On Sunday 3rd November, Nigel Farage appeared on the Andrew Marr Show, threatening to field 600 Brexit Party candidates unless Boris Johnson scrapped his EU Deal… the one Boris had just painfully hammered out with the EU.
Completely crazy. Not in a million years could he have agreed to that. The Tory Party would have split apart, and Mr Farage should have known. He’s not stupid.
We now have an anti-Brexit electoral pact between Plaid Cymru, Greens, and the Lib Dems, with the latter benefitting most (I wonder if the Greens realise quite how they’ve been stitched up?). And that’s why the Leave camp also needs to get its act together.
That doesn’t mean (or need) a formal pact. The Tories would never publicly agree to one, and Mr Farage spent the last three years pretending he was never really in UKIP anyway, even when he was still in it.
His new Brexit Party (7% in the polls. historically UKIP polling territory) affects a sniffy disdain for other eurosceptics. UKIP has become the real “Bad Boy of Brexit”, black sheep of the family, the one the others don’t like to talk about, with the “bad reputation”. That’s up to them. But the fact is UKIP saw the lie of the land weeks ago. We knew how it would play out.
This election is different to all the rest, and we recognised it. UKIP will field candidates only where there is no danger of damaging Brexit. And now, finally, despite all the huffing and puffing, even Nigel Farage has come around to that.
Under huge pressure from his financiers, his supporters, and his own candidates, he has finally announced The Brexit Party will not contest any seat held by the Tories. Well, it’s a start. And it will give all of us (the whole family, Nigel, not just the well-scrubbed ex-Tories in your branch of it) a glow of satisfaction to see the likes of Dominic Grieve, Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and the rest, being awarded The Order of the Boot, unceremoniously dumped by the voters on election day. And then perhaps we can finally start getting this EU thing put to bed and get on with everything else post-Brexit, like a decent trade-deal in 12 months, leaving the European Court of Justice, and salvaging our virtually wrecked fishing industry.
As the late-Brian Sewell used to say: “We Shall See!!”
UKIP Head Office