‘No Deal Is Better Than a Bad Deal’: Farage Predicts Boris Will ‘Sell Out’ Brexit, as Crunch Talks Are ‘Paused’

Brexit leader Nigel Farage predicted that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will cave in during Brexit negotiations with the European Union and sell out the UK in favour of securing a trade deal with the bloc.

Mr Farage said on Friday that he expects the prime minister to sell a prospective deal with the EU to the British public “as the most extraordinary victory”, but warned that it is likely Mr Johnson will acquiesce to European Union demands.

“My fear is a deal gets done [and] it gets presented as a victory — but actually, we find ourselves with Brexit, but still too closely tied to EU rules,” Farage said in an interview with Brexit Watch.

Firstly, he stressed the importance of a proper arrangement on Britain’s lucrative fisheries, saying that it is less critical to which country next year’s yields go to but rather who is making the decision.

“We voted to get away from foreign bureaucrats offering us crumbs from the table,” he said, adding: “It’s the British that make these decisions; we can afford to be generous to the French.”

He did note, however, that British generosity should not include continuing to hand over 90 per cent of the haddock caught in the Southwestern Approaches, which includes the Celtic Sea and Bristol Channel, to France. The EU also lands 91 per cent of English Channel cod, with 84 per cent being caught by French fishermen.

The EU is reportedly pushing for a 10-year deal on fishing rights that would grant the bloc unfettered access to Britain’s fisheries for a decade in exchange for a trade deal, the Daily Telegraph reported on Saturday.

Secondly, Mr Farage said that Britain should not accept a deal in which the UK is still under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, which EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said was likely to be included in a trade deal.

“If we are not free to make our own legislation in every area of our commercial life in this country, then it’s not a proper Brexit,” he said.

Mr Farage also argued that a clean break from the European Union would afford the UK the ability to power its way out of the recession caused by the Chinese coronavirus lockdowns.

If, however, the trade deal with the European Union includes restrictions on state aid for businesses and so-called level playing field regulations, then the UK would have squandered the opportunity of Brexit to do so, he argued.

“You can’t borrow your way out of the worst financial crisis for 300 years, you can’t tax your way out of the worst financial crisis for 300 years. You have to grow your way out, so in a sense, the opportunity of Brexit couldn’t have come at a better time,” Farage said.

On Friday, Britain’s top Brexit negotiator, David Frost, alongside Mr Barnier, said that the negotiations — with less than four weeks to go before the end of the transition period — would be “paused“.

“After one week of intense negotiation in London, the two chief negotiators agreed today that the conditions for an agreement are not met, due to significant divergences on level playing field, governance and fisheries,” the two said in a joint statement.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen are expected to have a virtual meeting on Saturday to discuss the ‘state of play’.

Mr Farage concluded by reviving the 2016 slogan, “No deal is better than a bad deal”, saying that Johnson should be willing to risk short-term disruption in favour of gaining true independence.

“I would rather have some short-term disruption knowing that we’re genuinely free, but I just don’t think the prime minister has got the bottle to do that,” he warned.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here: @KurtZindulka

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