After reports that Nigel Farage is planning to enter the California independence debate, a leading 'Calexit' campaign group has launched its own counter-initiative - with the aim of breaking up England.
Yes California announced its rather cheeky plan just days after it was reported that Farage and his long-time ally, Arron Banks, were planning to campaign for the break-up of California into two states.
The reports, which carried quotes from Banks, suggested the pair want to turn the eastern part of California into a new state, which would be predominantly conservative and thus inclined to vote for their ally, Donald Trump.
The news drew an angry response from Yes California, which advocates a complete break from the United States as opposed to a division of the state, and espouses strongly left-wing views. The group's founder, Louis Marinelli, told talkRADIO earlier this week that Farage was not welcome in California.
Now Marinelli has released a statement, vowing to split England into eastern and western countries.
He says: "English politicians have historically done such a great job at drawing political borders. If we look at many regions in Africa and the Middle East, we can see real world examples of the type of stability the English have established for other peoples around the world.
"That is why the Californian people were just so excited to hear of Nigel Farage’s new campaign to divide us into two by drawing a new border running north and south through our heart as part of his two-state solution for what he sees as our problems.
"It is such a great idea, in fact, that our campaign felt the best way for us to show our appreciation would be to return the favour. That is why the Yes California Independence Campaign, very busy working to make California the independent country it deserves to be, has decided to launch a sister campaign in England with the goal of liberating western Englishmen and women from their eastern counterparts."
A map has emerged purportedly showing Farage and Banks' plan for the division of California. In his talkRADIO interview, Marinelli tore into the plan, suggesting it is completely infeasible and pays no regard to the makeup of California's existing towns and cities.
Alluding to the perceived haphazardness of this map, Marinelli has produced his own map (above), showing England split down the middle with many communities cut in two.
He says: "The North West, West Midlands, and South West regions of England all have a common root – they are all West. The other administrative regions of England, particularly London, the major population center, have too much power. We Californians, westerners ourselves, believe West Englanders want to split off."
Marinelli adds that "the capital of West England is slated to be either Manchester or Binghamton" but he hasn't decided yet.