Deja-EU referendum?

Published: 2nd Mar 2018

In brief

Claim

Nigel Farage once flirted with the idea of there being a second EU referendum.

Conclusion

During interviews earlier this year Mr Farage said that he might be starting to think we should have a second referendum as he felt the proportion voting to leave would be larger than in 2016. He also said he feared we may have to have a second referendum if Parliament rejects the final deal with the EU.

“Nigel Farage, you once flirted with the idea of a second referendum?”

David Dimbleby, 1 March 2018

“No, I didn't, I said I feared. I feared because there is a great Brexit betrayal going on, that parliament may force a second referendum upon us. I pray they don’t, but I do fear and I think some of the people in this panel would like a second referendum.”

Nigel Farage MEP, 1 March 2018

In three media appearances in January, former UKIP leader and Brexit campaigner, Nigel Farage, suggested that a second referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union may happen and on several occasions said that he feared this would be the case.

In one interview he also said that he was perhaps reaching the conclusion that it should happen as he felt the proportion of people voting to leave the EU would be larger than in the 2016 referendum.

We’ve based this article on clips of interviews that have been shared by the various TV and radio shows Mr Farage appeared on.

In an appearance on The Wright Stuff Mr Farage said “What is for certain is that the Cleggs, the Blairs, the Adonises, will never ever, ever give up. They will go on whinging and whining and moaning all the way through this process. So maybe, just maybe I’m reaching the point of thinking that we should have a second referendum on EU membership. [...] I think if we had a second referendum on EU membership we’d kill it off for a generation. The percentage that would vote to leave next time would be very much bigger than it was last time round.”

After the interview, the then leader of UKIP, Henry Bolton, said that UKIP are opposed to a second referendum.

On the same day, Mr Farage appeared on his LBC radio show, where he said “I fear that Parliament will reject any deal. And I fear that Parliament, both the Commons and the Lords, may well do anything they can to put us through a second referendum. [...] This deal with Europe has to be finished by October. It could be before the end of this year that parliament is voting on the final deal… So much as I don’t want a second referendum, I have now begun to open my mind to the possibility that this will be forced upon us.”

At the end of the month Mr Farage was interviewed on Good Morning Britain and discussed a possible vote on the final EU deal with Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable, Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan. He said again that he feared a second referendum as “a majority in parliament reject Brexit”, but that he personally didn’t want one.

This factcheck is part of a roundup of BBC Question Time. Read the roundup.


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