Farage Rejects Coalition With Cameron’s Conservatives

Nigel Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party, appears on the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show, January 20

Nigel Farage on Sunday ruled out a coalition with Britain’s Conservative after the next election unless there is a change in leadership. “With David Cameron as leader, that is virtually impossible to even contemplate,” he said on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show.

The premier, said Farage, who is a member of the European Parliament, has dismissed his United Kingdom Independence Party even if it now polls higher than Cameron’s coalition partners, the pro-European Liberal Democrats.

Mr Cameron, whenever he’s asked about UKIP, just throws abuse at us and calls us nutters and closet racists so I don’t think there’s any prospect of us doing a deal with the Conservative Party with Mr Cameron in charge.

On the same program, William Hague, the former Conservative Party leader and incumbent foreign minister, promised, “In the end, the people will have their say in general elections,” but wouldn’t express support for a referendum on British membership outright.

That is why Cameron’s Conservatives can’t be trusted, according to Farage. However Euroskeptic they may seem at present, they will probably campaign to keep Britain in the European Union. “It’s all reminiscent of 1975 really, isn’t it? When Harold Wilson came back with a cosmetic renegotiation.” The British voted in a referendum that year to stay in the European Economic Community after the Labour prime minister had extracted increased developmental funding for the country to offset its net contributions to European agriculture policy. There hasn’t been a referendum on Europe since but a majority of Britons would like one.

Cameron, who argued two weeks ago that Britain is “entitled” to demand changes in its relationship with the European Union, is in favor of membership, often pointing out the advantages of being part of a single market. “We are a trading nation and we need the single market for trade, investment and jobs,” he said in Parliament over a year ago.

Membership isn’t required to trade, though, said Farage. “We want to go on doing business with the EU and we will go on doing business with the EU.” Continental European nations actually sell more to Britain than Britain sells to them. “There is no prospect of Mercedes and Volkswagen not wishing to sell their cars in this country because we’re not part of a political union.”

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