A senior US official who warned against Britain leaving the EU was paid to make his comments and should not be believed, Nigel Farage has alleged.
The Ukip leader said Michael Froman was part of a “big political club” seeking to artificially bolster the case for Britain remaining in the trade bloc.
Mr Froman, who is the United States Trade Representative, said the UK would face higher transatlantic trade tariffs if it left the EU and
“He’s clearly been paid to say that, hasn’t he? This is the big political club gathering around the Prime Minister who clearly is in desperate trouble with the referendum,” Mr Farage told the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.
“This is laughable – America’s got a free trade deal with Oman, America’s got a free trade deal with Australia. Are you seriously telling me that their oldest and closet global ally with whom they do enormous amounts of business … it’s an attempt to scaremonger by a paid official.”
Asked later on the same programme who had paid Mr Froman to make the comments, Mr Farage said: “The state department, or something.”
The Office of the United States Trade Representative is a US federal government agency responsible for advising the US on trade policy.
Mr Froman has been the US Trade Representative since June 2013.
It is no secret that the United States government wants Britain to remain in the European Union.
US president Barack Obama said in July that the UK’s membership gives the US “greater confidence about the strength of the transatlantic union”.
Last month Chinese president Xi Jinping said Britain had a role to play in the European Union, the strongest suggestion yet that the Chinese government supports continued UK membership.
Britain faces an in-out referendum on the European Union before the end of 2017, as pledged in the Conservative manifesto.
The date for the vote has not been announced, sign some reports that it could be brought forward as early as next year.
The vote was supposed to follow a series of negotiations by David Cameron to change the terms of Britain's membership of the bloc. Downing Street has said the negotiations may not be complete by the time the vote is held, however.
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