Senior Tory Eurosceptic Calls for Election Pact with Farage to Stop ‘Remain Coalition’

Conservative MP and former junior Brexit Minister, Steve Baker, speaks to members of the media as he arrives to attend a meeting of the pro-Brexit European Research Group (ERG) in central London on September 12, 2018. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty

Steve Baker MP has called for an election pact between his Conservative Party and Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in the event of a snap election, saying otherwise there will be a victory for the “Remain coalition”.

The newly-appointed chairman of the European Research Group (ERG) told journalists on Tuesday that the two parties should agree a joint-strategy to not field candidates in certain constituencies in order to prevent splitting the Brexit vote, which would ultimately result in a loss for both parties to the Liberal Democrats or Labour.

Mr Baker said: “What’s very clear to me is if we have an election before we have left the European Union, and the Brexit Party think that we are heading in a direction which does not deliver our independence from the EU, then they will stand candidates virtually everywhere.

“And the result will be as per Peterborough and in Wales — they will result in a Lib/Lab Remain coalition and we will lose Brexit, and that’s why I’ve said we need to have some sort of accommodation with them but we are not quite at that bridge yet.”

Mr Baker, who is one of the party’s “Spartans” that vows to reject any renegotiated EU-approved withdrawal treaty, is the most senior Tory backbencher yet to call for an election pact — which Prime Minister Boris Johnson has so far ruled out — but the idea was floated some months ago by Andrew Bridgen.

Mr Bridgen had told Breitbart London’s James Delingpole in June that Mr Farage may one day be the “kingmaker”, arguing that the Tories might need the support of the Brexit Party to secure a large enough majority in a General Election to finally deliver Brexit.

In reaction to Mr Baker’s call for a pact, Mr Farage said it was “a positive step in the right direction to deliver a clean break Brexit.”
Farage is currently on tour of the UK, hosting party rallies after announcing some 500 parliamentary candidates over the summer in preparation of what some politicians on both sides of the political divide felt was inevitable.

Earlier this week, Mr Farage threw Prime Minister Johnson a political lifeline by pledging a non-aggression pact — so long as he vows to abandon May’s withdrawal treaty, which even without the controversial Irish backstop involves paying the EU a £39 billion divorce bill, a 20-month transition period with the country still closely aligned to Brussels, and a number of other articles objectionable to Brexiteers.

“If Boris Johnson is prepared to do the right thing to win our independence, then we are prepared to do the right thing and we would put country before party and we would do it every time,” Mr Farage said, adding: “A Johnson government committed to doing the right thing and the Brexit Party working in tandem would be unstoppable, would deliver a big parliamentary majority, and would get this country free.”

Mr Baker’s call for a pact and Mr Farage’s comments come after the prime minister pledged to hold an election on October 15th if MPs vote to thwart his Brexit plans, Mr Johnson having promised to take the UK out of the EU on October 31st with or without a deal, “do or die”.

The prime minister said last night after MPs voted to take over the House of Commons and vote on a bill to make a clean Brexit illegal: “I don’t want an election, but if MPs vote tomorrow to stop negotiations and compel another pointless delay to Brexit, potentially for years, then that would be the only way to resolve this.

“I can confirm that we are tonight tabling a motion under the Fixed-Term Parliament Act.”

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