As the Tory party conference gets underway, Nigel Farage has re-stated his support for a non-aggression pact to swing a general election, but only if the “policy is right”.
The Brexit Party leader wants to ensure that Brexit is delivered, and would withdraw MPs to support the Conservative vote, however, only if the Tories are aiming for a no-deal Brexit.
With just over 30 days to go, time is running out for Boris Johnson to negotiate an improved deal with the European Union that would win the support of the DUP and moderate Conservatives. In order to get a majority in Parliament, Johnson will most likely need the help of Labour MPs to get it through, and there has been speculation that up to 30 Labour MPs would do so if the deal was right.
Should a deal return to the House of Commons for a vote, it would pave the way for Britain to leave on October 31st with a deal. In the case that this doesn’t happen, and any new deal is rejected, Parliament would seek to extend Article 50 following the legislation it passed to force Boris Johnson to delay.
With an upcoming general election close, there is wide speculation over how much actual support the Conservatives have in Labour leave constituencies where votes could change the arithmetic in Parliament. In a number of leave consitutencies, Farage’s Brexit Party could scoop up a lot of the votes, costing the Conservatives possible gains from Labour. However Farage has stated his concerns over the Brexit pact with the Conservatives, and is not sure whether it can succeed or if they will accept it further the down the line.
Speaking To Sophy Ridge on Sky News, Farage said: “Our big concern is he wants to re-visit and re-heat Mrs May’s deal: A new European Union treaty and that would just not be Brexit. In fact that would be a surrender act.”
Despite Farage’s concerns, if a Brexit pact were to go ahead it could help increase support for Conservatives in many leave voting constituencies and could secure a 60-100 seat majority in Parliament. With the Tories maintaining a 12-point lead over Labour, there’s room for optimism that a pact could support further gains, however there are number of issues that will play into this, including the loss of remain-leaning seats, which could cost the Tories and strengthen the Liberal Democrats in many key battlegrounds.
Could Farage tip the balance or is his Brexit pact a non-starter?