Saturday, 02 November 2019 13:05

Britain 'will NEVER be free from the EU rules': Nigel Farage blasts Boris Johnson's plans take no deal Brexit off the table in election manifesto as the Brexit Party ramps up plans to contest every seat in election

Nigel Farage has expressed outrage at the news Boris Johnson is set to take no-deal off the table, warning that Britain 'will never be free of EU rules' if he continues along such a path.

The Brexit Party leader spoke out this morning after it was revealed the Prime Minister's new manifesto is set to abandon the threat of a no-deal Brexit in an attempt to gain support from the centre ground.

In a direct contrast with his initial 'do or die' vow to leave the EU with or without a deal on October 31, Johnson will focus on achieving Brexit 'immediately' through his 'fantastic' deal. 

Mr Farage said on Twitter: 'If Boris Johnson will abandon a clean break Brexit, and he wins an election on this, we will never be free of EU rules.'

Details of the manifesto emerged as Mr Johnson revealed he would reject Nigel Farage's offer of a Leave Alliance at the general election, telling voters the only way to guarantee Brexit will happen is to support the Conservative Party at the ballot box. 

Mr Johnson will also pledge to lift the threshold at which people start paying National Insurance contributions and raise the threshold for the 40p rate of income tax from £50,000 to £80,000. 

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom also revealed last night the Government would continue to keep business rates and tax breaks under review and that it would focus on 'ramping up the supply of affordable housing'.

The manifesto revelations came on the day that:

  • The Prime Minister made a U-turn on long-standing policy as he abandoned the Tory stance on fracking in an effort to boost the party's green credentials
  • Michael Gove insisted in an interview with the Daily Mail that the Tories did not need Mr Farage's help.
  • Mr Johnson told the BBC that voting for any other party than his was 'tantamount to putting Jeremy Corbyn in'. 
  • A Daily Mail poll suggested the Conservatives are on course to make dramatic gains from Labour in northern seats including Workington, which is seen as key to victory; 
  • Ministers were forced to defend Mr Johnson's agreement with the EU after it was savaged by Donald Trump; 
  • Tory Eurosceptic MPs told Mr Farage they would not be 'bullied' after he threatened to stand candidates against them;
  • Mr Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn agreed to go head to head on November 19 in the first ever TV debate between two main party leaders; 
  • MPs have been warned by police not to campaign alone at night because of growing threats and abuse.

Mr Farage yesterday announced his Brexit Party will contest every seat across England, Scotland and Wales on December 12 unless Mr Johnson ditches his EU divorce accord and agrees to strike a non-aggression pact.

Mr Johnson later dismissed the offer in a move which is likely to disappoint Donald Trump, the US President, who last night urged the Prime Minister and Mr Farage to do a deal.

Mr Trump said if the two men were to 'get together' they would be an 'unstoppable force' and could do something 'terrific'. 

According to the outgoing Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan, Johnson's new manifesto means a no-deal Brexit 'has effectively been taken off the table'. 

Mr Farage had announced his Brexit Party would contest every seat across England, Scotland and Wales on December 12 unless Mr Johnson ditched his EU divorce accord and agrees to strike a non-aggression pact

In an interview with the Times, she said: 'If you vote Conservative at this election, you're voting to leave with this deal.'

Meanwhile, Johnson told ITV yesterday: 'Our opportunity now is to get this thing done, come back in the middle of December, knock it over the line and then take the country forward.'   

The newspaper added that the manifesto will not include a commitment to fiscal rule and the Conservatives are in breach of their previous rules which stated that borrowing must be lower than two per cent of GDP. 

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), this month calculated that Chancellor Sajid Javid pushed the budget deficit above target by £4.7billion.  

Johnson will also pledge to continue the fuel duty freeze as well as increase the number of extra police officers to 25,000 and extend free childcare for three and four-year-olds.  

However the Prime Minister made a U-turn on long-standing policy earlier as he abandoned the Tory stance on fracking in an effort to boost the party's green credentials.

The controversial method of extracting gas from the earth will be put on hold after a report from the Oil and Gas Authority found it is not possible to 'accurately predict' the probability or magnitude of earthquakes linked to fracking.

Johnson had previously said fracking was 'an answer to the people's prayers' but he has backed down in the face of criticism over the Government's environmental record. 

In an interview with Daily Mail, Michael Gove declared that Tory election manifesto would promise tax cuts to leave people with 'more of what they earn'.  

He said that there would be 'significant new policy in a number of areas, designed to ensure that people who are worried about the cost of living know that the Government is on their side'.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster declined to comment in detail, but ministers are known to be working on plans for a massive extension of free childcare for working parents. Mr Gove said: 'It's about making people's lives better.

'And that means taking steps to ensure people can keep more of what they earn. And that people can deal better with some of the cost of living challenges that we face, but also making sure that we have proper investment in public services.

'Boris throughout the leadership campaign made the point that you need a dynamic economy to fund public services but you also need strong public services in order to ensure people have the skills they need and the peace of mind they require in order to contribute.'

Tory tax plans remain a closely-guarded secret.

But Mr Gove confirmed officials are trawling through Mr Johnson's leadership campaign pledges as they put together the manifesto.

These include plans to raise the starting threshold for paying 40p tax from £50,000 to £80,000 and raising the threshold for national insurance from £8,632 to £12,500.

The first would be worth an average £2,400 to the better-off, while the second would be worth around £460 a year to all workers earning more than £12,500. That would also take 2.4million low-paid workers out of the national insurance system altogether.

Experts have warned the two massive tax cuts could cost £20billion. And while Mr Johnson is keen to push ahead with both, he is facing resistance from the Treasury at a time when it is being asked to fund big increases in spending on schools, hospitals and the police.

Mr Gove said there would also be a string of measures on the environment. And ministers are working on a package of measures to bolster 'responsible capitalism' in response to Jeremy Corbyn's attacks on business.

Mr Gove likened the PM to the late US President Ronald Reagan, saying the two leaders shared the 'rare gift' of being able to 'bring a smile to people's faces' because of their own natural optimism.

He added: 'I think people have often underestimated the extent to Boris is – and people use different words – a progressive or one-nation, or centre-ground Conservative.

'He is an optimistic person who believes in the potential of each human to succeed in life and, you know, that's one of his great gifts. 

'There are some politicians who bring a smile unprompted to people's faces because they think their country will be better under someone who's got that sense that the sun will rise on a better country tomorrow. Ronald Reagan had it, and Boris has it. It's a rare gift in politics.'

In the 2016 leadership campaign, Mr Gove torpedoed Mr Johnson's bid by warning he was 'not capable' of uniting the country or the party. 

Mr Gove confirmed officials are trawling through Mr Johnson's leadership campaign pledges as they put together the manifesto

But, speaking on the campaign trail in the key target seat of Bristol yesterday, he said he 'already been proved wrong'. He acknowledged he would like to see a return for all 21 of the MPs exiled from the party for opposing No Deal, only ten of whom have so far been allowed back.

But he said Mr Johnson had been a 'good team captain' who had proved wrong even harsh critics such as former international development secretary Rory Stewart by securing a Brexit deal.

Mr Gove said he was 'sorry' the UK had failed to leave the EU on time on October 31. But he said Brexit would be delivered 'within weeks' of a Tory victory, and by January 31 'at the latest'.

The manifesto, which is set to be presented in two weeks, was discussed last night after Johnson announced his rejection of Mr Farage's offer of a Leave Alliance.        

Mr Farage had announced yesterday that his Brexit Party would contest every seat across England, Scotland and Wales on December 12 unless Mr Johnson ditched his EU divorce accord and agrees to strike a non-aggression pact. 

Mr Johnson dismissed the offer in a move which is likely to disappoint Donald Trump, the US President, who last night urged the Prime Minister and Mr Farage to do a deal. 

Mr Trump said if the two men were to 'get together' they would be an 'unstoppable force' and could do something 'terrific'. 

But the PM ignored Mr Trump's plea as he claimed a vote for any party other than the Tories would risk putting Jeremy Corbyn into Number 10, telling ITV: 'I may respectfully say to all our friends around the world... that the only way to get this thing done is to vote for us.' 

He added: 'Vote for this government because unfortunately as I tried to point out if you vote for any other party the risk is you'll just get Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party, dither and delay, not just one referendum next year but two referendums.' 

In a separate interview with the BBC, he said 'voting for any other party' would be 'basically tantamount to putting Jeremy Corbyn in' Downing Street. 

Mr Johnson also pushed back hard this evening against Mr Farage's criticism of his deal as he said it does represent a 'proper Brexit'.  

Asked if he is worried that his election gamble could 'backfire' like it did for Theresa May in 2017, the PM said he had 'no choice' but to go to the country early because Parliament is 'basically full of MPs who voted Remain'. 

'I love 'em, a lot are my friends, but that's the way they are, they voted Remain and they will continue to block Brexit if they're given the chance,' he said.  

Daily Mail

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