Farage: Boris Johnson Can Be an Overnight Hero if He Gives Britain a Real Brexit

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: Britain's Prime Minister, Boris Johnson speaks during a virtual press conference inside 10 Downing Street after a string of countries banned travellers and all but unaccompanied freight arriving from the UK, due to the rapid spread of a new, more-infectious coronavirus strain on December 21, …
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The deal Europe is trying to push Britain into signing at the last minute would leave a “Sword of Damocles” hanging over the UK in perpetuity, Nigel Farage warns, stating the only chance Prime Minister Boris Johnson now has to save his own skin is to tell Brussels thanks — but no thanks.

The British prime minister has a one-time-only opportunity to transform himself into a “hero overnight” by delivering a full Brexit to the British people, longtime independence campaigner and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has said, in a reflection on the very poor present state of negotiations that seem ready to deliver the UK into perpetual bondage at the hands of the European Union.

Noting that serious question marks over Johnson’s leadership are now being asked following his questionable record on coronavirus, the Brexit leader called on the prime minister to do the right thing and pull Britain out of the failing negotiations, rather than be brow-beaten by Europe into agreeing on a disadvantageous deal at the last moment.

Farage said, in an opinion piece in the Daily Telegraph newspaper:

…an address to the nation in which he said: “We have tried our best but we are dealing with unreasonable people and so we are leaving without a deal” would turn him into a hero overnight. If Johnson wants to be remembered as a man of courage, he must stop caring what people may or may not think of him and act decisively. Too often, he wobbles like a jelly. This time, he must be as solid as a rock.

Criticising the deal on the table, Mr Farage noted the series of concessions already made by British negotiatiors and that Europe looks set to be able to bind the UK to its rules in perpetuity, through so-called level playing field regulations. While Britain would not have to copy Europe’s rulebook word-for-word, if Brussels felt Britain was getting too creative in setting itself up to prosper as a free nation post-Brexit, it would be within its rights to punish its island neighbour.

Farage characterised this requirement as a “Sword of Democles” hanging over Britain “for years to come”, meaning “that the EU remained Britain’s boss. Every aspect of new UK government legislation would need to pass the EU’s test.”

This is not, in any way, an answer to the decision of the British people to part ways with the European Union in 2016, he wrote.

The answer for Mr Johnson, Farage said, would be to tell Brussels: “Sorry, M Barnier, you’ve overplayed your hand and we are off.”

Coronavirus and the economic damage and disruption that has been caused has already exceeded even the wildest — and broadly contested — fears of ardent Remainers after all, the Brexiteer pointed out.

The comments came just days after Mr Farage warned that a Brexit betrayal was on the verge of being visited upon the British people, but worse than that, it would be a betrayal that would be spun hard as a “victory” over Brussels as a means to dupe the public. Speaking earlier in December, Mr Farage noted that the outcome of talks was now all but settled, and they were likely continuing only to save face for those involved.

“This is all, in my view, an act. This is a giant charade. It’s to make us think that they are really, really fighting hard to get us a good deal”, said Mr Farage.

Boris Johnson, for his part, has occasionally moved to state that he was willing for Britain to leave the European Union without a deal, however, the extent to which this is a negotiating position to apply pressure on the European Union rather than a sincerely held belief is not proven. He hinted at this again in comments on Monday night, when he was asked about Brexit progress in the daily coronavirus press briefing at Downing Street.

Speaking slowly and without the usual zest and enthusiasm that once characterised him, the prime minister told the nation: “… there are problems, it is vital that everybody understands the UK has got to be able to control its own laws completely, and also that we’ve got to be able to control our own fisheries. And it remains the case that WTO terms would be more than satisfactory for the UK, and we can certainly cope with any difficulties that are thrown our way.

“Not that we don’t want a deal, but the WTO terms would be entirely satisfactory. ‘Prosper mightily’ remains an extremely good description of life after January 31st.”


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