Speaking at the party’s election launch today, the Brexit Party leader urged the Prime Minister to pursue a Canada-style free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU, and to sign up to a “Leave alliance”.
Mr Farage described the PM’s deal as “simply not Brexit” and hit out at the “broken promises” of Labour and the Conservatives.
He gave Mr Johnson a deadline of 14 November to agree to junk the deal he negotiated with the EU, which is the central policy of the Tory manifesto, and instead to seek a “simple” FTA.
If this doesn’t happen, Mr Farage said he has 500 candidates ready to stand in every seat in England, Wales and Scotland.
Mr Farage refused to say where he himself would be standing as an MP, claiming that revealing his plan would be a “distraction” from the party’s election launch.
He opened the door to local election Brexit pacts between candidate with candidates who oppose the Prime Minister’s deal.
“Of course I’m open and flexible to local exceptions and already we are in communication with a number of MPs who are prepared to renounce the Withdrawal Agreement, to renounce the deal, and they themselves to stand on a ticket of a genuine free trade agreement or leave on WTO terms,” Mr Farage said.
“And of course in those cases where MPs say this, we will view them as our friends and not as our enemies.”
Will Boris Johnson scrap his Brexit deal?
In short, no. Delivering his renegotiated deal is Mr Johnson’s key promise going into the general election.
Although he failed to stick to his promise to deliver Brexit by 31 October “do or die”, the PM did manage to drum up enough support for his deal to win a vote in parliament.
Speaking yesterday, Mr Johnson promised to deliver his deal by January “at the absolute latest” if they win the election on December 12.
Although the Brexit Party - who will hammer Mr Johnson on his failure to take the UK out of the EU like he said he would - pose an electoral threat to the Tories, the party does not wield enough power to persuade the Prime Minister to change his central policy.
How popular is the Brexit Party?
The latest polling by YouGov puts Nigel Farage’s party on 13% of the vote, in fourth place behind the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems.
— YouGov (@YouGov) October 31, 2019
This marks a significant decline from the party’s high in June when they led the polls on 26%, but suggests they could still prove a barrier to Boris Johnson winning a majority.
Adam McDonnell, director of political research for YouGov, said the PM has managed to win over some Leave voters tempted to back Farage’s party.
He said: “Since Boris Johnson became Prime Minster [the Conservatives] have successfully chipped away at the Brexit Party’s support and currently have 58% of 2016 Leave voters.
“A quarter of this group still intend to vote Brexit Party, and so a lot of Johnson’s ability to gain a majority will hinge on how strong the Brexit Party’s campaign is.”