Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage arrives for a “Leave Means Leave” rally in London, Britain January 17, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
LONDON (Reuters) – Prominent Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage announced on Friday he would stand as a candidate for a new “Brexit Party” to contest European Parliament elections if Britain’s departure from the European Union, due in 49 days, is delayed.
“The party was founded with my full support and with the intention of fighting the European elections on May 23 if Brexit has not been delivered by then,” Farage wrote in an opinion piece published by the Daily Telegraph newspaper.
London and Brussels are arguing over whether a deal clinched in November can be changed, raising the possibility of either a delay to Brexit, a last-minute deal or a no-deal exit.
Britain voted 52 to 48 percent to leave the EU in a 2016 referendum.
“I have made it clear many times that I will not stand by and do nothing if the referendum result is betrayed, so should this election need to be contested, I will stand as a candidate for the Brexit Party and I will give it my all,” Farage said.
Farage once headed the anti-EU United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) but he recently said it was “unsalvageable” in its current state.
A filing by the Electoral Commission showed the Brexit Party had been approved this week to field candidates across England, Scotland and Wales.
Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by Stephen Addison