Farage offers Johnson electoral pact for no-deal Brexit

LONDON • Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has offered British Prime Minister Boris Johnson an electoral pact if he goes for a no-deal EU exit, but warned that if he tried to fudge Brexit then he would face a battle over every seat at the next election.

More than three years since the United Kingdom voted 52-48 per cent to leave the European Union, Brexit remains up in the air. Options range from an acrimonious divorce on Oct 31, an election, to an amicable exit or even another referendum.

The UK is heading towards a constitutional crisis at home and a showdown with the EU as Mr Johnson has vowed to leave the bloc without a deal unless it agrees to renegotiate a Brexit divorce.

Mr Johnson, an avowed Brexiteer, is betting that the threat of a disorderly no-deal exit will convince the EU to grant him the divorce deal he wants.

Mr Farage, who in 2013 piled so much pressure on then Prime Minister David Cameron that he promised an EU referendum, said that unless Mr Johnson went for a no-deal Brexit, he would face an electoral challenge in every parliamentary seat.

Mr Farage said Brexit is being betrayed by an out-of-touch elite and that a clean break on Oct 31 was the most popular option among voters.

He said there was more than a 50 per cent chance of an election in autumn and that if Mr Johnson opted for "a clean break Brexit", then the Brexit Party would work with him so that the Brexit-supporting vote was not split.

 

"We would put country before party and we would do it every time," Mr Farage told supporters in London. "We would be prepared in those circumstances to help him... in the form of a non-aggression pact at the election," he added.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 28, 2019, with the headline 'Farage offers Johnson electoral pact for no-deal Brexit'. Print Edition | Subscribe