Britain’s departure from the European Union will be delayed again because Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s attempt to do a last minute deal with Brussels will be rejected by parliament, Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage said.
Cast by his supporters as the godfather of Brexit, Farage said Britain’s exit, due on Oct. 31, was now in doubt as the political elite in London was plotting with the EU to betray the 2016 referendum when the United Kingdom voted 52-48 to leave.
Farage said the country was in the grips of the biggest row since the English Civil War in the 17th Century and that Johnson risked destroying his Conservative Party as he was trying to reheat the failed exit deal of his predecessor Theresa May.
“At the Oct. 17-18 EU summit there will be some give from the European Union and Boris will bring it back to parliament before Oct. 31 and, I suspect, fail to get it through,” Brexit Party leader Farage told Reuters in an interview.
“So we won’t leave on the 31st of October and then we are really into uncharted waters – whether parliament imposes a second referendum or we have a general election, I really don’t know,” Farage, 55, said.
A former commodities trader turned master rhetorician, Farage has transformed British politics over the past decade by poaching Conservative Party voters to force a succession of prime ministers towards ever tougher positions on Europe.
The perceived electoral threat to the Conservatives from the United Kingdom Independence Party which Farage formerly led was one of the main reasons then-Prime Minister David Cameron decided in 2013 to promise the Brexit referendum.
Shunned by the British political establishment but backed by Eurosceptic financiers, Farage sold Brexit to millions of voters in England and Wales who felt ignored by the both the mainstream Conservative and Labour parties.
In the United Kingdom’s 2016 referendum, 51.9 percent, or 17.4 million people, voted to leave the EU while 48.1 percent, or 16.1 million, voted to stay.
The United Kingdom was due to leave on March 29, but it was delayed because May’s deal was defeated three times by parliament.