LONDON: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to lead Britain out of the European Union without a divorce deal in place, threatening to fight his party “in every seat” in the next general election if he failed to do so.
“Given where we are, no deal is the best deal,” Farage told more than 500 prospective parliamentary candidates from his newly formed party, which came first in European elections in May.
“If Mr Johnson you insist on the Withdrawal Agreement we will fight you for every single seat,” he said.
Farage, a leading force behind the Brexit vote in 2016, warned Johnson against attempting to strike an agreement with Brussels, urging him to pursue a “clean break Brexit”.
Johnson was due to speak to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker by phone later on Tuesday, while the government’s chief Brexit adviser David Frost will head to Brussels for talks on a possible deal on Wednesday.
British politicians are still deeply divided over how or even whether to leave the EU and the impasse has led to growing speculation that a general election may be imminent.
Speaking to BBC radio, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson said she would be willing to discuss all possible options “because we do not have a lot of time”.
Britain’s parliament is not due to resume until next week.
But anti-Brexit politicians have been discussing plans ever since Johnson came to power last month vowing to take Britain out of the EU on October 31 with or without a divorce deal with Brussels.
Johnson has said he is hoping for a deal with EU leaders, describing the chances as “marginally” higher following G7 talks over the weekend.
But Johnson has not ruled out suspending parliament in order to allow a no-deal Brexit if he fails to come to an agreement with the EU in the next weeks.
Labour’s Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer has said suspending parliament — known as “proroguing” — would be “unlawful” and “completely unacceptable”.
Britain voted to leave the European Union in a 2016 referendum but has already been forced to delay its exit twice after parliament opposed a deal struck with Brussels under Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May.