Nigel Farage warming to second EU referendum

Nigel FarageImage copyright

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage says he is close to backing a second EU referendum to end the “whinging and whining” of anti-Brexit campaigners.

Mr Farage told Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff a fresh vote could “kill off” the Remain campaign for a generation.

He said “the percentage that would vote to leave next time would be very much bigger than it was last time round”.

Pro-EU campaigners welcomed his comment, claiming “support is growing” for another referendum.

And co-founder of the Leave.EU referendum campaign group, Arron Banks, said that to avoid sleepwalking “into a faux Brexit” people should “go back the polls and let the people shout from the rooftops their support of a true Brexit”.

But Mr Farage’s former UKIP colleagues dismissed his suggestion.

And Downing Street said: “We will not be having a second referendum.”

Mr Farage was one of the leading figures in the Leave campaign, which won the referendum with 51.9% of votes.

That June 2016 referendum means that the UK is leaving the European Union, with the date for departure set as 29 March 2019. Negotiations are currently taking place between the UK and the EU about how things work afterwards.

During a debate about Brexit on the Channel 5 programme, Mr Farage said: “What is for certain is that the [Nick] Cleggs, the [Tony] Blairs, the [Lord] Adonises will never ever, ever, give up.

“They will go on whinging and whining and moaning all the way through this process.

“So maybe, just maybe, I’m reaching the point of thinking that we should have a second referendum on EU membership… and we may just finish the whole thing off.

“And Blair can disappear off into total obscurity.”

His UKIP colleagues did not agree:

But the other side of the Brexit debate were more enthusiastic.

Labour MP Chuka Umunna, of the Open Britain campaign for close ties with the EU, said: “For perhaps the first time in his life, Nigel Farage is making a valid point.

“In a democracy like ours, the British people have every right to keep an open mind about Brexit.”

The Lib Dems vowed that in any referendum, they would be “leading the charge” to keep Britain in the EU.

“But Farage shouldn’t be so confident of winning, people are now far more aware of the costs of Brexit and the fabrications of the Leave campaign…. what will the Leave campaign bus have written on it next time: ‘let’s not fund our NHS, but pay a £39bn Brexit divorce bill instead’?”

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