Nigel Farage has made a pitch to SNP voters in Scotland, saying Scottish independence while still in the EU is the “most dishonest political discourse I’ve ever seen anywhere in the world”.
Urging pro-independence voters to “lend your votes to the Brexit Party”, Mr Farage told a passionate rally in Edinburgh that the party was set to revolutionise British politics.
He told supporters, who had paid £2.50 to attend the event in the Scottish capital: “Our politics is full of deception because here in Scotland we have the extraordinary situation where Nicola Sturgeon talks about independence.
“She says that separating from the United Kingdom but staying part of the European Union means that Scotland will be independent.
“It is, I think, the most dishonest political discourse I’ve ever seen anywhere in the world.
“You cannot be independent if you’re governed from the European Court of Justice. You cannot be independent if you’re in the EU’s customs union and single market. You cannot be independent if you’re governed by Monsieur Barnier and Mr Junker.”
He suggested that up to 30% of SNP voters do not want to be part of the EU, and added: “Even though I’m very unionist, I would say to those voters: unless we get Brexit, you cannot really have an intelligent debate about Scotland’s future.
“Actually, what you ought to do folks, is at this election lend your votes to the Brexit Party. Let’s get out of the European Union and then have an honest debate about the future of Scotland.”
Responding to comments by the lead candidate in Scotland, Louis Stedman-Bryce, that the party would not stand in the way of a second independence referendum, Mr Farage told reporters: “He said he wouldn’t stand in the way of it, but he also said that – given that it was said at the time that it was a once-in-a-generation vote – it shouldn’t happen for a very long time.
“The same thing applies to the Brexit referendum, we were told this was a once-in-a-generation decision.”
Asked about receiving £450,000 of funding from Aaron Banks in the year after the 2016 referendum – a claim he earlier denied but one that Mr Banks reportedly confirmed – Mr Farage claimed that the issue was a private matter.
He said: “Whatever happened after the referendum, I was leaving politics, it was happening mostly in America, had nothing to do with politics, nothing to do with the Brexit Party, it was purely on a personal basis.
“I was looking for a new career and a new life, it’s got nothing to do with anything. It’s a purely private matter.”
Pressed on whether he declared it, he said: “Of course not, of course not. It’s a purely private matter, non-political in absolutely every way.
“It was me, in America, seeking a new media career which I was looking forward to until Brexit was denied and so I’m back now in politics.”