Farage says Brexit Party won't withdraw more candidates

Brexit Party Leader Nigel Farage said he would not withdraw any more candidates beyond the 317 Conservative seats his party has already stood down from.

When asked if he would stand down any further candidates, he said he would not.

“No. That’s just a sort of attempt at intimidation that has come from elements of the press. No. We are going to take on all the remainers who are standing in this country.”

Farage said he would take on Labour and remainer parties in the election.

“We’re going to stand against every single one of them,” Farage said of the Labour Party.

Also Wednesday, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn said if elected, his government would not grant a referendum on Scottish independence in the first term if it is elected.

Scottish nationalists led by Nicola Sturgeon have suggested they could support a “progressive alliance” with Labour in the event of a hung Parliament at the Dec. 12 election, in return for a second independence vote.

“No referendum in the first term of a Labour government because I think we need to concentrate completely on investment across Scotland,” Corbyn told reporters.

Scottish voters opposed independence in a 2014 plebiscite but then backed remaining in the European Union in 2016, which the Scottish National Party has used to try and boost support for secession.

Tusk: U.K. to become ‘second rate’

The U.K. will lose influence in international affairs and become a “second-rate player” after it leaves the European Union, European Council President Donald Tusk said on Wednesday.

Backers of the U.K.’s 2016 vote to exit the EU, the world’s largest trading bloc, say that the country — the world’s fifth largest economy — will achieve a new global status unshackled from EU rules and closer to the United States.

European Council President Donald Tusk said Wednesday that the U.K. will lose influence in international affairs after it leaves the EU. (Frederick Florin/AFP via Getty Images)

Tusk said only a united Europe could confront an assertive China and play an effective global role.

“I have heard repeatedly from Brexiteers that they wanted to leave the E.U. to make the U.K. global again, believing that only alone, it can truly be great…,” Tusk said in a speech at the College of Europe in the Belgian city of Bruges.

“But the reality is exactly the opposite. Only as part of a united Europe can the U.K. play a global role, only together can we confront, without any complexes, the greatest powers of this world. And the world knows it,” said Tusk, who has chaired EU summits for the past five years and been an influential voice in European politics.

“I have heard the same in India, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and South Africa — that after its departure, the U.K. will become an outsider, a second-rate player.”

Tusk has repeatedly voiced a wish for the U.K. to change its mind and stay in the EU. 

‘The real end of the British Empire’

The U.K. is set to leave the bloc on Jan. 31, 2020, if Johnson wins a majority in next month’s election and thereby secures parliamentary ratification of his EU withdrawal deal.

London remains a powerful financial centre and the U.K. has long been the U.S.’s closest military ally.

But the U.K.’s status as an influential power in the EU has also given it clout to diverge from Washington when it disagrees – something it has frequently done since U.S. President Donald Trump came to office.

Many Western diplomats believe the U.K. after Brexit must be careful not alienate itself from other friendly countries who have a more multilateral approach to world politics than Trump.

“‘Why are they doing this?’ I was asked this regretful question everywhere I went,” Tusk said. “One of my English friends is probably right when he says with melancholy that Brexit is the real end of the British Empire.”

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