Farage Warns Tories that Brussels Will Not Budge on Soft-Brexit Treaty

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MAY 17: Nigel Farage attends a rally with the Brexit Party’s European election candidates at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh on May 17, 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Brexit Party leader was speaking at his first Scottish rally of the European election campaign. (Photo by Jeff J …
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has warned Conservative Party leadership hopefuls who believe they can renegotiate a better exit deal with Brussels that Eurocrats will not change “one dot or comma” of the withdrawal treaty.

Mr Farage, who led his party to victory in last week’s European Parliament elections, directed his comments to foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, a Remain supporter who said he now backs Brexit, and who said that should he become prime minister that he would go back to the EU and negotiate a better deal which could then gain enough parliamentary support to pass in the House of Commons.

The Brexit Party leader called the pledge “absolute rubbish” on his LBC radio show Tuesday night, saying: “Every single person here in the European Commission, and leading groups in the European Parliament, will not change by one dot or comma that withdrawal agreement.

“And it’s not an agreement, it’s a treaty… Michel Barnier walks around with it under his arm. So I think that side of the argument is absolute rubbish. He [Mr Hunt] is also pledging to create a new negotiating team. I wonder where he got that idea from?”

After the Brexit Party’s victory, Mr Farage offered his and his MEPs’ services in negotiating the future trade deal with the EU. While talk of Mr Farage joining the Tory government’s negotiating team has been raised by Brexiteers a number of times, party leadership hopeful Mr Hunt has ruled out inviting the twenty-year veteran of European Parliament because Mr Farage backs a no-deal exit, which Mr Hunt described as “political suicide”.

“He’s not in Parliament and he does not want a deal. Nigel Farage wants to exit without a deal,” said the foreign secretary on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday.

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, however, has already come out and rejected notions that a new prime minister could negotiate a new deal, saying Tuesday night before an EU summit in Brussels: “I was crystal clear. There will be no renegotiation.”

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