Nigel Farage warns 'Brexit betrayal' would thrust Britain into crisis

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 12, 2018 8:59 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - If Prime Minister Theresa May allows Brexit to be watered down or halted by supporters of European Union membership, then Britain will be thrust into the gravest constitutional crisis since World War Two, Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage said.

Farage, who as UKIP leader convinced Prime Minister Theresa May's predecessor, David Cameron, to call the Brexit referendum and then helped lead the campaign to leave the EU, said Brexit was now in danger of being stopped by the establishment.

The 53-year-old former commodities trader cast May, who voted to stay in the EU, as "Theresa the appeaser" for giving in to the EU on almost every part of the Brexit negotiation and said Britain was being humiliated by the EU.

"The best case scenario right now under our current pathetic leadership is Brexit in name only - that is about as good as it gets," Farage told Reuters in his office just a few meters from Westminster Abbey.

"At worst they are going to make us fight the whole thing again," said Farage. "That is a significant betrayal of what many millions voted for."

In the United Kingdom’s 2016 referendum, 51.9 percent, or 17.4 million people, voted to leave the EU while 48.1 percent, or 16.1 million people, voted to stay.

Farage dismissed worries from major banks such as Goldman Sachs that the City of London could lose business as a result of Brexit and cast the European Union as a doomed German-dominated experiment in European integration.

Opponents of Brexit are trying to garner enough support in the lower house of the British parliament, the House of Commons, to block any possible withdrawal deal that May comes back from Brussels with in October.

Among those who have called for halting or reversing Brexit, are former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Goldman Sachs Group Inc <GS.N> Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein and George Soros, the billionaire who earned fame by betting against the British pound in 1992.

When asked about the potential electoral pull of Blair, Goldman Sachs and Soros, Farage laughed: "If I was drafting a horror movie of what remainers look like well here they are."

Soros, through his foundations, donated around 400,000 pounds ($553,000) to the Best for Britain campaign group and an additional 182,000 pounds to the European Movement and 35,000 to Scientists for EU.

Farage said Soros's participation in Western politics should be investigated and that the billionaire should come to London to publicly explain which political projects he has been involved in.

"There does need to be an investigation into the extent that George Soros is undermining politics right across the Western world," Farage said. "This is the biggest political campaigning organization the world has ever seen and most people are in denial about it."

A spokesman for Soros declined immediate comment.

($1 = 0.7239 pounds)

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, editing by Andrew MacAskill)