Brexit Party To Stand Hundreds Of Candidates In General Election If Boris Johnson Rejects 'Leave' Alliance

Nigel Farage uses campaign launch to attack Jeremy Corbyn and tell PM to "drop" his Brexit deal.

The Brexit Party will fight every seat in England, Scotland and Wales in the general election if Boris Johnson does not agree to a “Leave alliance”, Nigel Farage has said.

He urged the prime minister to drop his Brexit deal and sign up to an election pact to win a “big stonking majority” to deliver EU withdrawal after the election.

But the Brexit Party leader made clear that the Tories would face a battle in Leave seats unless Johnson signs up to his demand to negotiate a basic EU free trade deal by July 1, which experts regard as near-impossible.

It comes after days of speculation that the Brexit Party could stand aside for the Tories in hundreds of seats while focusing on Labour-held Leave areas where it is believed Johnson’s party cannot win.

Farage set a November 14 deadline for the Tories to strike a pact, to coincide with candidate nominations closing.

Speaking at his campaign launch on Friday morning, the Brexit Party leader blasted the prime minister’s exit agreement. “I say to Boris Johnson – drop the deal,” he said.

Farage warned the Tories his party had enough money for a “fully funded” election campaign.

And he held out an olive branch to hard Brexit Tory MPs, making clear that he was flexible to “local exceptions”, and could stand aside for candidates who are opposed to Johnson’s deal.

But Farage, who has failed seven times to get elected to the Commons, would not say whether or not he is standing in this election, adding that would become clear in the coming days.

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The Brexit Party leader told the event in Westminster: “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 (no deal) terms.

“And of course in those cases where MPs say this, we will view them as our friends and not as our enemies.”

“But that is not the real deal. The real deal is a Leave alliance that wins a big majority in parliament. The real deal is a Leave alliance that delivers a genuine Brexit.”

The Brexit Party leader’s demand is unlikely to be accepted by the PM.


It also means the Tories could face some of their Leave voters switching to the Brexit Party and denying Johnson a majority.

Although election expert Lord Hayward told HuffPost UK on Thursday that a full slate of Brexit Party candidates could actually help the Tories.

However, Farage is already facing questions about whether he risks stopping Brexit altogether by denying the Tories a majority.

Speaking after the event, he said: “I’m more than prepared to make compromises on this, but if he decides he wants to stick to something that just is not Brexit then we’re forced to give people a choice.”

Farage said he had not spoken “formally” to the Tories about the prospect of a Leave alliance but described conversations with people “in and around and close to the prime minister”.

“My understanding is there are some within the inner sanctum who think this is absolutely necessary, there are others who think it’s the last thing they would ever do,” he said.

The Brexit Party leader also attempted to end his feud with his adversary Dominic Cummings, describing Johnson’s chief of staff as a “charming chap” who was “easy to work with”.

It came after Donald Trump last night said Farage and Johnson could become an “unstoppable force”.

“I just wish you two guys could get together,” the US president told Farage in an interview on LBC.

But the idea was rejected by the Conservatives. Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme this morning the party was “not interested in doing any pacts”.

Later on Friday, Tory party chairman James Cleverly said: “A vote for Farage risks letting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street via the back door - and the country spending 2020 having two referendums on Brexit and Scottish independence.

“It will not get Brexit done - and it will create another gridlocked parliament that doesn’t work.”

Downing Street also dismissed Trump’s claim its Brexit deal would prevent the UK from signing a trade deal with the US.

A No. 10 spokesman said the prime minister had not spoken to Trump about the deal which was “agreed after they were last in touch”.

“The PM’s deal takes back control of our money, laws and border and allows us to do trade deals with any country we chose – including the US,” he said.


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