivers a genuine Brexit.”
However, senior figures within the Government and the ERG have rebuffed this offer, with Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick saying on the Today programme (Radio 4) that his party was “not interested in doing any pacts with the Brexit Party, or, indeed with anybody else. We are in this to win it.”
ERG Chairman Steve Baker also said: “I am no more willing to be bullied by Nigel Farage than anyone else into acting against my best understanding of the national interest. The reason every Conservative Eurosceptic MP backed the deal is that it can deliver a Brexit worth having.”
He added: “But Boris will only negotiate a great future for the UK if he has a good majority of resolute Conservative MPs. Nigel now risks that and our future. It is completely inconceivable that the Conservative Party would now go for no-deal and a pact. Is Nigel a statesman or a campaigner? We are about to find out.”
Mr Farage’s comments follow an exclusive interview between Nigel Farage and US President Donald Trump on LBC last night, in which Mr Trump endorsed a pact between the two party leaders, while attacking Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and lamenting certain aspects of the current WA as being bad for US-UK trade, although he did not specify which.
We will bring you further updates on Conservative / Brexit Party relations as they emerge.