Boris Johnson has rejected Nigel Farage’s offer of a Brexit pact at the general election.
The prime minister declined to take up the advice of Donald Trump, who had also waded into UK politics to deliver a criticism of Mr Johnson’s new Brexit deal and Jeremy Corbyn.
Asked if he would form an alliance with Farage, the PM told ITV News: “I may respectfully say to all our friends around the world … that the only way to get this thing done is to vote for us.
“Vote for this government because unfortunately, as I tried to point out, if you vote for any other party the risk is you’ll just get Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party, dither and delay, not just one referendum next year but two referendums.”
A Number 10 source confirmed that this explicitly meant no deals with the Brexit Party.
“The PM is clear that only a vote for the Conservatives will deliver not just on the Brexit deal but on the priorities people care about,” the source told the PA news agency.
Johnson warned a victory for the Tories is “a very big if” but said it would pave the way to push his deal through with a new parliamentary make-up.
Earlier in the day, Farage launched his party’s campaign with a call on the PM to ditch his deal and form a “Leave alliance” to deliver a “stonking majority”.
The long-standing Brexit campaigner threatened to field candidates in every seat in England, Scotland and Wales in a move Tories fear could damage their chances of electoral success by splitting the Leave vote.
Farage said his party would form a “non-aggression” pact if the PM did scrap his deal and echoed the words of the president by saying the agreement would hinder trade with the US.
Johnson had been encouraged to work with Farage by the US president in an interview on the Brexit Party leader’s radio show.
“He has a lot of respect and like for you, I just wish you two guys could get together – I think it would be a great thing,” the president told the LBC show in a phone call.