Nigel Farage has returned to spouting nonsense from a bus – this time claiming that the Northern Ireland issue was designed to ‘trap Theresa May’.
Farage arrived at the latest Leave Means Leave rally in another open top bus, using the platform to claim that the ‘establishment’ had been attempting to water down Brexit, and claiming that the EU is trying to stop Britain becoming ‘competitive’.
He told the audience: ‘I want Brexit. If you think there should be a border, a hard border (in Ireland), let’s work it out, shall we?
‘There’s a different currency between the north and the south, different income tax rates, different excise rates, different corporation tax rates – if you need to have a hard border because of differences, there should be one there today.
‘If we have a simple free trade deal with the European Union that would be a non-issue because there would be no excise duties to collect.
‘On the argument of different specifications of products, hey, at the moment we have exactly the same specs as Northern Ireland.
‘You could say in five or 10 years’ time, there might be one or two industries where we have some differences, but if you buy a washing machine now you can track on your mobile phone exactly where it is.
‘We are not at the days… Southampton is just down the road, every day there are tens of thousands of containers that come in from China, we do not open them and check them, they are logged and registered and the excise duty is paid.
‘The truth of the Northern Ireland border, the real truth is, it is being used very cleverly by Monsieur Barnier to trap Theresa May in a position.
‘You see, the one thing Europe don’t want is us to leave the single market rules and become competitive.’
When asked if he still considered a ‘hard Brexit’ as the best way forward, he said: ‘What is hard Brexit? Would you explain what it is?
‘I had never heard of it until we won the referendum and then it was invented by the other side. Hard Brexit bad, soft Brexit lovely and cuddly.
‘What they meant by soft Brexit was not leaving, it was Brexit in name only.
‘That’s the path the prime minister has been determined to pursue but I think she is beginning to realise out in the country and increasingly on her own back benches, they won’t put up with it.’
When asked if he was concerned about the legal and administrative consequences of a hard Brexit, such as planes not being allowed to fly from the UK to the EU, Farage said: ‘How does any of the world exist outside of the European Union? It’s a miracle to me really.
‘There are of course neighbourly issues that have to be sorted out, of course that is right.
‘In terms of a deal, it’s quite simple actually. The European Union has been saying to me for 20 years, if you want a free trade arrangement, what we now call a Canada-style deal, it’s there, it’s an offer on the table, it’s what the British Government should have gone for from day one.
‘Failing that, if they really want – and goodness me, how many German motor cars have I seen on the roads this morning? And no doubt French wines sold in bars down this street? – failing that, we will leave and have a WTO (World Trade Organisation) deal as most of the world does, and there is nothing to fear from that, either.’
During his visit to the Dorset town market, Farage was presented with a cat collar and leash by a pet accessories stall-holder, who joked it was for prime minister Theresa May.
‘Brilliant, this is for Mrs May,’ he said adding, ‘these guys on the market have a great sense of humour.’