The day in Brexit: Unusual alliances form as Farage enjoys popularity spike

UKIP party leader Nigel Farage  © Michael Kooren
Despite being accused of having a “poncey” name by David Cameron, UKIP leader and Brexiter-in-chief Nigel Farage is outdoing the PM in the polls in regards to the EU.

Farage spike

In a YouGov survey out Thursday, 23 percent of those polled trusted the tweed-clad UKIP man on the EU, compared to 20 percent for Cameron.

In the Commons on Thursday, Cameron was asked if the UK should listen to its allies on the EU or a brace of “fascists” in Vladimir Putin and Nigel Farage.

The MP asking the question pronounced Farage as “Farridge,” to which Cameron said: “I'm glad he takes the English pronunciation of Farage rather than the poncey foreign-sounding one he seems to prefer.

EU-nomics

From ad hominem to economics, eight influential economists published a report backing Brexit on Thursday on the grounds that separation would unleash the power of the British service sector.

Speaking on behalf of the group Patrick Minford, former advisor to Margaret Thatcher, told the BBC that “walking away from the EU, not negotiating a new agreement with the EU while getting rid of EU trade barriers will bring about 4 percent of GDP gain to the economy.

He predicted “consumer prices will fall about 8 percent, and our hugely competitive services sector will take the place of diminishing manufacturing output.

A spokesperson for Britain Stronger In Europe scoffed at the figures, telling the BBC that Brexit was the “worst possible alternative to EU membership” and would see “households £5,200 worse off and a public spending black hole of £45 billion.

Strange bedfellows

The current debate over Brexit has made strange allies of some groups while threatening to exclude others altogether.

Cameron took to the stage alongside former Trades Union Congress (TUC) boss Brendan Barber for a speech at Cardiff’s Caterpillar plant on Thursday.

Despite the PM’s reputation as a union-breaker, Cameron and Barber acknowledged that the “special circumstances” of the referendum had led to the “rules of conventional politics” being cast off – at least temporarily.

Expat rage

Up to 70,000 British expats, however, have been barred from voting at all after Lord Justice Lloyd Jones ruled that their right to free movement was not breached by the EU referendum bill.

The case was brought by, among others, Italy-based British World War II veteran Harry Shindler, who argued that they were being illegally denied a vote for having lived in Europe for over 15 years.