Nigel Farage, the minor-party leader who played a major role in Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, is trying to throw his weight around again in the U.K.’s Brexit-dominated election. Farage on Friday piled the pressure on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, saying his Brexit Party will run against Johnson’s Conservatives across the country in the Dec. 12 early election unless Johnson abandons his divorce deal with the EU. Farage spoke a day after U.S. President Donald Trump barged into the British election campaign, urging his friend Farage to make an electoral pact with Johnson’s Conservatives. Trump told Farage on the Euroskeptic politician’s own radio phone-in show Thursday that he and Johnson would be “an unstoppable force.” Johnson on Friday gently rebuffed Trump’s suggestion and ruled out an electoral pact with Farage. “If I may respectfully say to all our friends around the world … the only way to get this thing done is to vote for us,” Johnson told ITV News. “If you vote for any other party, the risk is you’ll just get Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party, dither and delay.” All 650 seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs in the election that is coming more than two years early, with winners to be chosen by Britain’s 46 million voters. If the Brexit Party runs in only a small number of seats, that would help the Conservatives, who are vying with Farage for the support of Brexit-backing voters. Farage’s party, which was founded
Britain is “ready and willing” to do a deal to leave the European Union if Brussels renegotiates the agreement, a senior government source said on Tuesday, denying that a no-deal Brexit was Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s central plan. Boris Johnson, who took over as prime minister two weeks ago, has taken a hard line with the EU, demanding that it show willingness to change the deal it agreed with his predecessor before negotiations can restart to secure Britain’s smooth departure from the bloc. His insistence that Britain is boosting preparations to leave without a divorce agreement if Brussels refuses to renegotiate has spooked markets, sent the pound tumbling and prompted some lawmakers to suspect a no-deal Brexit is his ultimate goal. A report in The Guardian newspaper cited EU diplomats as saying they believed a no-deal Brexit was the “UK government’s central scenario”. The government source said this was not the case, but the EU had to understand that Johnson could not again bring forward the deal that was rejected by Britain’s parliament three times, leading to the resignation of his predecessor Theresa May. “We want a deal. It’s sad that they don’t want to negotiate with us,” the source said, on condition of anonymity. “The fact that the Withdrawal Agreement has been rejected by large margins by the House of Commons on three occasions means that, if there’s going to be a deal, they have to be prepared to renegotiate. We’re ready and willing to do so.” Johnson has
Labour MP Chuka Umunna told The Independent on Saturday: “Last week over 700,000 people from all over the country and from all walks of life took to the streets to demand a say over the biggest decision this country faces since the Second World War. This week sees The Independent’s petition for a Final Say reach over one million signatures.
“As the disaster of Brexit unfolds, and more and more people reach the conclusion that however you voted in 2016 no one voted for this mess, the momentum for a people’s vote just gets stronger. This cannot be ignored by the main parties.”
The First Minister is to open her party’s conference by saying the people of Scotland deserve better than Westminster chaos. The “shambles of Brexit” has strengthened the case for Scottish independence, Nicola Sturgeon has declared as the SNP Conference opens in Glasgow.
“The shambles of Brexit makes the case for independence more compelling than ever – with Westminster ignoring Scotland’s voice and interests and undermining devolution with a power grab on the Scottish Parliament.”