Farage says he will demand a seat at Brexit negotiation table during car-crash interview

PUBLISHED: 09:13 13 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:56 13 May 2019

Nigel Farage on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC.

Nigel Farage on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC.

Nigel Farage is to demand his Brexit Party becomes part of the government's negotiating team if it is successful in the forthcoming European elections - despite having no MPs in Westminster.

Nigel Farage on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC.Nigel Farage on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC.

But in an angry interview with The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One, Nigel Farage said he did not want to be prime minister.

Instead he said he wants a seat at the negotiation table during Brexit talks to advocate no-deal.

He said: "What I do want to see from this European election, if we can win these elections, absolutely I'm going to demand that Brexit Party MEPs become part of the Government negotiating team and we can perhaps talk some sense into them."

Asked why he did not advocate a no-deal Brexit during the EU referendum campaign, and talked up Norway instead, he said it was "because it was obvious that we could do a free trade deal".

He said: "The problem is the prime minister never asked for it, so we finished up in the mess that we're in.

"She chose to go for this close and special partnership. Basically right from the start she was happy for us to be kept very close to the customs union. So where we are now, the only way the democratic will of the people can be delivered is to leave on a WTO (World Trade Organisation) deal."

Farage acknowledged leaving the EU on WTO terms could lead to "some short-term economic disruption", but compared it to "moving house" which "leads to short-term disruption".

He said he is "mentally preparing" for a second referendum, adding: "I'm thinking we may well have it forced upon us".

Nigel Farage on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC.Nigel Farage on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC.

But Farage saw red when he was asked for a response on previous comments on NHS privatisation, climate change, gun control, immigration and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Initially trying to defend his remarks, he branded the interview the most "ridiculous" ever.

Reacting angrily, he said: "Do you want to discuss these European elections or not? Go on then - let's try."

As the questioning continued, he snapped: "Here we are with one of the biggest changes in politics that's ever occurred and you're not even interested. What is wrong with the BBC?

"I've been going round the country speaking at packed rallies every night and do you know who's not there? The BBC, and from this line of questioning now I can see why.

"You're just not interested, are you? You are just not interested. Let's talk about democracy, let's talk about trust, let's talk about competence in politics. This is ludicrous."

He questioned the relevance of his views on subjects other than Brexit, berating the interview technique.

He said: "This is absolutely ludicrous. I've never in my life seen a more ridiculous interview than this. You are not prepared to talk about what is going on in this country today. You're in denial, the BBC is in denial, the Tory and Labour parties are in denial."

He added: "I think you're all in for a bigger surprise on Thursday week than you can even imagine."

It comes after Nigel Farage refused to reveal a manifesto for his Brexit Party before the European elections.

Political commentators watched the interview in disbelief.

Broadcaster James O'Brien tweeted: "If he has no policies, no Brexit plan and won't answer questions about things he's actually said, why exactly is Farage doing interviews?"

Lib Dem deputy leader Jo Swinson said Farage represented "the very worst of British politics".

Swinson criticised his refusal to "own up to well-documented and abhorrent views on NHS privatisation, his admiration for Vladimir Putin and his denial of the facts about climate change during the interview.

She said: "Despite his claims to the contrary, everyone remembers that he promised in 2016 that there would be an amazing cost-free Brexit deal available to Britain if we voted to leave the EU.

"To say today that he always advocated 'no-deal' is a mark of just how shameless he is, and how little he cares for the jobs and livelihoods of the people of this country.

"There is one thing Nigel Farage cares passionately about and that is Nigel Farage."

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