Brexit: Farage says the 'war is over' as talks near end
In a message to Boris Johnson, who struck a post-Brexit deal with Brussels on Christmas Eve, the Brexit Party leader declared “the war is over” and “we won”. But Mr Farage admitted the deal is not exactly what he campaigned for as “some major concessions have been made”.
Writing in the Daily Mail, the Brexiteer said: “Northern Ireland has been cut off from the rest of the UK; the European Human Rights regime will remain in place here; our coastal communities have been saddled with a rotten fishing deal; and EU firms will still be allowed to tender for UK government contracts.
“In regulatory terms, the EU will hold a Sword of Damocles over Britain with the threat of immediate tariffs if they judge that Britain is being too competitive.
“This is not what I campaigned for and it most certainly is not what Boris Johnson’s supporters voted for in the 2019 General Election.
“These handicaps will not allow Britain to transform itself into the Singapore-style entity in a European time zone that it could become.”
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But Mr Farage hailed Brexit as an “epic triumph for the people against the political classes” and warned it could signal the end of the EU.
He said: “In 2021, however, I suspect that the debate around the EU will fade as more pressing concerns materialise.
“Let’s be in no doubt, though. Brexit was and is an epic triumph for the people against the political classes.
“It will, I’m sure, prove to be the beginning of the end of the European Union. There is no going back. We won.”
Mr Farage’s comments come after Mr Johnson finalised a trade agreement with the EU on Christmas Eve after months of wrangling.
The 1,246-page document was officially published on the morning of Boxing Day.
The Prime Minister said he believes that it will stand up to inspection from the European Research Group (ERG) of Brexiteers.
The group of Conservative MPs has convened a self-styled “star chamber” of lawyers led by veteran Eurosceptic Sir Bill Cash to pour over the full text ahead of a Commons vote.
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In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Johnson revealed major post-Brexit changes are coming next year.
He said: “We can’t sort of suddenly decide that we’re free and then not decide how to exercise it.
“This Government has a very clear agenda to unite and level up and to spread opportunity across the country.”
The Prime Minister added that a “great Government effort” has gone into drawing up plans for when the Brexit transition ends on December 31 which he did not want to discuss while negotiations were ongoing.
Mr Johnson said: “A great Government effort has gone into compiling these and we haven’t necessarily wanted to talk about them much during this period because that perhaps would not have been fruitful.
“What I say to my colleagues is free ports, yes, free trade deals, fantastic, changing animal welfare regulations, great, new stuff on data or chemicals, let’s have a look at it all.
“We want to see what we can take forward. We don’t want to diverge for the sake of diverging. But we’re going to want to do things differently where that’s useful for the British people.”
The EU’s 27 member states have indicated they will within days give their formal backing to the agreement.
MPs and peers will be called back to Westminster on December 30 to vote on the deal.
The agreement will almost certainly be passed by Parliament with Labour’s backing.
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