Nigel Farage Says He'll Stand For 'The Brexit Party' In European Elections

“Am I happy about it? No, I’m not actually.”

Nigel Farage has announced he will stand as a member of his newly-formed ‘Brexit Party’ if the UK is forced to take part in elections to the European Parliament.

The former Ukip leader broke the news after Prime Minister Theresa May wrote to Brussels requesting an extension on the UK’s exit from the EU – until June 30.

The European elections are due to take place on Thursday May 23. In her letter to EU Council president Donald Tusk, May admitted that if the UK is still a member the country at that time it is legally obliged to take part in the poll.

Farage confirmed his plan to fight those elections, telling Sky News: “I will be leading the Brexit Party in those European elections as it now looks certain they will happen.

“Am I happy about it? No, I’m not actually.”

He added: “I thought we had won the Brexit battle but I’m not going to after 25 years of endeavour watch British politicians roll us over. This is the fightback and I tell you what, they’re going to be surprised by what they get.”

The 55-year-old quit Ukip in December and set up the new Brexit party in February, claiming 100,000 people signed up in the first few days.

The news will alarm rival parties competing for Leave voters after Farage led Ukip to victory in 2014, winning 24 seats and 27% of the popular vote.

The result is thought to have been pivotal in leading David Cameron to pledging an EU referendum in the Conservatives’ 2015 manifesto.

Journalist and commentator Toby Young, meanwhile, has indicated that he could stand for the Brexit Party also.

Young told the BBC he would give his expenses and pay to charity if the Brexit Party got in touch.

May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn have held talks in an attempt to hammer out a Brexit deal which would win the backing of a majority of MPs. If May can get a withdrawal deal through parliament, it would swerve the need for MEP elections.

But foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said the prospect of a lengthy Brexit delay could not be ruled out.

He told the BBC there was “no appetite” for the European elections but the UK may be left with “no choice”.

Hunt said: “It’s obviously not optimal to have any extension at all and we have a plan to leave the EU and deliver on the referendum result which we put before Parliament a number of times.

“We still hope to leave the EU in the next couple of months, that’s our ambition, we don’t have a majority in Parliament and that means that we have to have these discussions with Jeremy Corbyn to see if there is enough common ground to do that.”

Asked if he could accept a long extension, he added: “If we can’t find a way through with Parliament then we have no choice.”

May’s own Brexit deal has been rejected by MPs three times.

If the PM and Labour leader fail to agree a deal between them, MPs could be asked to vote on options next week.

However, many are pessimistic a consensus can be reached. When faced with two sets of Brexit options - ranging from no-deal to single market and customs union participation - as part of the ‘indicative votes’ process, MPs rejected everything.


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