Five Rounds with Farage
This week I put on my gloves and went head-to-head in the ring with Brexiter in Chief Nigel Farage – verbally, of course, on Chopper’s Brexit Podcast.
I argued that the tide of events is on our side, and it is now looking certain the last man standing on Brexit is going to be the People’s Vote. I suspect Farage also believes this even if he will not admit it out loud. What he did however admit when I pressed him was that the European Union is democratic since it allowed him to be elected to its parliament five times! Farage also agreed that under 30s are overwhelmingly in favour of staying in Europe – but he blames this on the education system “brainwashing” young people.
But the most shocking thing that Farage said in our debate was his response to me asking him whether he minded jobs being destroyed en masse in places like Sunderland because of Brexit. He completely dismissed jobs fear over Brexit because “the people who run the multinationals want to keep things as they are because it is a great system to crush the little man and woman.” This reveals ugly truth of Brexit – it is an extremist project that its acolytes will pursue at any cost to jobs, business, and the very people they claim to represent. Fortunately, the people are starting to see through the lies peddled by Farage et al in the last referendum, and are becoming ever more in favour of having another say now that the facts on the table. Farage again clearly knows this is happening – he immediately changed the topic when he was asked about the millions of Turks he said would come here if we stayed and the infamous £350 million a week for the NHS.
As I said concluding the debate with Farage, I am energised by what I am seeing as I travel around the country. This week I spoke to audiences in Oxford, Didcot, Cambridge, and Beverley. In these meetings, as in many others, there is a huge groundswell of support for a People’s Vote, particularly young people who do not want Brexit to take away their future. This afternoon I will be campaigning in Keswick, and next week I will be speaking at the University of Chester on Thursday 31st, in Hereford on Friday 1st, and in Oxford Saturday 2nd.
Finally, in my New European piece this week, I argue that Theresa May’s one positive achievement in all of this is in fact the Irish backstop. It is a recognition that the peace and security of Ireland are a critical British concern and that the Good Friday Agreement shouldn’t be traded for Brexit, whatever Farage and Rees-Mogg say.