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General election: Farage restates call for Brexit party pact with Tories – live news – The Guardian, Theguardian.com

General election: Farage restates call for Brexit party pact with Tories – live news – The Guardian, Theguardian.com


Q: Are the Tories looking at the polls and thinking they don’t need you?

If they think that, that’s fine, says Farage.

But if the Tories think that, they are wrong. No one party owns theBrexitvote, he says.

And that’s it.

I will post a summary soon.

Q: What if Boris Johnson offers you something, and then changes his mind once nominations have closed?

Farage says Johnson has changed his mind in the past.

Q: Is there at least a risk of you splitting the vote?

Farage does accept this. That is what happened in the Peterborough byelection, he says. He says his party could have won that seat if the Tories were not standing. And in the Brecon and Radnorshire byelection the Tories would have won if theBrexit partyhad not been standing.

He says the mathematics of a deal work.

Q: So you could be riskingBrexit?

No, says Farage. He says this deal is not Brexit.

Q: Won’t you damage the Tory prospects, and stopBrexithappening?

Farage says Johnson is like a used-car salesman. The car may look fine from the outside. But it isn’t. This is not real Brexit, he says.

Q: Do you blame Dominic Cummings for the Tories’ refusal to offer a pact?

Farage says he does not know.

But he is sure Cummings is a charming chap, he says sarcastically.

Q: What are the terms? Do they have to let you stand in those 150 Seats?

Farage says there will be a negotiation. But he has set out the upper end of his negotiation.

Q: How many seats could you win?

Farage says he knows how difficult it is winning seats under first-past-the-post. But the two-party system is crumbling, and now parties can win seats with just over 30% of the vote. So it has better prospects in the past.

Q: Boris Johnson will never accept this. Isn’t this just a waste of time?

Farage says he is not wasting time. He is selecting candidates.

But he is prepared to put country before party.

He says he thinks there will come a point in the next couple of weeks when the Tories realize they have no choice. He does not mind if they agree a pact out of principle, or because they are worried. He just wants it to happen.

Q: Will you stand, and where?

Farage says he will announce this in the next few days.

But he does not want to say today, because it would be a distraction.

Q: Could a vote for theBrexit partystop Brexit, but costing the Tories votes?

Farage says what Johnson is planning is “not Brexit”.

He says Brexiters will be appalled when they realize exactly what Johnson is planning.

Q: What conversations are you having with the Tories about this?

Farage says he has not had formal talks. But informal conversations are taking place, including some in the PM’s “inner sanctum”. He says some of them are interested. Some would rather lose than have a pact.

But he says there is a big majority in the Conservative party that wants this.

Farage’s Q&A

Farage has now finished his opening speech. He is now taking questions.

Q: How many candidates will you stand if the Tories do accept this deal? And when must they decide?

Farage says nominations close on 14 November.

He says he recognises the Tories are a much bigger party.

But there are 150 seats that the Tories have never won in their history. He says these are the seats where theBrexit partywould do better, he says. There could be a non-aggression pact. That would benefit the Brexit cause, he says.

He says the Johnson deal is so bad it would amount to “the end of Brexit”.

Farage says he is open to being flexible in particular seats.

He suggests, if MPs are willing to renounce Boris Johnson’s deal, his party will stand aside.

And he says there could be informal pacts on the ground betweenBrexitsupporters.

But he says he hopes common sense will prevail, and Johnson will agree to a pact. But if he doesn’t, theBrexit partywill fight the Tories, he says.

Farage says Brexit party will contest every seat in Britain if Tories do not agree to pact

Farage says the only way to solve theBrexitimpasse is to create a leave alliance.

That does not just mean Tories and theBrexit party, he says. He says there are other leavers who might join.

He says, if that were to happen, they could become, as President Trump said yesterday, “an unstoppable force”.

If that does not happen, the Brexit party will be the only party standing up for Brexit.

He says it will make sure that every house in the land gets information about how the deal is a sell-out.

And he says the party will contest every seat in Britain.

Updated

Farage claims Johnson’s Brexit deal so bad it would lead to UK deciding to rejoin EU

Farage says Boris Johnson claims his plan is a great deal. But it isn’t. It is notBrexit, he claims.

Farage says Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, has been a much more brilliant negotiator than anyone on the UK side.

The EU is heading for regulatory alignment, he says.

And he says he is glad President Trump made it clear last night that the Johnson plan would obstruct a UK-US trade deal.

The Johnson plan would give the UK all of the disadvantages of EU membership, but none of the advantages of being out.

He says if the UK adopted that plan, it would trigger a campaign to rejoin the EU. And he says that campaign would succeed.

  • Farage claims Johnson’s Brexit deal so bad that it would lead to the UK deciding to rejoin the EU.

Johnson should drop this deal, he says.

Nigel Farage speaking at the Brexit party launch.
Nigel Farage speaking at the Brexit party launch. Photograph: Peter Nicholls / Reuters

Updated

Farage suggests Labor, not Tories, would lose out most from his party’s campaigning

Farage says he will be in the east Midlands, the north-east, south Wales, London and Workington next week.

In 2015, when he led Ukip into the general election, people thought it would have a negative effect on the Conservative party.

But in fact the Ukip vote disproportionately hurt theLaborparty, he says. He says that is why the Tories were able to get a majority.

He says the idea thatBrexit partysupporters are all Tories is “lazy thinking”.

  • Farage suggests Labor, not Tories, would lose out most from his party’s campaigning.

Updated

Farage says level of broken promises on Brexit is astonishing

Nigel Farage says the UK is still in the EU, even though it was meant to be out by now.

That is why people have lost faith in politics. And that is why he has come back to frontline politics.

********

The sheer level of broken promises is astonishing.

Farage saysLaborsaid it would respect the referendum result. But now it is planning to offer voters a choice between remain and remain. (Farage argues that a soft Brexit amounts to remain.) That is a “betrayal”, he says.

Updated

Richard Tice,the party chair , is speaking again.

He says the Brexit party has turned anger into hope. It has hundreds of prospective candidates, led byNigel Farage, ready to fight the election.

Farage takes to the stage.

Updated (at 7.) ***************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** (am EDT)

Fox saysLaboris also keen to avoid talking about Brexit.

She says it should be embarrassed about the way remainers have depicted leavers as ignorant.

And she says Labor has not been willing to challenge the pro-business features of the EU. She goes on:

********

Labor’s radicalism is, in truth, rather timid.

She says theBrexit partyis an insurgent party that could change politics for good.

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