Nigel Farage denies changing his mind on Brexit despite u-turn on Norway model

Nigel Farage answers questions about the Brexit Party funding on LBC Radio. Photograph: LBC/Global.

Nigel Farage answers questions about the Brexit Party funding on LBC Radio. Photograph: LBC/Global. - Credit: Archant

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage says he has not changed his mind on Brexit - despite previously advocating 'doing what the Norwegians do', and now saying such a model would leave us worse off.

The outspoken Brexiteer had regularly talked about the Norway option as a means of leaving, and toured television and radio studios to talk up how in Norway they are "rich, happy, and self-governing."

Speaking on his radio show at the time, he said: "Brexit, one of the key pillars of Brexit was doing what the Norwegians do, doing what the Faroese do, doing what the Icelanders do, taking back what is rightfully ours and managing it properly."

He also claimed it was the best model to champion coastal communities and the fishing industry.

Now, however, Farage claims the Norway model would leave us worse-off and instead favours a World Trade Organisation exit... but denies he has changed his mind.

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He laughed off one quote that LBC's Iain Dale plucked out about Norway from 2014 claiming it was a "a sarcastic answer to David Cameron.

He continued: "I never changed my mind on the Norway option.

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"We can do better than Norway and I have to say, all this talk about Norway that Nick Bowles and others are putting forward, no one is talking about fishing.

"We would be Norway without the fish, what they are proposing is even worse for us as Norway is five million people."

Pressed further on his support for the fishing industry, he was asked why he had attended just one meeting and missed 41 of the fishing committee at the EU.

Farage said this was because he wanted to leave the European Union.

Presenter Dale pointed out it made little sense. "If you attend the meetings, you can shape the policy but you haven't been attending them."

But Farage said there was "no legal role" and said the meetings were "pointless".

He continued: "There was no legislative role in that committee whatsoever.

"You couldn't do a thing, it was pointless and it gets to the real argument."

During the same interview Nigel Farage refused to reveal the big backer of his Brexit Party.

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