Farage: EU ‘Terrified’ of UK Being Competitor on Doorstep

HARTLEPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage campaigns in Hartlepool during the Brexit Party general election campaign tour on November 23, 2019 in Hartlepool, England. Political parties continue to campaign around the country as Britain prepares to go to the polls on December 12, 2019 to vote …
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Leave campaigner Nigel Farage has said that the European Union is “terrified” of having a competitor on its doorstep.

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr on Sunday, Mr Farage said of his last day in the European Parliament chamber: “I got the sense in that debate that, for the first time since 2016, they are a little bit more frightened of us than we are of them.”

“What they fear more than anything — and bear in mind Italy is in recession, Germany is very close to being in recession — is a competitor on their doorstep. That terrifies them. What we should be doing, in our national interest, is to make sure we are a competitor on their doorstep,” he added.

European leaders and Brussels bureaucrats have been threatening to block a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom unless it maintains a “level playing field” by retaining EU regulations. The EU-27 countries, notably France and Germany, fears the UK becoming an “economic competitor” and a “tax haven at the gates of Europe”.

The Irish prime minister has also said that the UK must abide by EU regulations so that the sanctity of the Single Market and Customs Union are not “diluted”.

“And we must have common minimum standards so that the UK doesn’t attempt in any way to undercut the EU when it comes to labour standards, environmental standards, health and safety, product standards,” Leo Varadkar said last month.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson today stated that the UK would not be accepting EU rules in exchange for a trade deal, adding that “Britain will prosper” even without a deal.

–The Brexit Party is an insurance policy–

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, Mr Farage said that while Prime Minister Boris Johnson is “saying all the right things”, he will keep the Brexit Party active as an insurance policy should Mr Johnson go back on any of his promises, naming regulatory alignment and fishing waters as two key markers on his red line.

“If we finish up with alignment, it means that the 88 per cent of our economy that does not sell goods into the EU is still bound by EU rules and that would not be Brexit,” Mr Farage said.

“I think he’s saying all the right things, I think he’s being consistent with the manifesto upon which he has been elected and I think there’s a big difference, this time. I don’t think the EU ever took Mrs May terribly seriously,” he said.

Mr Farage announced the foundation of a new think tank, called Brexit Watch, and that his party, the Brexit Party, would remain active for the foreseeable future to act as an “insurance policy in case things goe wrong”.

Acknowledging the mistake he made in thinking that Johnson’s predecessor would deliver on the will of the people, Mr Farage said: “I was so thrilled that we won … I actually believed Theresa May when she said Brexit means Brexit — very stupidly of me — and I think I gave the impression that I rather walked away. I’m not going to walk away this time.”

“We will, through every stage of the next 11 months, praise the government to the high heavens when they’re getting it right but ring the alarm bell if they’re not,” he said.

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