Question Time: Nigel Farage stumped by one simple audience question

Nigel Farage. Photograph: BBC.

Nigel Farage. Photograph: BBC. - Credit: Archant

An audience member pinned down Nigel Farage down on his claims about how easy a no-deal Brexit would be on Question Time.

This week's show was based in Northampton, which voted to leave the EU by 58%, and the audience showed it with applause for Farage's polemics and repeated interruptions of fellow panellists.

When the discussion turned to trade arrangements outside of the EU, Change UK MP Anna Soubry hauled Farage up for hypocrisy in endorsing a 'Norway-style' post-EU arrangement during the referendum, and now saying that the only true Brexit is a no deal scenario.

Farage outright denied his earlier stance without being corrected further by host Fiona Bruce.

READ: Nigel Farage denies changing his mind on BrexitBut one audience member wasn't going to let him get away so easily on his yarns about smooth post-Brexit relationships.

Nigel Farage was stumped by a simple question about WTO rules on Question Time. Picture: BBC

Nigel Farage was stumped by a simple question about WTO rules on Question Time. Picture: BBC - Credit: BBC

"Nigel, you say: 'WTO rules, that's not a problem, that's the solution'," said the audience member. "Name me one country within the WTO rules that doesn't have a trade agreement with another country."

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"Of course, because WTO rules are the basis from which you begin," said Farage, adding that countries "will come running" when we leave the EU, when the UK will be able to enter into independent trade negotiations.

"Nigel - sorry," said the questioner. "Just answer the question."

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Farage didn't answer the question, instead saying there are "at least two dozen major countries queueing up" to make deals with the UK.

The questioner persisted, repeating: "Can you name a country in the WTO that doesn't have a trade agreement with another country?"

"Once we leave, we'll be able to strike deals all over the world," said Farage, continuing with a claim that the EU forms 15% of the world's economy.

Fiona Bruce stepped in. "Do you know the answer?"

"No I don't," said Farage. "Because actually there isn't one."

"You're sitting here, telling the members of the public, 'let's do that'," said the audience member, to applause.

"But you don't even know how many countries have done it before us!"

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