Brexit′s Nigel Farage tells Boris Johnson to drop EU deal | News | DW | 01.11.2019
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Brexit's Nigel Farage tells Boris Johnson to drop EU deal

The Brexit Party is ready to help the Tories win a majority if UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson bins his divorce deal with the EU, Nigel Farage has said. Farage offered a "non-aggression pact" to avoid splitting the vote.

With the UK heading for a snap election, the Brexit Party leader, Nigel Farage, offered a pact to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, which would see Farage's party only compete for 150 out of 650 parliamentary seats.

Under Farage's "non-aggression pact," the Tory party would stand aside in those constituencies and allow the Brexit Party to claim pro-Brexit votes. In turn, the Tories would not face competition from Farage's party in the remaining 500.

However, the offer would only stand if Johnson decided to tear up the latest version of the UK-EU withdrawal deal.

"Boris tells us this is a great new deal. It is not. It is a bad old treaty," Farage told reporters on Friday, equating Johnson's deal with the one negotiated by ex-Prime Minister Theresa May.

"And simply, it is not Brexit," Farage added.

Watch video 01:14

Farage rallies for the far-right AfD of Germany

Johnson's hard pass

The Conservatives quickly rejected Farage's offer of cooperation, saying that they have no interest in pacts with the Brexit Party or anybody else.

"We are in this to win it," Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said on Friday.

Read more: Will the UK's snap election finally resolve Brexit?

Separately, Boris Johnson praised the divorce treaty, saying he would stick with the deal after the December 12 election.

"What we've got is a fantastic deal that nobody thought we could get," Johnson told the British broadcaster ITV. "As soon as we get back in the middle of December, we can put that deal through."

Watch video 00:37

Boris Johnson: Government's objective has always been to leave with a deal

Trump pushes for Johnson-Farage alliance

Farage sees himself as a representative of a significant portion of Brexiteers who oppose any kind of transition deal. Instead of an orderly divorce, Farage believes the UK should pursue a free trade deal and leave on July 1 even if no deal is in place.

Notably, the Brexit Party opposes the provisions of the deal that would keep the UK bound by EU rules for up to three years and Northern Ireland even longer in a bid to avoid border checks.

Talking to reporters, Farage warned that his party would "contest every single seat in England, Scotland and Wales" if the Tories rejected the pact.

The idea of an alliance between Farage and fellow Brexiteer Johnson was also floated by US President Trump, who gave an interview to Farage on Thursday. Appearing on Farage's LBC radio show, Trump said the two British politicians would be "an unstoppable force" if they formed an alliance.

dj/rc (dpa, Reuters, AP)

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