Referendum was advisory – Farage

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has admitted on live television that the EU referendum was ‘advisory’.

The comment came as he clashed with Gina Miller, one of the main backers of the recent High Court case calling for an MPs’ vote, on BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show.

Ms Miller said if parliament had wanted to, it would have said in the EU Referendum Act 2015 that the referendum was not advisory, to which Mr Farage said: “I take the advisory point and I would now wish to see constitutional change to make referendums binding, and that then would end this argument and there would be no need for this case.”

In passing judgment the High Court noted that British referendums “can only be advisory for the lawmakers in parliament unless very clear language to the contrary is used.”

Ms Miller said her case was intended to give legal certainty to Britain’s decision on whether to leave the EU.

Mr Farage admitted “parliament has to have a vote,” following the court decision, but challenged Ms Miller saying: “What part of the word ‘leave’ don’t you understand?”

He added that a parliamentary debate could see MPs demanding that triggering article 50 – the EU exit clause – be linked to a commitment by Britain to negotiating to stay in the EU single market, which would be contrary to the ‘hard Brexit’ Prime Minister Theresa May has been tending towards.

“If that happens you will have stirred up the biggest political upset we’ve ever seen,” Mr Farage said.

However Ms Miller said: “Shall we sack the MPs then? We have a representative democracy, which means they have to go in there and debate. That’s what parliament’s for and what you argued for the whole way through – parliamentary sovereignty.”

Mr Farage now states he hopes to lead a 100,000-strong protest march to the Supreme Court when it considers the government’s appeal against the High Court ruling, next month.

See the exchange between Mr Farage and Ms Miller here: BBC News.