The head of California's most prominent separatist group has said Nigel Farage and Arron Banks aren't welcome to join the state's independence push - and, if they try, they will face stern resistance.
Louis Marinelli, head of 'Calexit' campaign group Yes California, spoke to talkRADIO after reports that Farage and Banks are backing a plan to split California in two, creating a new state loyal to the Republican party and their US ally, Donald Trump.
Marinelli spoke to talkRADIO from Russia, where he is currently working as a teacher. He told us that he is collecting signatories in the hope of forcing a vote next year to establish an independence referendum. If the separatists were to win the vote, Marinelli says, the referendum would take place in 2019.
Marinelli believes the Farage-Banks plan, which would separate California into two states, isn't actually independence at all, and does not chime with his drive for complete autonomy.
He told us: "We don’t want his branding of independence. He’s not looking for independence, he’s looking to create two states out of one.
"We’re calling it a 'Calsplit', not a 'Calexit.' We’re about one California for all California."
The Yes California campaign website espouses a number of left-wing ideas for their would-be independent state, including a reduction in military spending, a commitment to state-funded healthcare and a drive to reduce California's environmental footprint.
Marinelli believes these ideas do not tally with those espoused by Farage and Banks, adding that he doesn't want foreign politicians getting involved in the independence push, no matter their political orientation.
"I praised his victory in the summer," he told talkRADIO, "not because I agreed with Brexit but because it provided a model for modern, peaceful secession from a larger political entity.
"[But] we have opposite political views and goals and plans for the future. If he’s going to try to meddle in California’s affairs we’re going to resist him."
Marinelli says that, if Farage and Banks did try to get involved in the 'Calexit' campaign, "we would make sure the people of California, who are generally speaking a progressive group of people, would understand who this person is. He’s not only a foreign politician but he’s from the opposite end of the ideological spectrum.
"His politics are directly the opposite of our ideology. His plans, the alignment with Donald Trump, would not be in the interests of California.
"Once the people of California know who he is, we won’t have a difficult time rallying support against him."