In nine days time Britain will formally leave the European Union with a withdrawal deal. Following its departure, the UK will enter a transition period until 31 December 2020. Today, Nigel Farage MEP and leader of the Brexit Party spoke to This Morning presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield about the need to keep his party open but dormant incase Boris Johnson “makes a mess of Brexit”.
“So what’s the point now of the Brexit Party?” Willoughby asked.
Farage replied: “Well look, this time last year it looked like a second referendum was coming down the track, that Brexit may not happen and the general public discussed with politics and politicians had reached an all time low, that’s why I came out of political retirement and founded the Brexit Party.
“It was a dramatic success, so successful we won the EU elections, we got rid of Mrs May and Boris Johnson came in and almost word for word, took the agenda we fought on.
“So I’m delighted I formed it, but what I’ll do now is put it on care and maintenance, just in case they make a mess of it.”
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“And do you think they are going to make a mess of it?” Willoughby probed. “How likely do you think you’ll be called back out?”
“Do you know, in 2016, I actually believed Mrs May was to do the thing properly, I believed we were going to leave because that’s what we were told. I was wrong,” Farage replied.
“So I’m not going to close it down, I’m going to keep it there in case they make a mess of it.
“But I think the truth of it is, Boris Johnson knows, [Sir] Kier [Stamer] has got a big parliamentary majority, if he [Boris] goes soft on this he would lose in five years time.
As for what is going to happen on February 1 and onwards, the UK’s trading relationship with the EU will remain the same while the two sides negotiate a free trade deal.
At the same time, many other aspects of the UK’s future relationship with the EU – including law enforcement, data sharing and security – will need to be agreed.
If a trade deal is ready in time, the UK’s new relationship with the EU can begin immediately after the transition.
If not, the UK faces the prospect of having to trade with no agreement in force, and this would mean checks and tariffs on UK goods travelling to the EU would be enforced.
Mr Johnson has ruled out any form of extension to the transition period, meaning the clock is already ticking.