Nigel Farage forced to deny accidentally backing a second EU referendum

Nigel Farage was today forced to deny he had accidentally called for a second referendum as he launched his party’s non-manifesto today.

The Brexit Party leader also hinted that he could stay on after the general election – even if the party fail to win any seats.

Mr Farage was challenged after the document promised “Citizens’ Initiatives” to allow people to call referendums with 5m threshold of registered voter signatures.

The party have released a “contract with the people” because they believe the word manifesto “has been tainted”.

In it they say that the voter-led referendum would be subject to “time limitations on repeat votes” but they have left the issue vague in the document.

Nigel Farage says people don’t trust manifestos

Asked whether his policy could lead to a second EU referendum, Nigel Farage insisted that the same issue could “not be re-examined within the space of a ten year period.”

He added: “that’s in there”, despite the fact that the ten-year period is not stipulated in the Brexit Party’s contract.

Mr Farage famously told the Mirror ahead of the 2016 vote that if Remain won by “52-48” then it would be “unfinished business by a long way”.

But he has consistently opposed another vote.

The Brexit Party was initially seen as a pivotal player in the December 12 vote but it  has fallen in opinion polls after deciding not to contest seats held by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives to avoid splitting the pro-Brexit vote.

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Quizzed on his own future Mr Farage denied that he was preparing to go straight back to the US after the election – laughing at the suggestion. 

Nigel Farage and his “contract with the people”

He said that he would have been happy to stand down from politics after the referendum result in 2016 but insisted that if he had not formed the Brexit Party then Theresa May would still be Prime Minister.

He said: “I think we have made a very big difference with this. I am absolutely committed to the complete reform of our political system.

“The more I see it at first hand, the more awful I think it is, the more corrupt I think it is, the greater I think the need is to completely revive democracy, faith and trust in this country.”

He added: “Whatever role it’s in I’m going to go on campaigning, the years to come, on many of the things that are there in that document.”

Mr Farage said all the party’s demands were underpinned by the need to secure a “clean-break Brexit” with the EU.

Brexit Party supporters ahead of the launch

While he acknowledged they were not seeking election as the next government, he said they were committing to achieving the Brexit which people voted for in the 2016 referendum.

“A clean-break Brexit can shape the future of our economy and society,” he said.

“It will give us the freedom to shape our future by taking immediate control of our own laws, borders, money, fishing and defence.”

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Nigel Farage is not standing in the general election

Mr Farage said it was important the Brexit Party took seats to ensure the Tories did not backtrack on their commitments.

“We need the Brexit Party to hold Boris Johnson to his word,” he said.

“We need the Brexit Party voice there in the House of Commons or we’re not going to get anything like what we voted for three-and-a-half years ago.”

Mr Farage said their plans could be paid for by £200 billion of savings by cutting the foreign aid budget, ceasing EU payments and scrapping the HS2 high-speed rail link.

Asked why he is publishing policies when he is not standing in enough seats to be Prime Minister, he said he could still shift the national debate – as he had in the past.

He said: “The Liberal Democrats have not won an election for over 100 years they still put out a manifesto. The minor parties put out manifestos We’re not putting out a manifesto – this is a contract with the people. The word manifesto has been tainted.

He added: “I would argue that over the years I’ve been quite good at and what we’ve been very good at in the few months we’ve existed is we are good at changing the national debate.

“We’ve done it in a number of areas mark my words the desire and the need for radical political change both with our electoral system and our institutions is going to be a huge issue in British politics for years to come and we are beginning that revolution today.”

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On immigration, he said the UK was facing a “population crisis” as a result of the policies which had been adopted in the 1990s.

Nigel Farage says he has to hold the Conservatives to Brexit

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General election manifesto policies 2019

He said the numbers allowed to settle in the country should be capped at “about 50,000” a year and he called for firm action to deter illegal immigrants trying to enter the country.

“We would very much want to get immigration numbers down to what for 60 years were very acceptable and very workable post-war levels,” he said.

“We think a strong message that says if you come here illegally across the Channel or in the back of a container that you wouldn’t be allowed to stay will prevent further human tragedy, and it’s the right thing to do.”

Mr Farage said his plans would be paid for by £200 billion of savings by cutting the foreign aid budget, ceasing EU payments and suggesting scrapping the HS2 project.

He also said £7 billion could be claimed back from the European Investment Bank.

He claimed that HS2 is a project costing £100 billion to benefit “just a few thousand people”. “We would want to save that money,” he said.

Mr Farage said he would “stop sending” £13 billion to the EU every year, adding: “We propose cutting the foreign aid budget.”



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