Farage reminded of claim ‘Remain vote would be end of British steel industry’

A three-year-old tweet came back to haunt Nigel Farage on the day of British Steel's collapse into liquidation, as opponents reminded him of his prediction that a Remain referendum win would kill off Britain's steel industry.

In the April 2016 tweet, the Brexit Party leader wrote: "If we vote to Remain on June 23rd it is the end of the steel industry in this country. Simple as that. We must Leave EU."

The post suddenly gained new traction after it was announced that talks with the Government had failed to secure British Steel's future, putting at threat thousands of jobs.

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NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage is escorted to a car after having what is thought to be milkshake thrown over him as he visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. The visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party is a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019. Nigel Farage, the former leader of the U.K. Independence Party, is campaigning for the Brexit Party's contest for this month's European Parliament elections. The Brexit Party is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Paul Crowther (grey t-shirt) is pulled away by security and held by police after throwing what was thought to be milkshake over Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. The visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party is a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019. Nigel Farage, the former leader of the U.K. Independence Party, is campaigning for the Brexit Party's contest for this month's European Parliament elections. The Brexit Party is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
Nigel Farage after he was doused in milkshake during a campaign walkabout in Newcastle.
Nigel Farage after he was doused in milkshake during a campaign walkabout in Newcastle.
Nigel Farage after he was doused in milkshake during a campaign walkabout in Newcastle.
Paul Crowther, 32, from Throckley, Newcastle, speaks to police after Nigel Farage was hit with a milkshake in Newcastle city centre during a Brexit Party walkabout.
The empty milkshake cup from Five Guys which is believed to have been emptied on Nigel Farage in Newcastle city centre during a Brexit Party walkabout.
Paul Crowther, 32, from Throckley, Newcastle, speaks to police after Nigel Farage was hit with a milkshake in Newcastle city centre during a Brexit Party walkabout.
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Paul Crowther (R) is pulled away by security and held by police after throwing what was thought to be milkshake over Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage in Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. Nigel Farage's visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party, a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019, is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (R) has what is thought to have been a milkshake thrown over him as he visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. His visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party, a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019, is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage is escorted to a car after having what is thought to be milkshake thrown over him as he visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. The visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party is a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019. Nigel Farage, the former leader of the U.K. Independence Party, is campaigning for the Brexit Party's contest for this month's European Parliament elections. The Brexit Party is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage is escorted to a car after having what is thought to be milkshake thrown over him as he visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. The visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party is a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019. Nigel Farage, the former leader of the U.K. Independence Party, is campaigning for the Brexit Party's contest for this month's European Parliament elections. The Brexit Party is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has what is thought to have been a milkshake thrown over him as he visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. His visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party, a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019, is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (L) has what is thought to have been a milkshake thrown over him as he visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. His visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party, a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019, is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (R) has what is thought to have been a milkshake thrown over him as he visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. His visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party, a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019, is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
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British Steel's owner, Greybull Capital, had blamed a number of Brexit-related issues for its problems as it sought a financial support package to save the company.

After Mr Farage's tweet resurfaced, Labour MP David Lammy responded: "Simple as that?"

Meanwhile, campaign group Another Europe referenced a cause celebre of Brexiteers, tweeting: "This has aged like a bendy banana left in the sun."

Speaking during a Telegraph debate with Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable earlier in the day, Mr Farage blamed the EU's European Emissions Trading Scheme for the collapse of the steel firm.

The scheme placed caps on the amount of emissions certain industries, including steelworks, can make during production.

He added: "Right now today, if we wanted as a nation to put money in to save British Steel, we are not allowed to because of EU state aid rules."

EU rules restrict the amount of state aid allowed in the steel industry, but as UK spending on state aid is relatively low, it is unlikely that this is the sole reason the Government has opted not to provide extra money to British Steel.

UK steel production has reduced dramatically in recent decades, with the number employed in the industry falling from 322,800 in 1971 to 31,800 in 2018, according to the Office for National Statistics.

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