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Farage waters down demand for PM to scrap Brexit Withdrawal Agreement

The Brexit Party leader wants Boris Johnson to remove an allowance for the Brexit transition period to last until 2022.

Nigel Farage (Danny Lawson/PA)
Nigel Farage (Danny Lawson/PA)

By Sophie Morris, PA Political Staff

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage appears to have watered down his demand for Boris Johnson to scrap his Withdrawal Agreement in return for an electoral pact to avoid dividing the Brexit vote.

Mr Farage has now said changes must be made to the Government’s political declaration for his party to back the deal.

He said his party will stand at least 600 candidates in the General Election unless the Prime Minister removes the allowance for the Brexit transition period to last until 2022.

Mr Farage is facing increasing pressure to stand down Brexit Party candidates in hundreds of seats to give Mr Johnson and the Tories a better chance of securing a majority in Parliament.

The Brexit Party leader vowed to contest all 650 seats in the forthcoming election unless the Prime Minister scrapped the Withdrawal Agreement when he launched his campaign last week, but has since been urged to focus on a smaller number of Leave-backing areas.

“Boris Johnson is offering something that is not Brexit and does not get Brexit done,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

He told the BBC he wanted to see changes to the political declaration agreed with the EU.

“Boris Johnson needs to make it clear that he will fundamentally change the political declaration in two ways,” he said.

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(PA Graphics)

“Firstly that he will get rid of an extension that will allow it to go on until at least 2022. We need to have the clause in the political declaration removed so we have a hard deadline.

“The second point is that we simply cannot, absolutely cannot, bind ourselves to a trade deal that gives us regulatory alignment that would prevent us from doing trade deals with the rest of the world and would mean we are not making our own laws.”

Mr Farage added that his party also needed to see any promises on regulatory alignment removed so Britain was not “prevented from doing trade deals and making our own laws”.

Pushed on Brexit Party candidates pulling out to back Conservatives, Mr Farage said it is usual for candidates to withdraw at the last minute due to the “huge amount of pressure”.

Mr Farage added: “I’ve never fought an election at which at the last minute candidates didn’t pull out because they realise firstly the full responsibility of doing it and secondly they are coming under a huge amount of pressure.”

PA

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