Proclaiming his support for new British PM Theresa May, former UKIP head Nigel Farage explained "she has said ‘Brexit means Brexit’ and I believe her," before announcing plans for his European Referendum Tour during a much at the Republican national convention yesterday. Farage told Politico that he would start a tour of European cities in September to help spread the appetite for referendums on EU membership beyond the UK.
“One of the joys of not continuing as party leader is having more time, so I will be traveling around Europe helping other independence movements, but I won’t be telling them how to vote,” Farage said.
“We should be celebrating a diverse Europe of independent nation states, and if I can do anything to help that, then I will,” he added. “I’m going to go to Athens in September and have a big symposium about alternatives to the euro.”
Introduced to the crowd by Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson as “probably the most articulate person practising politics on any continent,” Farage thanked the internet rather than his rhetoric for the Brexit success.
“The growth of the internet has radically transformed politics. UKIP could never have really gotten off the ground if it wasn’t for the internet and YouTube.”
Farage threw his support behind new Prime Minister Theresa May’s overhaul of the U.K. government, but his support came with a sting in the tail.
“She has said ‘Brexit means Brexit’ and I believe her,” Farage said, adding that Boris Johnson’s appointment has “got to be a good thing.”
Talk of the next country to follow the U.K. toward the EU exit has focused on Denmark and the Netherlands, but, as Politico noted, Farage said he thinks Ireland could provide competition in a race to the EU’s exit door.
“I think there’s a well of Euroskeptic thinking in Ireland that is quite deep,” he said, citing the two referendums in which Ireland has rejected European treaty change. “I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised” if Ireland had its own referendum on leaving the EU, he said.
The outspoken British politician also had some advice for Donald Trump...
While Farage refused to provide a direct endorsement of Donald Trump, he said the Republican candidate is on the right track by focusing on voters who feel left behind by globalization and high migration levels. Trump’s primary campaign data strategist Matt Braynard told POLITICO that “100 percent focus was put on disenfranchised voters.”
According to Farage, in the U.K. “a lot of them had felt so unrepresented they stopped voting. And in the Brexit referendum lots of those little people thought to themselves this is one time our vote can count. It’s a victory for the little people.”
Farage said he believes that Trump’s wealth is irrelevant to his ability to connect with working class voters. “They’ve had enough of being patronized, of being ignored. They want someone to listen to them. It’s irrelevant that he’s rich … They want to feel someone gets it. If you can engage those people and inspire those people, it’s the little people that can change the world.”
Finally, Farage suggested his resignation was more of a sabbatical than a retirement. “If this was not to happen [Brexit], I would find it irresistible to put my shoulder to the wheel again,” he told the cheering audience.