Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Brexit Bulletin: Farage Under Pressure

Brexit Bulletin: Farage Under PressureDays to Brexit deadline: 81(Bloomberg) -- Sign up here to get the Brexit Bulletin in your inbox every weekday.Today in Brexit: No one is backing down in the tussle over whether to create a pre-election Leave alliance.Nigel Farage is coming under pressure to stand aside and let U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson deliver Brexit after the general election on Dec. 12.Arron Banks, one of Farage's key backers in the 2016 referendum, used a column in the Mail on Sunday to urge his former ally to step aside. Business Minister Kwasi Kwarteng echoed that call in an interview with Sky News’s Sophy Ridge. Former Theresa May aide Nick Timothy describes Farage today as a tragic figure, “the Frodo Baggins of Brexit.” But Farage, the original poster boy for Brexit, looks unlikely to give way gracefully. Leavers fear Farage could now split the pro-Brexit vote, help Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street, and scupper Britain’s departure from the European Union. As Banks put it: If Farage “insists on pursuing his impossible dream of a perfect Brexit, he will not get it.” Weekend polling put Farage’s Brexit Party on 6%-10%, in fourth place. Farage launches his Brexit Party’s election campaign today in Hartlepool, in the north of England. Follow our rolling election coverage for all the latest.For all the pressure, Farage shows little inclination to bow out. On Sunday, he gave Johnson another four days to reach a deal or face Brexit Party candidates running against Conservatives across the whole U.K. His demand: Johnson should abandon his deal and pursue what Farage calls a “clean Brexit.”Why would the prime minister agree? The Tories are certainly nervous about the Brexit Party. Johnson may be enjoying a double digit lead in the polls — but it could evaporate quickly. The Conservatives are also at greater risk of losing supporters to the Brexit party than Labour, polling guru John Curtice pointed out in the Sunday Telegraph. On Sunday, Johnson ruled out extending the transition period beyond 2020, something many have taken as an olive branch to Farage and his supporters.But it would be an almost unthinkable step for Johnson to abandon outright the compromise he spent months hammering out — and even more of one for Farage to walk away. Single-issue campaigners like him need a cause if they are to remain relevant: If Brexit is delivered, and the public moves on, how does he go on being just that?Today’s Must-ReadsBrexit is even hurting Tinder, according to Bloomberg’s Joe Easton and Ivan Edwards. Here’s what companies have been saying about Brexit.  Johnson’s Tories hit out at Labour, saying opposition spending plans would cost £1.2 trillion ($1.5 trillion) over five years. Labour’s finance spokesman, John McDonnell, branded the claim a “ludicrous piece of Tory fake news.” Does Boris Johnson understand his own deal? Recent comments by the prime minister have only sown confusion, according to Bloomberg’s Rob Hutton.Brexit in BriefNo Contraction | The U.K. almost certainly avoided a recession ahead of the now-postponed Oct. 31 deadline to leave the European Union, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists. Official figures are due at 9:30 a.m. in London.More Chaos | The bid for a new Brexit referendum has been thrown into (even more) disarray, with the acting chief of the People’s Vote campaign stepping down amid allegations of harassment, according to the Guardian.Bercow’s Back | The former speaker of the House of Commons tells the Guardian he may be pompous, but says Brexiters and Theresa May are to blame for Britain’s delayed departure from the EU.Outlook Cut | The U.K.’s sovereign credit rating was put on negative outlook by Moody’s Investors Service, which said the country’s ability to set policy has weakened in the Brexit era along with its commitment to fiscal discipline.Time, Please | J D Wetherspoon Plc founder Tim Martin is coming under pressure to keep his pro-Brexit views to himself, according to the Guardian. Shareholder groups are increasingly unhappy with the publican’s habit of including his opinions on the controversial subject in his firm’s trading updates. The next is due on Wednesday.Nationalist Project | “Brexit seems to have knocked the British off their trolleys, depriving at least half of them any sense of proportion. How did they get to be like this?” Ferdinand Mount reviews Fintan O’Toole’s Postwar England and the Rise of Nationalism in the New York Times.Want to keep up with Brexit?You can follow us @Brexit on Twitter, and listen to Bloomberg Westminster every weekday. It’s live at midday on Bloomberg Radio and is available as a podcast too. Share the Brexit Bulletin: Colleagues, friends and family can sign up here. For full EU coverage, try the Brussels Edition.For even more: Subscribe to Bloomberg All Access for our unmatched global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, The Bloomberg Open and The Bloomberg Close.To contact the author of this story: Edward Evans in London at eevans3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Adam Blenford at ablenford@bloomberg.net, Timothy Coulter "Tim"For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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