Farage Makes Preposterous Brexit Alliance Demand

-edited

After suggesting he would stand aside in hundreds of localities, Nigel Farage seemingly reversed course today.

Today, Farage reversed course. Farage tells Boris Johnson to 'drop the deal' or face Brexit party challenge. This is both preposterous and idiotic (assuming it is not a bluff or part of a collusion strategy). It could be either, easily.

Mark Francois, the MP and deputy chairman of the European Research Group, which represents hardline Tory Brexiters, told the BBC’s World at One that he thought Nigel Farage had “screwed up” this morning because his rejection of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal was unreasonable. Francois explained:

"I think Nigel screwed it up. If you genuinely want to work with another political party, you don’t go on live national television and call them liars, which is what he did. He said Boris’s deal doesn’t take us out of the European Union. That is not true. It does take us out of the European Union. That’s why I and my fellow so-called Spartans [the 28 Tory Brexiters who voted against Theresa May’s deal three times] voted for it. We would never, ever have voted for it if we thought it kept us in. I’m sorry, but Nigel is just simply mistaken. If that was meant to be to be an olive branch, Nigel completely cocked it up."

Francois also said he did not think any of his fellow Tory Brexiters would be intimidated by the prospect of the Brexit party standing against them. He said:

"Do you really think he is going to bully people like Bill Cash or IDS or Owen Paterson? Have you never met these people? Look at the MPs who voted for the deal – Sir Bill Cash, Owen Paterson, John Redwood, Andrew Bridgen, Steve Baker, myself – all lifelong Eurosceptics. Do you really think we would have voted for that deal if we thought it kept us into the European Union? Of course not."

"I’m sorry, Nigel is a very talented politician, but anyone who works with him will tell you he’s often his own worst enemy. And his ego has got the better of him. I don’t think he’s going to bully any Tory MP into doing anything they don’t want to do."

Comment of the Day

Tweet Series of the Day

That is the first of a series of 10 Tweets.

Hung Parliament

Significant damage to the Tories assumes Farage is silly enough to carry through with his threat and in the worst possible manner.

I assume otherwise.

Closet Remainer

Here's the bizarre scenario that I strongly discount but is possible.

Farage does dot give a damn unless he gets 100% of what he wants simply because he likes to bitch or brag.

Farage Nonsense

To say Johnson's deal does not deliver Brexit is complete nonsense.

Eurointelligence commented the other day.

Johnson has a deal with the EU that is materially different from Theresa May's. It promises a greater degree of independence from EU regulations. It is the most distant withdrawal agreement the EU could conceivably have negotiated. Farage thus only appeals to people who believe that a no-deal Brexit is both preferable and doable. If the outgoing parliament achieved one thing, though, it was to demonstrate that parliament will resist a no-deal Brexit.

Johnson is therefore the only politician who can credibly claim to get Brexit done. Remainers do not have that same clarity with Corbyn.

Johnson even has leverage to invoke a WTO Brexit (but with a deal), if Farage does not F things up.

The EU would rather deal than not. That much is proven.

Eurointelligence Take Today - Useful Idiots

The big event today is Nigel Farage's campaign launch, during which he will explain the Brexit Party's electoral strategy. The question is whether the party will wage a nationwide campaign or fight selected seats, say 100. The Tories are not necessarily thrilled by Farage pulling his people out of most constituencies. They think of him as the usual idiot, strong enough to have an impact on pro-Brexit Labour supporters but not strong enough to win seats outright. In some constituencies, especially in the north, it would be useful to offer pro-Brexit Labour voters a choice of two Brexit supporting parties. They are not natural Tory voters, and we don't think that the Workington Man episode has improved the Tories' standing in those rugby-league constituencies of the north.

The Tories and the Brexit party are gaming all sorts of scenarios right now. They are separately assessing how best to channel the Leave vote. We think that they might be over-gaming it. There will no doubt be more tactical voting than before, but there are limits to tactical voting and there is a danger that people simply miscalculate. We should not forget that Labour Remainers are very angry about the LibDem's recent switch in strategy. But we should also remember that hard-core Remainers probably do not find the Labour Party or Corbyn sufficiently reliable.

I favor No Deal.

The political reality is No Deal was not possible.

Is it possible now?

Yes.

Ironically, No Deal is still possible assuming Farage does not mess things up.

Farage would be better placed to attempt to get a WTO Brexit or trade deal to his liking than making a mess to suit his ego.

Too Early to Read

It's too early to read much into this.

Yesterday, Farage hinted he would pull back, today he is making preposterous demands.

Are they real?

Who the hell knows? I sure don't.

But even if they are, it is not necessarily bad.

How So?

Even if Farage fields candidates everywhere, how aggressively will he support them?

Unless Farage is an outright idiot, most of Brexit Party money will go to elections he actually believes he can win.

Big Egos Need Smoothing

If Johnson believe he needs to cut a deal with Farage to win, he will do so. One possible compromise would be to ensure Farage that a WTO deal is in play.

Of course it is, anyway. But perhaps Farage just wants Johnson to reach out to him privately. Big egos need smoothing.

Addendum

Steve Baker, the Conservative MP who chairs the European Research Group, which represents hardline Tory Brexiters, has accused Nigel Farage of putting Brexit at risk. Echoing comments by his ERG colleague Mark Francois. Baker told the Press Association:

The reason every Conservative Eurosceptic MP backed the deal is that it can deliver a Brexit worth having. But Boris will only negotiate a great future for the UK if he has a good majority of resolute Conservative MPs.

Nigel now risks that and our future. It is completely inconceivable that the Conservative party would now go for no deal and a pact.

Is Nigel a statesman or a campaigner? We are about to find out.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (73)
No. 1-29
BaronAsh
BaronAsh

Another possibility: although it's normal to project the individual character of the leader as the main driving force of a movement, of course the leader's job is often that of herding cats. Possibly Farage is herding his own cats by ensuring that some sort of credible Brexit is in the offing.

For example: to meet Farage's challenge today, all that needs to be done is a more in-depth analysis of 'The Deal' showing that the ERG statements about it countering Farage's offer are solid, credible, convincing. If they can convince Leavers that this IS a credible form of Brexit - which has yet to be done - then Farage can join his population with the Tories.

However, if the Tories fail to communicate more clearly about what they are offering, his BXP population can help oblige them into becoming more persuasive.

I have no idea if his motivations are petty or not, wise or foolish, but I do know that the case for Boris' deal being bona fide Brexit has not yet been made. And am fairly certain Farage wants Brexit. So he can use his people as leverage to ensure, as far as possible, that Brexit is finally achieved, both in Parliament and in Brussels.

Mish
Mish

Editor

I agree with both of BaronAsh's comments (one in reply to himself).

We simply do not know Farage's intent. I did say ...

Significant damage to the Tories assumes Farage is silly enough to carry through with his threat and in the worst possible manner.

I assume otherwise.

HenryV
HenryV

From the BBC. People listen to what this guy says ...

“ Polling expert Sir John Curtice says it is "unlikely" that the Brexit Party standing in the election would do more harm to Labour than to the Conservatives.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's World At One, he says opinion polls suggest that most of the Brexit Party's support comes from former Tory voters.

He says: "If you look at those constituencies that the Conservatives want to pick up - the 50 most marginal Labour seats - they are disproportionately Leave seats.

"And they are places where UKIP did well in 2015.

"The odds are that these are therefore places where the Brexit Party can be expected to do particularly well."

Meanwhile, he says that attempts to convince Remain voters to vote tactically against the Conservatives reflects "the fact that the Remain vote is split".

He adds that in constituencies which voted to leave the EU, the majority of Labour voters backed Remain.

"So even there Labour's problem is the Liberal Democrats, not necessarily Nigel Farage," he says.”

Farage thinks a Canada style agreement is the way to go, and that is why he wanted the delay as he envisages it could all be put together by next Summer. Don’t ask me whether there is any merit in the Canada agreement - I am no expert in these matters. Anyway ‘ditch the withdrawal agreement’, whilst maybe preposterous, is for real and a point of principle which puts Farage in a head-on collision with Johnson.

I confess I haven’t read the detail of Boris’ withdrawal agreement but from the vibes I have been picking up, I suspect it leaves everything on the table for future negotiation ... and with every probability that the UK will sell itself down the river. AGAIN! Maybe that is the way that all negotiations start; nothing ruled in, nothing ruled out. But I don’t like it one little bit and would have preferred to start with a clean break and taken our time to look at the trade side.

avidremainer
avidremainer

You know what a nit-picker I am. The Brexit " party" is not a party. It is a registered public limited company. It has members/former members of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Great Britain among its elected members. There is a lot of rum stuff to come out if the Tories want to cut up rough, and there is no reason to suggest they won't. That said it is a bit shocking isn't it? The liar is in trouble in his campaign. You may remember that the liar is in trouble on the NHS. Yesterday he was booed in Addenbrooke hospital and had to leave toute suite. The MSM did not report the booing but it is all over the internet. Perhaps Farage thinks he can supplant the Tories? Frommy point of view this is good news.

themonosynaptic
themonosynaptic

Farage is just a bomb thrower with a desperate need to be the center of attention.

The big risk for Boris is a hung parliament. The whole "will of the people" argument from the Brexiteers will be in tatters if more people vote for the "Remain" parties than the "Leave" parties, especially if nobody wins an outright majority.

It'll be interesting to see if Boris needs the DUP again - if he does, dust of May's deal, because it is top of the pile again.

HenryV
HenryV

We have May’s deal fercryingoutloud. May’s deal with a sodding great border down the Irish Sea.

FromBrussels
FromBrussels

just musing .....it s a pity Boris and John Bercow didn 't get along better .....I would ve sworn they used to see each other at the hairdresser's on a regular basis....

krage
krage
  • Johnson's deal does not deliver Brexit and Boris will never go WTO. It is clear.
  • Farage is doing what idealogical Brexiter beliver would be doing and saying that is why he would be winning votes from Tories.
  • 12 Dec comes - many would vote for Brexit in the voting bulletin, just because of the name - Brexit there. Yea, that is the truth.
Mish
Mish

Editor

See Addendum from Steve Baker.

Steve Baker and all of ERG disagrees with the notion this is not Brexit. So do I.

Nigel is needlessly nitpicking IMO. But I look forward to Brexit Party analysis of the deal.

Regardless, I do not believe he is stupid enough to risk giving this to Labour.

Brexitologist
Brexitologist

Brexit goes far deeper. No matter what flavor of Leave or what shade of Remain is eventually adopted (GBP out, Euro in ? EU military ?) the approximately 50% of the NOW-globalized UK population will never ever agree on anything with the other 50% of NEVER-to-be-globalized UK folks. This happens elsewhere in the EU and the USA also with no possible solution, ever.

Brexitologist
Brexitologist

People are fed up with same-old same-old politics and politicians. The Brexit Party has enormous and unforeseen chances of succeeding with their clear NO-deal strategy led by a unifying political genius such as Nigel Farage... who could even end up having to accept the keys to 10 Downing Street.

Bojo´s wishy-washy "deal" (not) can be taken either as a Leave or as a Remain option depending upon how much it is studied and/or how well it is spinned.

Anda
Anda

What the new withdrawal agreement means ?

As best I understand it it provides a one year transition without a default to remain in customs union if there is no agreement on Ireland or other. That is extendable on request by UK for a further two years. All of thar is presumably within timeframe of next parliament. Ireland is left a bit in limbo.

In theory that means next parliament could rewrite and extend even more, in theory also parliament could declare all agreement with EU void as well if it so chose. So it is a question of trust again, and whether a transition period is acceptable to anyone. Presumably after transition UK law will be own and sovereignty will be de facto complete. In practice the transition might be a weakness, cost more (or less), leave EU laws more entrenched in British law by transcription and so on. So it is not a small deal either, it is a choice and an approach to Brexit. Bill Cash is a constitutional lawyer, and very eurosceptic, if he sees it as fit ( even though not perfect) I am inclined to believe him.

Then there are those who think it is too soft, I think they maybe exagerate the transition commitments to being indefinite, but they have a point in that at the least what they criticise might in various cases be quietly transcribed to UK policy. So there as a whole we are partly in the unknown whether Brexit or WA.

So I'll include the sceptic voices here because their concerns need answering in my opinion :

You'll note there is a playoff between wider international lines of influence going on as well.

In short, it all depends just as with a hard Brexit what happened next would still all depend, only on other points. Don't ask me which is better, I would not have chosen the current circumstance, and consider the two year article fifty timeline as meaning UK has already left EU.

Brexitologist
Brexitologist

Anda, you prove my point.

You say... "As best I understand...." + "In theory that means..." + "It is a matter of trust..." + "Presumably..." + "So far as we are aware..." + etc which confirms the wishy-washy nature of this pure-vintage Bojo "deal" (not) meaning different things to different people let alone the ECJ.

wootendw
wootendw

As far as I am concerned, it's No Deal or I don't give a damn.

A deal doesn't get Britain out of the EU, but it does get Farage out of it. That appears to be the Macron-Johnson deal. Maybe Farage has figured this out. Most Tory parliament members are (closet) Bremainers. Only those who voted for No Deal at least once should be regarded as true Brexiteers. A closet Bremainer parliament could keep things just the way they are now for years or even decades.

BoJo is a warmonger (and mass murderer IMAO) in cahoots with neocons in the US - the same ones who are trying to take out Trump or at least stop Trump from doing good things like getting US out of Syria and making peace in Korea and ending sanctions on Russia. BoJo certainly knows something about the Skripal BS. I'd just as soon see Corbyn in there as BoJo. At least Corbyn has mentioned getting out of NATO.

If Corbyn gets in and screws up the British economy, he'll also screw up the British government. That's what the British need just as Americans need to have their national government screwed up (as Trump is doing).

BTW, I haven't heard much about the sum of money Britain is going to pay the EU in Boris' deal. The last I heard, it was still over £35b (> £500/UK citizen).

Deep Purple
Deep Purple

Farage doesn't want a Tory majority in Westminster. Why? Because he is a career politician and plays for power. He feeds on Brexit uncertainty. It doesn't really matter if there is a pact or there isn't. Johnson needs a majority on his own to have at least a little chance of successful government.

Current poll numbers suggest that the Tories might get a majority alone. They have to protect those numbers. Can they handle Farage? I am not sure.

Fulgurite
Fulgurite

Haha, it seems like we are disagreeing again Mish. LOL!

I think it's an excellent idea of Farage to 'keep BoJo honest' because Nigel was the Very Orginal Driving Force behind Brexit in the first place.

Furthermore, I think you're seriously underestimating the political divide across traditional party lines when it comes to Brexit, and additionally, I think you're seriously underestimating how FED UP people are with 'politics as usual,' especially after the charade of Tories and Labour of the past 3,5 years of trying to sabotage the Vote of the People.

The threat of fragmenting/breaking the two-party system with a big populist 3rd party movement can perhaps achieve miracles, just like AfD has caused shockwaves in Germany, PVV and FvD have caused shockwaves in The Netherlands and similar effects have been felt in Italy and Spain.

The problem lies MUCH deeper than 'just Brexit' and Farage (now) knows this, as this can perhaps be interpreted of Farage correcting his mistake of quitting politics after the June 2016 Brexit referendum and naively trusting the traditional parties of sticking to their promises to honour the referendum results.

Brexit needs a big push in the back and a renewed driving force, and Farage can hopefully provide this.

Go Nigel!

Taunton
Taunton

"Is Farage a statesman or a campaigner?" I think we all know the answer to that question. Much like the Orange man and Butane Honey Oil that preceded Orange Man, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain here

Brexitologist
Brexitologist

Candidates matter.

Voters are visceral and on highly divisive occasions such as this one the ballot box is mostly ruled by candidates. A good or bad candidate makes it or breaks it.

Leavers are fed up already and will not be attracted to vote for Corbyn and his most confusing and uncertain strategy + 2 referenda (yes, add the Scottish independence).

Confused enough, for Leavers it´s either Bojo (if they care to believe him) or Nigel Farage with an unequivocal party mandate (clean Brexit) and with the right party name.

Bojo is perceived as an unpredictable clown pushing a so-called "deal" (not) with lipstick on May´s pig who flip-flops per the occassion. In case of doubt ask the DUP.

Traditional Labor voters will never vote for Bojo but could certainly vote for Farage. Farage is perceived as Mr. Brexit.

The Tories do not have a unified leadership nor clear Brexit proposal. Farage is an excellent and relentless campaigner who will expose the Tory non-strategy naked.

Brexitologist
Brexitologist

Mish, "preposterous", why so ? General elections mean re-set.

If Bojo were to accept Nigel´s proposal it would be just another of his typical change-of-mind manouvers... same as throwing the DUP under the bus. This is British politics and Boris the gambling clown.

Mr. Brexit´s no-nonsense NO-deal proposal sounds and smells trustworthy. The jelly-like Boris and his "fuzzy deal" do not.

Voters are fed up. Mind you, tories start off 40 seats down. But even if the Tories "won", the Brexit Party would have lots to input. For starters, Bojo´s "fuzzy deal" (not) means years of negotiation with Michel Barnier on the other side.

Brexitologist
Brexitologist

Bojo took NO-deal off the table, the war is on.

Hung Parliament assured, yet again. Back to square one, full-rewind, same gridlock, only with no Bercow ordaaaaa.

Will Britons swallow Bojo´s BRINO ? Can the EU put up with this, even for years to come ? God save the UK and the EU from themselves.

soundopinion
soundopinion

Farage did nothing preposterous. He has been consistent for months that BJ must do a clean break Brexit or negotiate a deal that met the criteria Farage consistently sets forth. Pay attention! Boris's BRINO treaty met none of those criteria.

Farage is being extremely consistent by walking away from Boris. He should. Brexit Party is obviously the only Brexit option.

Milosh
Milosh

My view is that by having this election in return to rule out a pact with TBP is part of the whole complex deal that BJ made with EU (long before that phone call with Macron that Mish wrote about).

Otherwise, how could anyone think that EU and UK opposition would give this election to BJ as a Christmas present when they could easily prolong this agony in the Parliament until May 2022.

I am puzzled that very few can see how suddenly we have an election when just a few weeks ago it looked impossible, as well as any kind of a deal. Obviously, no politician is saying this openly, which is understandable. UK opposition now has all sorts of reasons why they suddenly support an election. It is all about saving face.

As someone asked earlier about good articles that compare May's and BJ's deals, here is a good one:

As I wrote earlier, I would prefer a no-deal, but I don't think it was realistic at this point.

I like Nigel. Nigel did a lot to bring us here, and I hope he knows that BJ can't do a pact, and I also hope that TBP will fight only non-Tory seats.

EddieLomax
EddieLomax

One person has been ignored here - the Donald.

If he believes a trade deal is impossible with the WA then that question must be answered. As a brexiteer I would prefer no brexit at all then a crippled one since no brexit makes it more likely to get a WTO later on.

Personally I suspect the polls have been fixed at this stage, will wait a couple of weeks.

bfisher
bfisher

Something, I don't think anyone is considering is that Boris is a fake "Leaver". He has had several opportunities to push back against all the craziness tried by his opposition and hasn't, now with him not wanting to negotiate with the Brexit party to ensure a swift exit from the EU I have to questions whether he really wants to leave the EU.

If you don't have the Pro-Brexit parties working together, you are going to get more of the same and ultimately Brexit never happens. If the parties involved are not willing to make sure the composition of their Parliament insures they regain their Sovereignty; then they might as well just accept being a vassal of the EU now. Why go through 3 to 10 more years of hand wringing and posturing for no reason. Save yourself the pain.

shred1
shred1

Farage got the UK this far. He knows what he's doing. Boris is just another sell out like the rest. The elites have no intention of representing those who vote for them.

lamlawindy
lamlawindy

If Boris were to accept Nigel's pre-condition & boot the deal that Boris himself negotiated, it would make Boris look identical to Labour's Jeremy Corbyn: Remember that Labour's plan for Brexit is to craft a "better" Brexit deal & then campaign against it during a 2d referendum.

Brexitologist
Brexitologist

Boris´ problems and Boris´ image are both his own. If he negotiated BRINO for whatever reasons he had that´s not our fault.

Nigel Farage will not sell out 17.4 million voters and whatever the outcome will just go for the top prize at 10 Downing Street.

If that eventually means yet again a new deadlock at a yet again hung Parliament so be it. Throwing 17.4 million voters under the bus is not Farage´s style, is it ?

I´m convinced that by Jan. 31, 2020 there won´t be ANY Brexit deal passed by the new UK Parliament. Jeremy Corbyn confirmed the above with his 6-month horizon, pain-free, utterly fuzzy Brexit announcement.

That´d mean yet another NEW Brexit deadline postponement that I just don´t see Macron´s EU approving after the Dec. 12 election they allowed for.

So the EU (not the UK) would be ensuring a NO-deal Brexit by default on Jan 31, 2020.

Brexitologist
Brexitologist

An hour ago Jean Claude Juncker (know the guy right ?) stuck his neck out and agreed with me. Any skeptics left ?