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Nigel Farage warns Boris Johnson over ‘reheated Brexit deal’

Nigel Farage Image copyright AFP/Getty Images

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has warned Prime Minister Boris Johnson not to return from Brussels with Theresa May’s “reheated deal”.

At a rally in London, he said the Tories will “lose votes to us” in “huge numbers” when voters “realise nothing has changed” if they keep that deal.

He then criticised Labour’s “policy of uncontrolled mass immigration”.

The party also unveiled some policy plans, but little detail, including scrapping HS2 and inheritance tax.

The UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October.

Mrs May’s deal was rejected three times by MPs, with the Irish backstop – a policy Mr Johnson has said he wants to scrap – proving a major sticking point.

The policy is aimed at preventing the return of a hard border on the island of Ireland after Brexit.

Mr Farage told the crowd of supporters, referring to the prime minister and his senior adviser: “Mr Johnson, Mr Cummings – if you do get this through, that you can sell this as Brexit, you’re in for a big surprise.

“The British people won’t swallow it if they realise nothing has changed, they will not put up with it and you will lose votes to us in absolutely huge numbers – heed that warning please.”

He reiterated his pledge that if Mr Johnson campaigns in a general election “for a clean-break Brexit” then “far from fighting against him we will work with him with a non-aggression pact” – something which has already been rejected by Number 10.

“To get this done, we will always put country before party,” he said.

Mr Farage went on to criticise Labour for changing its policy on freedom of movement.

The Labour Party’s 2017 manifesto vowed to end free movement when the UK leaves the European Union, but delegates at the party conference last week voted overwhelmingly to reject that.

Mr Farage said Labour had decided “to embark upon a policy of uncontrolled mass immigration into Britain”.

“All of us in this party recognise that immigration can be a very good and a very positive thing for our nation, but you have to control it sensibly and selectively,” he said.

He said the Brexit Party would be the “main challenger” to the Labour Party in “many traditional parts of this country, seats they’ve held for 100 years”.

The rally was the final date of the party’s “we are ready” conference tour, which took place in 10 venues across England and Wales and featured some of the party’s prospective parliamentary candidates.

The party says it has pledged to invest £200bn in transport and digital infrastructure outside London.

Party chairman Richard Tice also unveiled some policies at the London event without going into detail, including:

  • Scrapping the “absurd” HS2 scheme
  • Abolishing inheritance tax
  • Reducing by 50% the UK’s foreign aid budget to fund public services
  • Wifi access on public transport and “not just the London tube”
  • Investment in broadband
  • Change the interest on student loans to 0%

The Brexit Party’s final rally comes after a week of stormy debate in the House of Commons over the use of language.

Image copyright Getty Images

The prime minister was criticised by a number of MPs for – among other remarks – describing one Labour MP’s safety concerns as “humbug” and repeatedly referring to legislation aimed at blocking no-deal as “the surrender bill”.

Mr Johnson has insisted he “deplores any threats to anybody”.

But Mr Farage said the “real surrender” will not be that piece of legislation, “the real surrender, the real sell-out, will be to sign us up to a dreadful deal that will leave us trapped for year upon year”.

“Do not reheat Mrs May’s deal. That would be surrender,” he said.

On the subject of “the temperature of political debate”, Mr Farage referenced Commons Speaker John Bercow, former Labour PM Tony Blair and former Conservative PM John Major, all of whom were booed.

He went on to describe former Tory MP – now Independent Group for Change leader – Anna Soubry as the “least popular figure with Leave voters”.

On a second referendum, Mr Farage said: “Provided we were given a proper question with a genuine leave on the ballot paper we would vote to leave by a bigger margin.”

He said there will “not be violent riots on our streets because we have got a well-run sensible moderate democratic political party”.


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