The Brexit Party is still reportedly open to an alliance with the Tories, despite recent rebuffs, if Prime Minister Johnson backs a clean-break Brexit in the forthcoming general election.
The Times reports a Brexit Party source as saying: “Boris Johnson said that we would leave on October 31; we will be criticising him for that. The offer still stands for a Brexit alliance [at the election].”
The offer comes as Prime Minister Johnson attempts to get MPs to agree to hold a snap election which he hopes will clear Parliament of Brexit-obstructing lawmakers. The UK was due to leave the EU on October 31st, but the Benn Act forced the prime minister to obtain an extension to January 31st.
If the PM wants to fight a general election on defending a new EU treaty, that is very disappointing for all Leavers. His new agreement is just not Brexit.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) October 28, 2019
Party leader Nigel Farage told MailOnline on Tuesday that he had not ruled out a Brexit Party-Conservative tactical voting pact, saying: “We will see what happens. I am not ruling anything in, not ruling anything out. But it would appear he wants to fight the election on the basis of that treaty which I just don’t think is Brexit. But that may change.”
Mr Farage maintains that a pact — where parties agree to tactically field candidates in swing seats to avoid a Brexit vote split which would hand victory to a Remain party — is dependant upon Mr Johnson abandoning the exit deal and embracing a clean break. Otherwise, the Brexit Party will challenge the Tories even in marginal seats. Mr Farage told MailOnline that whether that remains the case will be decided after party discussions “over the next couple of days”.
He said, however, that voters will have a “series of choices” to make on election day.
“They can vote for a party that wants to revoke, they can vote for a party that wants to have a second referendum, they can vote for a party that wants a new EU treaty, or they can vote for a party which wants a clean break,” he said.
Speaking to Sky News on Tuesday afternoon, Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib said: “The Conservatives have had three and a half years to deliver Brexit. They clearly can’t do it on their own.”
“The Conservatives should take great heed to Richard Tice’s very generous offer to work with the Conservatives to make sure we get a majority Leave government, and we get a proper clean-break Brexit.”
The government got these negotiations wrong from the start. We need a clean break first. That gives us the leverage we need to get a simple, straightforward trade deal.
No need for the pitfalls and traps in Boris' deal! pic.twitter.com/Aat25AacEH
— Richard Tice (@TiceRichard) October 27, 2019
Brexit Party Chairman Richard Tice told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday morning: “There is no question that [Boris Johnson] has been trying but the Conservatives have failed three times to deliver Brexit and they clearly need our help.”
“We have made a generous offer to the PM, that if you stand for a clean break Brexit, we will stand down and not fight with your candidates. We would rather have a leave alliance that will deliver a thumping victory,” he added.
Mr Johnson’s office had previously rejected offers of an election pact, with a Downing Street spokesman saying Mr Farage was not a “fit and proper” person to be allowed near government.
While Tory Brexiteers in the past have suggested that their party needs an alliance with the Brexit Party, they appear to be rallying around the Conservatives going it alone. Andrew Bridgen, who told Breitbart London in June that the Tories may need an alliance with “kingmaker” Farage, said last week on BBC Newsnight that “I think we don’t need actually Nigel Farage, we only need his voters.”
Senior Brexiteer Steve Baker, who said last month that the prime minister should reconsider a deal with Farage, told the Huffington Post on Tuesday: “A pre-Brexit pact with the Brexit Party won’t happen all the time Nigel Farage insists the Conservatives pursue no deal, which won’t happen.
“Boris will have to win without any arrangement.”
Farage Says Treaty ‘Is Not Brexit’, Tells Boris to Drop Deal and Agree Election Pact https://t.co/J71fhVQgUo
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 24, 2019