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Nigel Farage says Brexit extension would be better than Boris Johnson's deal

Nigel Farage
Photo: Peter Summers/Getty Images

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage told Sky News on Sunday that he'd prefer to extend the Brexit deadline past Oct. 31 in order to hold a general election than see Parliament pass the divorce deal struck by the EU and Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week.

"This is a rotten deal. ... I do understand because of Brexit fatigue and anger in the country the temptation to vote for it. But it is nothing more than Brexit in name only, it will not solve anything. This will not end things."

Why it matters: Farage, who was a key figure in the 2016 referendum on leaving the European Union, is one of the U.K.'s most influential and controversial politicians. He favors a "clean break" Brexit over Johnson's deal, which is similar to the one his predecessor, Theresa May, saw repeatedly rejected in Parliament, with some tweaks around the crucial issue of Northern Ireland.

The big picture: Farage has not yet signaled whether his newly formed Brexit Party would challenge Conservative Party seats in the next election if the U.K. fails to leave the EU on Oct. 31. If Johnson campaigns on the deal he has brought to Parliament, the Brexit Party could cannibalize some of the seats where voters favor a so-called "clean break."

Go deeper: U.K. Parliament thwarts Boris Johnson's Brexit plan