RETURN OF FARAGE: Ex-Ukip chief hints at political comeback to halt Corbyn's BREXIT BLOCK

Posted on Mar 4 2018 - 6:27pm by admin

The former Ukip leader said he “would not rule out” coming back into the fray, saying: “If Brexit doesn’t happen then I will have no option.”

He accused Labour of collusion with the EU after Mr Corbyn called for the UK to remain in the customs union after Britain leaves the EU – contrary to what the party pledged in its manifesto last year. The Labour leader’s U-turn came after he paid a second visit to the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier on October 19.

Just 11 days later arch Remainers Sir Nick Clegg, the former Lib Dem leader, Tory ex-chancellor Ken Clarke and Labour’s Lord Adonis also met Mr Barnier in Brussels.

Last week former prime minister Tony Blair met with the federalist Brexit coordinator for the EU Parliament Guy Verhofstadt.

Mr Farage said: “If you look at the timing of all this none of it is coincidental. It’s a co-ordinated attempt to bounce the UK into membership of a customs union, paving the way for us to remain in the single market too. The establishment has been working against Britain and with Brussels throughout this entire process.

“There’s been a never ending series of meetings in Brussels – I’m in absolutely no doubt that it is a massive act of collusion.”

Mr Corbyn delivered his U-turn just 48 hours before the EU published its draft withdrawal agreement calling for Northern Ireland to remain in the customs union and single market.

At Prime Minister’s Questions Theresa May vowed to tell European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker that the draft was unacceptable.

Yesterday leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg accused Brussels of pursuing a “no deal” Brexit in suggesting Northern Ireland should be detached from the rest of the UK.

Writing in the Belfast News Letter, the chairman of the influential European Research Group of Eurosceptic Tory MPs said: “It shows clear disregard for the Belfast Agreement.

“What does the agreement have at its core? The cardinal principle of consent: That Northern Ireland is in the Union for as long as it wishes to be. What did Brussels do? Ignore this completely.

“It can be inescapable now for everyone in Europe that no deal could ever seriously be contemplated on these preposterous terms. So why even suggest them unless no deal is your objective?”

He also accused Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar of “irresponsible, vote-chasing immaturity”, adding: “I cannot see how it is in the republic’s interests for its current prime minister to posture in this way, not least by endorsing the fantasy proposals of Michel Barnier this week, which would do such comprehensive harm to the Belfast Agreement and risk no deal, which would be more damaging to the republic’s economy than to any other European state.”

Although Mr Rees-Mogg welcomed Mrs May’s speech on Friday, saying “now is not the time to nitpick”, Mr Farage was more critical, rebuking the Prime Minister for not being assertive enough.

He said: “During the last year she did say no deal is better than a bad deal and I cheered because that was something I was saying during the referendum and I was pleased to hear her saying it.

“Effectively she’s broken that by saying there are no circumstances in which we’ll walk away – you know, she won’t be bullied into walking away. And I think once you’ve done that you’ve thrown away the big stick that you were holding at these negotiations and I see no prospect of Barnier or anyone frankly taking her very seriously.”

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