Nigel Farage says Brexit party could strike election pact with Tories

Brexit party leader floats idea of ‘non-aggression pact’ to achieve clean-break Brexit

The Brexit party may be prepared to work with the Conservatives through a “non-aggression pact” if the only way of achieving a “clean-break” Brexit was a general election, Nigel Farage has said.

Seeking to put clear blue water between his party and the new Brexiter-dominated government, Farage reminded a rally near Westminster that Boris Johnson had voted for Theresa May’s deal with Brussels on the the third occasion it came before MPs.

“That raises a very big question. Can you trust Boris Johnson on this question?” he asked more than 500 of the Brexit party’s prospective parliamentary candidates. He also railed against the “globalists” in the Labour party and evoked loud boos at the mention of Jeremy Corbyn and the Scottish National party.

Farage said the backstop – the device intended to ensure there would be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland – was “the worst deal in history”.

“Mr Johnson, if you insisted on leaving with the withdrawal agreement we will fight you in every single seat the length and breadth of Britain,” he added, to roars of approval.

However, Farage also sketched out another scenario, one in which he said the prime minister “was to summon up the courage” to proceed with a no-deal Brexit on 31 October but where the only means of achieving it was to call a general election.

“In those circumstances, if Boris Johnson is prepared to do the right thing to win out independence then we are prepared to do the right thing,” he added, before his words were drowned out.

Farage said the Brexit party might then be prepared to work with him, “perhaps in the form of a non-aggression pact”.

In questions from the press, Farage spoke approvingly of the Conservative party’s European Research Group and “the handful of Labour MPs who had to put up with dreadful abuse”, but was evasive on what form a pact with the Tories might take. The party was getting into general election mode but would then work out with whom it wanted to do deals, he added.

Among more than 500 candidates – out of a slate of 635 – present were former Labour members, ex-Tories and others who gathered at the Emmanuel Centre, near Westminster.

They included Colin Lambert, 61, a former Labour member of 40 years and a former leader of Rochdale council.

Preparing to stand in Rochdale, where 60% of voters voted to leave in the Brexit referendum, Lambert said he was in the process of setting up support mechanisms for other Labour members who had switched to Farage’s party and who he said were coming under attack online.

“I feel that we are now the new acceptable middle ground in British politics,” he said, adding that he would still describe himself as left of centre.


Ben Quinn

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Would Nigel Farage be Hitler or Stalin in Brexit 'non-aggression pact'? | John Crace
Brexit party leader offers to back Boris Johnson – but only if the PM unleashes no deal on Britain

John Crace

27, Aug, 2019 @6:36 PM

Article image
Brexit party to contest more than 600 seats in election, says Farage
Party leader accuses Tories of ‘conceited arrogance’ in asking it to stand aside

Peter Walker Political correspondent

04, Nov, 2019 @7:03 PM

Article image
Nigel Farage softens stance in attempt to form pact with Tories
Brexit party leader retreats from his ‘drop the deal’ threat in quest for election alliance

Kate Proctor

08, Nov, 2019 @7:04 PM

Article image
Brexit party candidates have been 'hounded', says Nigel Farage
Leader complains about abuse of candidates during ‘very nasty’ election campaign

Frances Perraudin

11, Dec, 2019 @2:55 PM

Article image
Nigel Farage says he will not stand for MP in general election
Farage says he can ‘serve the cause better’ supporting Brexit party’s 600 candidates

Heather Stewart

03, Nov, 2019 @11:04 AM

Article image
Nigel Farage: I can't vote Conservative in general election
Brexit party leader tweets clarification after saying he would see manifesto before deciding

Kate Proctor

13, Nov, 2019 @6:32 PM

Article image
Nigel Farage won't be allowed anywhere near government, say Tories
Senior Tories rebuff Brexit party leader’s offer of no-deal election pact

Kate Proctor Political correspondent

11, Sep, 2019 @3:10 PM

Article image
Remain forces pact would have helped Lib Dems beat Brexit party, says Cable
Party would have ‘come out on top’ in EU elections if alliances were made, says leader

Jessica Elgot Chief political correspondent

27, May, 2019 @6:03 PM

Article image
Nigel Farage move may not help Tories as much as it first appears
Fact that Brexit party still plans to field candidates in Tory target seats means it’s not all good news for Boris Johnson

Dan Sabbagh

11, Nov, 2019 @6:38 PM

Article image
A bad day for Farage as Brexit party MEPs realise they've been had | John Crace
Losing four supporters to Boris Johnson’s camp exposes King Nigel as the narcissist he is

John Crace

05, Dec, 2019 @8:39 PM