Nigel Farage has warned that Boris Johnson’s withdrawal agreement bill “is not Brexit” and has urged the prime minister to join forces with his Brexit Party and embrace No Deal.
Speaking to Sky News on Wednesday after Mr Johnson’s bill had overcome its first parliamentary obstacle the night before, Mr Farage said: “Let’s be straight about this. This is a new EU treaty. It’s slightly better than Mrs May’s abject surrender, but when Boris says to you, ‘This gets Brexit done,’ it sounds wonderful.
“Monsieur Barnier said the next phase of negotiations would last for a minimum of three years. You’ve got to ask yourself: do you believe Boris Johnson or do you believe Michel Barnier?
“This is not Brexit. This treaty will lead to years and years of acrimony and us still being part of European institutions. It will never free us completely from the European Court of Justice. This is not Brexit.”
In a statement released on Tuesday night, the Brexit campaigner warned that as well as ECJ judges still being able to override British law, during the extendable transition period, “we won’t withdraw from the EU at all but become non-voting members.
“We will still be trapped in the EU Customs Union and Single Market, subject to all existing EU laws and any punitive new ones they might pass.”
The agreement and political declaration will also mean that UK fishing waters will still open to European fishermen during the transition; Britain must “stick to EU rules” in order to abide by Brussels’ demand to ensure a ‘level playing field’ in commerce; and accept the restriction of British sovereignty whereby the UK is prevented from “taking ‘any action likely to conflict with or impede’ EU foreign policy”, Mr Farage said.
The Brexit Party leader reiterated his offer of a pact with the Conservatives if the prime minister abandons the pursuit of an exit treaty and embraces no deal, otherwise Mr Farage will field candidates in every seat in the country. With Number 10 indicating that it may pursue an election strategy if the EU grants a Brexit delay, that challenge may come sooner rather than later.
Boris Johnson says that the new EU treaty gets Brexit done, but Mr Barnier says the next negotiations will last for 3 years or longer. Who do you believe?
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) October 23, 2019
Predicting a New Year election, Mr Farage said on Sky News: “A general election does give Boris Johnson the opportunity to say: ‘We’ve tried with Mrs May and with myself to get a new EU treaty through. Let’s drop that, and get a different approach.’ That is what I very much hope he would do.
“If he does that then, of course, my attitude towards standing against many Conservatives would be different. But on the current course, of course, we’ll stand against them because only the Brexit Party will actually represent genuinely leaving the institutions of the European Union. That’s what the vote was all about.”
“If Boris Johnson decides to drop the treaty and we see the beginnings of a Brexit alliance fighting that election, it would win a thumping majority. Then, we really would get Brexit done,” he added.