The anti-EU party UKIP would be willing to do a post-election deal with the Conservative party if it failed to gain a majority in May’s general election, as long as the Tories agreed to a referendum on whether to stay-or-leave the European Union in 2015, said party leader Niger Farage.
According to extracts of his memoirs – The Purple Revolition – which are currently serialized in the Telegraph, Mr. Farage rules out a formal coalition.
However, he said UKIP would be willing to agree on an arrangement to support a Conservative government as long as there was an EU referendum by Christmas this year.
What are the chances of Mr. Cameron (top) and Mr. Farage discussing a deal over a pint?
This would mean bringing forward the 2017 promised referendum by the Tories by two years. Although Cameron and colleagues are likely to say a deal with UKIP is out of the question, things could change rapidly if they fail to gain the required number of seats election day.
Mr. Farage issued Mr. Cameron with a 4-point ultimatum on the UK’s position in the European Union. If the four points could be agreed, UKIP would back a minority Tory government on major Commons votes such as the Budget.
As UKIP and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) shared some views on the EU, a “possible scenario” could be a three-way UKI-Tory-DUP deal, he added.
Mr. Farage wrote “Now the party (DUP) has moved on from its sectarian approach to issues, we have developed a mutual respect for each other.”
Precise and simple terms
Mr. Farage said any deal with the Conservatives would have very precise and simple terms. “I want a full and fair referendum to be held in 2015 to allow Britons to vote on being in or out of the European Union,” he said.
The UKIP leader proposed the following wording in the referendum “Do you wish to be a free, independent sovereign democracy?”
There are four million foreign EU nationals living in the UK today. Mr. Farage says that under his proposal they would not be allowed to vote in the referendum, including his German wife.
Referendum campaigning would be subject to stringent spending limits, plus there would be an ombudsman to “police coverage” of any referendum. An ombudsman is an official who represents the public interest.
It does not take more than a few weeks to organize a referendum, Mr. Farage pointed out. So, having one this year is feasible.
Nowhere down the line would there be any talk of re-negotiation or wiggle room, Mr. Farage emphasized. However, he assured that if the Tory leader agreed to the terms, there was “no question that UKIP would not do a deal.”
Mr. Farage says he does not want a ministerial title, and would be horrified at the prospect of being a member of the Cabinet, whose members he describes as “ghastly”.
The UKIP leader believes he could work with Michael Gove, the Conservative Chief Whip, even though “a vast number of them (Conservatives) hate us and I dislike them.”
NHS nearly cost Farage his life
In his new book Mr. Farage describes how the NHS nearly cost him his life in his early 20s when he developed testicular cancer.
He said he was fobbed off by a consultant about a swollen testicle that had become as big as a lemon and was rock hard.
After discovering that he had private health insurance through his employer, he saw a private GP who referred him to a Harley Street specialist, where his cancer was diagnosed.
Had he relied entirely on the NHS his cancer would have advanced and would probably eventually have killed him, he wrote.