Hello, my name is Tim, and I was just asking … I want to know if you can just define the difference between nationalism and fascism, and how we in America can celebrate freedom and independence and being a sovereign state, as you say, without devolving into Germany in the 1940s and becoming a fascist state?
It’s a good question, it’s a key question. So, whenever I’m asked, “Are you a nationalist, Mr. Farage?” I say no. I’m not a nationalist, I’m a nationist. I believe the nation state is the right and the essential building block. The attempt that is made by many on the left to equate nationism, or nationalism with fascism or extremism is clearly false in every single way. And it goes back, it goes right back to what they were thinking about France and Germany in that post 1945 period that I’ve talked about so extensively tonight.
They thought the existence of nation states is what led to nationalism, and is what led to military expansionism, and is what led to war. They actually got it wrong, and here’s the point, it directly links to your question. Provided the nation state is a fully functioning democracy, it will not become fascist, it will not be militarily expansionist. And do you know something, and this is really interesting, there is not one single example of one functioning mature democracy going to war with another functioning democracy.
So, if we want to be people who support peace, we want to be people who support good relations between neighboring countries, we should make sure that nation state democracy is strong, not surrender that democracy up the line to higher super national authorities. I feel very strongly about that, and it’s just outrageous, I mean frankly the real fascism these days, the real intolerance isn’t Matteo Salvini or Donald Trump, it’s those on the left who wish to shout down the other side and indeed on campuses like this, across America and across the whole of the UK, attempt to no platform speakers who’ve got ideas they don’t like. That’s the real modern fascism, the attempt to close down free speech.
Good morning, Brentwood. I’ve been here before, not just to the Sugar Hut, but as a candidate in European elections. Can anybody believe this is the sixth time I’ve stood in European Parliament elections? I genuinely thought this wouldn’t happen again, and it shouldn’t have happened again, should it? Because we voted in a referendum, we then supported political parties in a general election who told us they’d deliver Brexit.
We then saw 500 MPs vote for Article 50, and it was there in law. We were leaving on March the 29th. There was no doubt about it. In fact, our brilliant Prime Minister… It’s all right; she won’t be there long… told us over a hundred times, we were leaving on March the 29th. The Labour Party told us they would honor the result of the referendum. What we have seen is the most extraordinary political stitch up. It’s the only way I can describe it. Our Parliament, our government, are determined not to give us a clean break Brexit.
Now, I spent 25 years campaigning for us to be free of European Union. I didn’t want unelected bureaucrats in Brussels to have the say over how we should live our lives. Having seen the behavior of Tusk and Barnier and Juncker in these negotiations, I think I was right for all that time. Frankly, given their arrogance and their bullying, the sooner we’re free of this the better as far as I’m concerned. But we’re here, and we have an election to fight.
I made a decision towards the end of last year. I thought, “I haven’t spent 25 years fighting against the establishment, fighting for us to be a free, independent country, to be rolled over by a group of dishonest career politicians.” That was where the inspiration came from. I said, “Right, I am going to found the Brexit Party.” Five weeks ago tomorrow, we launched. Within five weeks, we’ve managed to get over 100,000 people in this country to pay £25 to become registered supporters. It’s not a bad effort.
I have to say, we have spoken at a variety of places. We did one meeting in an airport hanger. We’ve done others in theaters. Last night, we were in a carpark in the valleys of Merthyr Tydfil, and today we’re in a nightclub. So, you can’t say we don’t get around a bit because we do. Tonight we’ll be speaking at a hall up in Wolverhampton, and what we’ve found is tremendous energy and enthusiasm.
People really want this, and what they want now is what I want. I got this wrong. I thought if we won the Brexit battle, our politicians would simply have to deliver it. I’ve now learnt that this battle is about far more than Brexit. This battle actually, is about democracy. It’s about whether we are a democratic nation. It’s about whether we have a bond of trust between us and those that govern us. It’s about how the rest of the world looks at us.
Do you know, we used to be an admired country. This Prime Minister and our Parliament have turned us into a laughing stock. So, what we need to do is not just next Thursday send a message back to Westminster, telling them, “We still believe in Brexit. Perhaps even more strongly than we ever did.” What we have to do next Thursday is to begin a process whereby we break the existing two-party system.
These two parties now serve nothing but themselves. They don’t serve the national interest. Parliament does not reflect the will of the people of this country, and what we’re doing is nothing less than we’re launching a peaceful political revolution in British politics. Things have got to change fundamentally. We are utterly determined as a team to do that.
I think we’ve got the most impressive and most diverse range of candidates that any party has ever put up for public office in this country. I’m proud to be leading the team, to be leading the charge. I want us to win next week, but not just to win, but to win big. I want it to give a seismic shock to Westminster, and then to go on to Peterborough on the 6th of June and try and win our first seat in Westminster.
We will keep this campaign going until we get a Parliament that actually keeps faith and keeps its promises with the British people. But we can’t do it on our own. We need some support. We need some helpers. So, let me ask you, the good people of Brentwood, “Are you with us?”
Will you go out there, over the next week, and tell everyone you know to go out next Thursday and vote for the Brexit Party?
And here, in Essex of all places, give them the message, “The only way is Brexit.”
All right. Pretty good. [inaudible 00:05:43]. All right, lead on guys.
She says that separating from the United Kingdom, but staying part of the European Union means that Scotland will be independent. And it is, I think, the most dishonest political discourse I’ve ever seen anywhere in the world. You cannot be independent if you’re governed from the European Court of Justice. You cannot be independent if you’re in the EU’s customs union and single market. You cannot be independent if you’re governed by [French 00:00:46] Barnier and Mr. Juncker you can’t be independent. And I think this myth needs to be exposed. There are maybe as many as 30% of SNP voters that do not want to be part of the European Union. And I would say to those voters even though I’m very much a unionist, but I would say to those voters unless we get Brexit you cannot really have an intelligent debate about Scotland’s future. And actually what you ought to do, folks, in this election, if you’re genuinely a nationalist is desert the SNP, lend your vote to the Brexit Party. Let’s get out of the European Union and then have an honest debate about the future of Scotland.
It has been my great privilege to be back here in Edinburgh today. I notice that the howling mob outside is considerably smaller than it was when I was last here a few years ago. There is a ruling class of politicians and political parties who genuinely believe that they know better, what’s good for us, than we do in our judgments. When they say that we didn’t know what we voted for in the referendum, what they mean is we’re frankly too stupid, too ignorant to have been given that choice in the first place. Can you imagine, three years on, with the referendum not delivered. Can you imagine if in an African country an election had simply been overturned. There would be uproar.
Many of those in the liberal elite would now be having a fit of the vapors. They’d be demanding the United Nations be sent in. And yet it is the arrogance of those elites that now has stopped Brexit from happening. And the reason we do not behave like they do, the reason we would never behave like they do, the reason why I’d never, ever have anybody in the Brexit Party speaking or behaving in that manner is because we believe that those generations that went before us made a massive sacrifice for us to be free of people. We are the party of democracy. We are the party of [inaudible 00:03:48], the party of the nation. Thank you.
o Brussels, back to Brussels again. We’re back and forward there today. Nigel Farage is waiting for us there. Angela Smith says, “No one can say that parliament hasn’t voted to deliver the spirit of the referendum result.” What do you say to that?
Utter nonsense. I mean, look: we voted to leave in a referendum when every leading proponent on both the leave and remain side said the consequence of voting leave was to leave the European Union, the single market, and the customs union. That could not have been clearer.
We then had a general election. Eighty-five percent of people voted for parties saying they would respect the result of the referendum. We then had 500 MPs vote for Article 50 to say we leave on March the 29th, 11:00 p.m. UK time with or without a deal.
What we’ve seen is a country, a leave-voting country that, in many ways, is more resolute in that view than it was back at the time of the referendum, and a remain parliament trying to frustrate it every inch of the way.
Except that quite a lot of Brexiteers are voting against the May deal too, and if the Brexiteers weren’t voting against it, it may actually get through.
The role of parliament is interesting. Stick with us, Nigel Farage, because I just pay a bit … Speaker Bercow has just made a statement almost in response to the Prime Minister’s statement last night. Let’s listen to this, and then I’ll get your reaction.
None of you is a traitor. All of you are doing your best. This should not be, and I’m sure will not prove to be, a matter of any controversy whatsoever.
Never miss an opportunity to insert yourself in the story.
Nigel Farage, “MPs are not traitors.”
Well, I’ve never used that word. Deceitful, dishonest, and many others. I’ve never gone as far as calling people traitors.
Look, we… Not only did those MPs vote for Article 50 under terms which were very, very clear, but we’ve also had a Prime Minister telling us over 100 times, we are leaving on March the 29th. If we do not leave on March the 29th, it is a betrayal of the greatest democratic exercise in the history of this nation.
The problem here, of course, is the Prime Minister because there she is giving her speech to the nation, saying, “I’m on your side,” as if she’s the one pushing Brexit. Andrew, I get tired of hearing commentators talking about Mrs. May’s deal. It is not a deal. It is a treaty, a new legally-binding international treaty. We’re leaving one treaty for another, and the one she wants us to sign up to is even worse than the one we’re just leaving. So let’s just leave with no deal. And believe you me …
So should we just stay in then? [crosstalk 00:03:04]
I mean, if the only option’s worse than the status quo, maybe we should just stay in, and just regard the past three years as it actually never happened.
How’s the march going, Nigel?
Oh, very well indeed, and I must say-
Have you got more than 150 people? How many have you employed to go on your march?
By the way, Anna Soubry, you’re the one that said you respected the result of the referendum, and we are leaving-
I do. That’s why I voted trigger Article 50.
And now you’ve changed your mind.
No, I haven’t.
And isn’t it funny to see that-
It’s funny how you don’t listen. You don’t listen.
Let him finish, and then I’ll come back.
It doesn’t matter. He doesn’t listen anyway.
The People’s Vote campaign, who said they were campaigning for a second referendum, have now today gone all out for revocation of Article 50.
Well, I don’t speak for the People’s Vote campaign-
I guess if there was a measure-
I speak for me, and I speak for my constituents, which you don’t because you keep being failed to get elected into parliament. You are the ultimate member of the political elite-
You really must be-
Now let’s have less of your nonsense-
You’ve had lots of training from Alastair Campbell.
… because I can tell you about the rhetoric of the likes of you Mr. Farage.
New Labour, New Labour lies. Alastair Campbell. Well done.
Alright, okay. Well I’m not a member of New Labour. But I tell you what I am-
You probably should’ve been Labour from the very start.
Can I just say something?
But it’s been fascinating to see the People’s Vote now want a revocation of Article 50. Maybe if there is a vote in parliament to be had next week, why not give MPs the choice, revoke Article 50, or leave with no deal?
Let’s have an intelligent conversation.
That then would be-
Well that’s some interesting choices. That would be called… what do we call it-
A real choice.
… a binary choice.
No, no. Let’s have enough of Mr. Farage’s nonsense, and let’s get into the real world. In the real world, people like me voted to trigger Article 50 to honor the referendum result. I’ve never actually cast a vote that anybody could say was trying to stop Brexit.
I’m tired of these lies, and I’m tired of this rhetoric. I’ll tell you one of the reasons why, is because I’m tired of the abuse and the death threats that many of us receive to the point whereby, actually, Mr. Farage is succeeding in shutting people up.
Dear, oh dear, oh dear.
But the real matter is this. It’s never been the case that parliament, in my view, can stop Brexit. It is only the case that it has to go back to the British people, and they’re entitled to have a say on Brexit, a say on Mrs. May’s deal. He’s right.
That’s where we do agree. It’s not a deal. They’re entitled to have that, and they’re entitled to change their minds.
Alright, let me go back to-
I just think it’s important to get it over with.
Many millions are now changing their minds.
I need to bring Joanna Cherry in in a minute, but before I do, Nigel Farage, I’ll let you respond to that.
Look, you know, it’s perfectly clear, Anna Soubry has broken her promise to her electors. Everything in public she’s said she’s now going against. She wants a second referendum.
That’s not true. That’s a lie.
That campaign that she’s associated with have now, as I say, gone out today, all out, for the revocation of Article 50. If there is to be a parliamentary showdown, let’s have it. [crosstalk 00:05:59]
Right. Let’s go back to your campaign where you call people like me traitors-
Alright, well we’re on this… no, no, no. Anna Soubry, you’ve had. I’m sorry, this-
Prime Minister pulled it, and let it be [crosstalk 00:06:04]
… end up with people like me not being able to go to my home tonight because-
This is not the Anna Soubry hour. Joanna Cherry.
I would’ve thought, as a former Belgian prime minister, you would know that it was Field Marshal Haig in 1914 who saved the Belgian town of Ypres from German domination, who then went on in 1918 to lead Britain in its greatest ever military feat defeating imperial Germany on the western front. Far from mocking Haig, as a Belgian, he should be a great hero to you, but never mind. Maybe that sums up your anti-British-ness.
Sticking with Belgium, I thought what happened at the summit last week was a national humiliation, an impasse, because we have, in Mrs. May, a prime minister who hasn’t got the courage, who hasn’t got the vision to carry out her many repeated promises, namely, to take us out of the European Union this Friday, March the 29th. It is not happening.
We’re witnessing a slow motion betrayal, perhaps the greatest betrayal of any democratic vote in the history of our nation. The reason, of course, is this withdrawal treaty.
I’ll go back to First World War. We won the war, but we had the Treaty of Versailles, and this treaty is the modern day equivalent. We have a reparations bill of 39 billion pounds we have to pay for nothing in return. We have the annexation of a part of our national territory in the shape of Northern Ireland. This treaty is a bad piece. It is unacceptable. It is not Brexit, and it will not pass.
Now, I know that you’re all getting terribly excited about what the House of Commons may do over the course of the next week. We know what they’ll do. They’ll come back with some form of agreement around a customs union and the continued free movement of people. Even if they do that, the one thing that’s inevitable is that we’re headed for an Article 50 extension. I think you should ask yourselves, do you really want that?
Do you really want Brexit to utterly dominate the next couple of years of your business, to the exclusion of your many other ambitions? Do you really want the United Kingdom to contest the European elections, to send back a very large number of leave MEPs, just at a time when you’re fighting populism, as you see it, across the continent? Do you really want me back in this place?
Well, there we are.
And all for what? Because Brexit is going to happen anyway. Mr. Tusk, if you think the British people have changed their minds on Brexit, you, sir, are deluded because actually what we now see are opinion poll leads of 15, and in some cases nearly 20%, in favor of leaving. If we had another referendum, leave would win it by a bigger margin. So why put yourselves through years of agony?
I pay great tribute to Mr. Juncker, to Mr. Barnier, to the European Commission. You have prepared your no-deal scenario. It is highly professional. It shows that, actually, leaving with no deal is not going to cause huge disruption. It even suggests that, with no deal, there’s no need for a visible border in Ireland.
So I would say to you, do all of you national leaders reject the British extension beyond the 12th of April? Get Britain out, and then we can all just get on with the rest of our lives.
Good evening from Westminster where the Prime Minister has told Conservative MPs that she will leave Downing Street if they finally back her Brexit agreement. Her statement prompted Boris Johnson and others who’ve been extremely critical of the deal to say they will now come on board. The Prime Minister’s deal could be brought back to the Commons by the end of this week.
But tonight, Mrs. May’s parliamentary partners, the Democratic Unionists in Northern Ireland, said that they still could not support the deal. During the evening, the House of Commons has been exploring its own preferred options on Brexit, but has failed to find a majority on any of them.
First tonight, our political editor, Laura Kuenssberg reports on Mrs. May’s offer.
5:00: hardly a Tory MP to be seen on the green benches, waiting for their leader, not knowing if she was ready to say she’d leave the black door for a final time.
Hundreds of her MPs crammed into a room upstairs.
It was hot and steamy in there. There was quite a lot of emotion.
There was no whooping and hollering. No one takes any great pleasure in what’s happened.
She made a really sad, but highly-charged, emotional speech.
So packed, cabinet ministers couldn’t even get inside.
I just managed to squeeze into a very crowded committee room, and get in and saw her make the announcement. It was actually a very moving statement. She was very clearly making the case that, “Look, if this is what it takes to get the deal over the line”… which she believes, rightly in my view, that is in the national interest… “then I will go once Brexit is done.”
It’s a sacrifice Number 10 hopes that has a purpose to reverse the fierce Brexiteer opposition to the compromise Theresa May worked out with the European Union so they can have another vote, another try to get it through in the next 48 hours.
We can guarantee delivering on Brexit if, this week, he and others in this house support the deal.
The Prime Minister is failing to deliver Brexit because she can’t build a consensus, is unable to compromise, and unable to reunite the country. She is unable to resolve the central issues facing Britain today, and she is, frankly, unable to govern.
Forget Prime Minister’s questions, though.
Thank you. It’s been amazing.
The question tonight is how many Tory opponents of the deal can Theresa May’s promise shift?
Do you wish you had changed your mind sooner, Mr. Rees-Mogg?
Some big name Brexiteers were already on the move.
I preferred leaving without a deal, but once that had gone, as I say, I was willing to back Mrs. May’s deal. She has now said that, once the deal has gone through, if it does go through, then she will stand down, which I think shows her inner nobility.
I am very worried that we might lose Brexit. I have campaigned for Brexit, and I think the alternatives are looking increasingly unattractive. I am encouraged that she has accepted that we should have a new leader for that second stage when it comes. So yes, I think I would now vote for the agreement.
But there’s a hard core, enough, perhaps, to block her still.
She is not… we universally agree… the best prime minister we’ve had and not the right person for stage two. The reason I’m not happy is that the deal… even part one, which she’s absolutely adamant that gets signed before she goes… takes us back into Europe, not out of Europe.
What price for DUP support?
And it’s almost impossible to imagine this deal getting over the line without the Prime Minister’s allies she invited into Number 10 back in the summer of 2017. The Northern Irish Unionists are meant to keep the government afloat. Not budging. Not this time.
The backstop in that withdrawal agreement makes it impossible for us to sign up to the withdrawal agreement, and you know what? I regret that because we wanted to get a deal: a deal that worked for the whole of the United Kingdom, a deal that worked for Northern Ireland. But now we’re in a situation where we cannot sign up to the withdrawal agreement, and it’s all because the Prime Minister decided to go for that backstop.
The Prime Minister told her MPs tonight, just up there, she’s ready to pay the highest price, to give up office early, in a grand bargain for support to pass her Brexit deal. Without support from her Northern Irish allies, it may prove to be another failure. The dilemma may be answered, not by Theresa May, but by parliament itself.
Parliament’s warming up to make the decisions, tonight voting itself on an alphabet of different versions of Brexit, whether for a closer relationship with the EU than the Prime Minister plans, or even to leave without a deal. But even having said she’d quit, the Prime Minister walked in to hear “no” to option after option.
So the noes have it.
No majority for anything at all. Whether it is, in the end, the Prime Minister’s deal or a variation cooked up by MPs, Brexit has steeped bitterness in yet another generation of Conservative MPs.
I think it’s very strange for people who have the most heartfelt objections to this deal and all areas of principle, but someone says they’ll fall on their sword, and, “Oh, that’s okay then.”
You think it might be about the future leadership of your party?
I couldn’t imagine. Imagine, imagine.
I’ll tell you what, it might be for some of them, but those people who’ve played the games they’ve been playing won’t be getting my support, and I’ll be doing everything I can to make sure those that have put their leadership ambitions ahead of the interest of the country, are the people who do least well when any ballot comes.
The Prime Minister may hope her bargain could bring new order, but we can’t know that yet. What’s certain is Theresa May has become another Tory leader whose time in office was pulled apart by anguish over Europe.
Well, lots of significant developments to talk about today. We’ll talk to our Europe editor, Katya Adler, in Brussels in a moment, but first let’s have more from Laura who’s with me at Westminster. Let’s talk about the Prime Minister’s gesture offer, whatever you want to call it. Is that going to do the trick in terms of her deal?
Not as things stand, Huw, particularly because the DUP, her Northern Irish allies, who she signed up with all those months ago in the wake of the general election, are not yet ready to come on board. They’ve been crystal clear about that. Now, never say never. It’s not impossible that, in the next 48 hours or in the coming weeks or even in the coming months, in the end they might come around to a version of Theresa May’s deal.
But as things stand, it seems that this big gesture, the biggest weapon in any prime minister’s armory, seems to have fired a dud. That said, things have been so fluid here tonight, so fluid today, and so fluid, really, for a number of days, I wouldn’t rule out anything happening that we, at the moment, can predict. In the last half hour, parliament has showed itself still unable to agree on any better option.
So, surprising that there wasn’t a majority for anything tonight, but the message that might send to some of the people who are thinking about backing the Prime Minister but are reluctant to do so, is perhaps that might be the only thing they would be able to get on board with. But if I were Number 10, and I’d been thinking this could be a genius last roll of the dice, so far it’s a gamble that is not certain to pay off at all.
We’ll talk about the parliamentary votes just in a short while, Laura. Thanks very much. I want to go to Brussels and bring in Katya. Katya, what’s the perspective there in Brussels on, not just on Mrs. May’s gesture or offer, but also on the parliamentary votes that have just been announced in the past hour or so?
Well look, Hugh, I think, like in the UK, the EU finds itself in a kind of agonizing holding pattern now, waiting for something definitive to happen in Westminster. All this waiting, the uncertainty, affecting European businesses and European citizens, the EU finds all of this really frustrating.
What I found was, there was a real contrast in moods tonight between the EU and the UK. In Westminster, there was a certain buzz, a dynamism, MPs trying to do their bit to affect the direction of Brexit, whereas here in Brussels, throughout the evening, the mood has been really dark. EU leaders still look at the divisions in parliament and in government, and they fear that the creeping inevitability of a no-deal Brexit.
Of course, they’d be thrilled if that wasn’t the case, but it would also be wrong to listen to the European Council President, Donald Tusk, earlier today. He spoke in support of those in the UK who want to cancel Brexit or to have another vote, and to say that EU leaders still really are hoping for the UK to change its mind.
The fact is that it’s nearly been three years now since the EU referendum. The EU has got used to the idea of Brexit. EU leaders are convinced that Brexit is going to be very damaging for the UK, at least in the short to medium term. So their focus now is not on the UK. It’s on stopping that presumed damage from spreading. The word often used here is infecting the rest of the European Union.
Katya, many thanks again. Katya Adler there for us in Brussels, and we’ll be joined by Laura again in a short while.
Well, as Laura was saying, Mrs. May clearly hoping that her promise to leave office before the next stage of the Brexit negotiations will be enough to tempt a sufficient number of MPs to back her withdrawal agreement. What is the detail of that plan, which has already been rejected by MPs on two occasions, and how certain is it, indeed, that she will get that necessary support? This report from our Deputy Political Editor, John Pienaar, does contain some flashing images.
Hacking down leaders over Europe has become a habit for the Conservatives, but that’s no consolation to Theresa May. Her remaining wish, to be the PM who delivers Brexit, and there’s no guarantee of even that.
The ayes to the right, 202. The noes to the left, 432.
Twice now, Mrs. May’s deal has been defeated, and by crushing margins. Could she succeed at the third time of asking? Not easy. Not even she claims to be an enthusiast for what became the product of many compromises.`
But you’re known, I suppose, as Mr. Brexit, you know.
Well that’s what Donald Trump calls me, so yeah.
Is it something you wear with honor?
Oh, absolutely. I mean, look, I think I’ve managed, and albeit took me over 20 years of hard work, I think I’ve managed to change the whole political debate in this country by saying something that many people privately thought but no one dared speak. And so, yeah, I’ve changed political debate in this country, but, you know, I’m now a frustrated man because it’s not being delivered.
When you look at the state of U.K. politics now and the utter paralysis it’s in, are you to blame for the U.K. being in this situation?
I said, in 2012, that I was going to cause an earthquake in British politics, and we’ve still got the aftershocks of that initial earthquake and I think there’s a strong possibility now that the two party system that for 100 years has dominated British politics is about to fall apart. We’re about to get new electoral choices in this country. Is change a bad thing? No, I think change could be a very good thing.
Do you believe that during the referendum you explained the situation properly to voters?
Absolutely. Absolutely. I said we’re going to be independent, we’re going to be free. I can’t guarantee what deals come in the future which is why I coined the phrase, no deal is better than a bad deal. But, you know, what price freedom? What price democracy? What price being an independent, self-governing nation? That is what Brexit is all about.
But you campaigned for leave, you didn’t have a plan on what the country should do once it did leave.
I had absolutely a plan. I said as I had said for 25 years, we should negotiate a simple free trade agreement. I couldn’t have been clearer. I wanted to have a simple trade deal, but not membership of any political club.
Once the leave voters had won the referendum, why did you quit as leader of UKIP?
Well, because we’d won and getting out of a top’s always a good thing in life. It’s good advice to everybody. There’s an old saying that all political careers end in failure. I thought well I’ll try and make sure mine doesn’t end in failure, but I couldn’t see what more I could do, frankly, at that moment in time.
You’re saying voters have every right to feel betrayed by this prolonged process of trying to achieve Brexit.
Would the voters behind UKIP not feel betrayed after you left them after persuading them to vote leave?
Well they had, they’d had 25 years of my life. I’d ruined my life to build a political party. I’d given them everything for 25 years.
So that’s your excuse for leaving UKIP? Because you’ve had enough.
It’s not an excuse. I’d let a party from in the fringe of the fringe to winning a national election to forcing a referendum, to helping to win it. I couldn’t see at that moment in time what more there was to do.
But this is the turning point in U.K. politics that you’ve identified yourself as history making moment in U.K. politics and you left.
And I was excluded from the next stage of the process. There wasn’t any more I could do.
But couldn’t you agitate for change more as a powerful leader of UKIP?
Well, where was I to go on? Was I to give it 50 years or 60 years or 70? Here we are three years on and it hasn’t happened, which is why I’m now going to have to reenter the political fray. I’d rather not have to, but I’m going to do it.
So you’ve had enough of politics but you have reentered politics.
I’ve got no choice. I’ve got no choice. I can’t give something 25 years of my life and watch our career politicians roll it over and just stand aside. So now I’m coming back. It is 90% likely that we will fight the European elections again in this country on May the 23rd. Yeah. I’ll be in that battle.
It sounds like somewhat of a contradiction to me.
Doesn’t it? Of course it does, but life is full of all sorts of strange ironies. I would much rather not have to do this, but I’m going to do it, and we will win again.
Hello, I’m Sarah Abo. Thanks for watching. To keep up with the latest from 60 Minutes Australia, make sure you subscribe to our channel. You can also download the 9Now app for full episodes and other exclusive 60 Minutes content.
There now follows a Party Political Golf Broadcast on behalf of Paddy Power.
I’m Nigel Farage, and I love Europe. No, I really do. The wine, the food, the excellent transport systems, the clogs, and the greatest golfers in the world. The Ryder cup is upon us, and here are my reasons why you, me, everybody should get behind Team Europe. Now, watch this drive.
Reason number one? Easy. Rory McIlroy, lovely Rory. And what’s the best the USA have got to offer? Jim Furyk, the man whose swing has been described as a one armed golfer using an ax to kill a snake inside a telephone booth.
The last time the USA won here was back in 1993, when 2 Unlimited were number one. And in the words of 2 Unlimited, “There’s no, no, no, no limit to the talent of this young European team.”
The names, Hunter, Bubba, Webb. They’re not names, they’re just noises. Give me noble, heroic names any day, like Henrik, Sergio, or Justin.
There’s no Tiger Woods, he’s hurt his back. How did you do that, Tiger? Carrying the hopes and dreams of a nation on your shoulders? To quote the great lyricist and golf fanatic Justin Timberlake, “Cry me a river America,” and preferably a great European river, like the Rhine, or the Ouse.
We will fight them on the fairways. We will fight them in the bunkers. We will fight them all the way to the 18th green. This is our Ryder Cup, and we’re not going to give it away. And certainly not to some flag waving fist pumping, “Get in the hole”, shouting Americans. So, come on you lot, swing for Europe. Your continent needs you.
Well, I have tried for 20 years to do myself out of this job, and I thought I had succeeded. Little did I realize what the UK political class would do. So, the morning message is I’m coming back. In fact, lots and lots of us are coming back because Mr. Verhofstadt is right. Yes, I said that. First time ever. You’re quite right. The Brexit Party will sweep the board in these elections, and there is only one way it can be stopped. And that is if the governing party of Mrs. May and the opposition of Mr. Corbyn come together, and agree to a permanent customs union, and indeed, effectively, membership of the single market. If that happens, the Brexit Party won’t win the European elections, but it will win the general election because the betrayal will be so complete and utter. So, I don’t believe it’s going to happen.
And as 15 years as the joint or sole president of a group, I have been to dozens of European summits and, again and again, I’ve seen conflict between nation states and the European institutions, whether it was the Austrians or the Irish or the Hungarians or, indeed, the Greeks. And there is one golden rule, always, and that is that Brussels wins. The power and might of Brussels always wins. But I’ve never been to a European summit quite like last week, where for the second time in two weeks, a British prime minister comes along and begs … begs for an extension to Article 50.
It was humiliating, not just to be in Brussels, but humiliating for the standing of our country around the world. You know, the Commonwealth, America, many of these countries that actually like us, still believe that we’re a great nation, and yet we have sunk to this. A prime minister that promised us we’d leave on the 29th of March, that then said we might leave on the 12th of April, that we definitely leave on the 30th of June, and now we’re being told we’ll leave on the 31st of October. Halloween trick or treaty, make your minds up. And if it’s your last day, Mr. Juncker, well I hope that we leave together on that day. But, actually, if it’s left to this appalling prime minister, if it’s left to our politicians in Parliament, I know that it’s not going to happen.
In the past, I know I’ve always criticized the power without accountability of senior bureaucrats in Brussels but, for once, I have to say that this mess is not your fault. Your position has been clear from the start. The mess is the fault of British politics, of two parties who both promised us in their manifestos, they would deliver Brexit, who signed up to Article 50, which expressly said we would leave, with or without a deal. That is where the betrayal is.
And I do share with members great sadness of that appalling tragedy of the Notre Dame being burnt down yesterday. Something very beautiful has been lost. But something very vital is being lost in the United Kingdom, and I thought the deaths column of the Times newspaper yesterday summed it up rather well. UK Democracy, on the 29th of March, 2019, page 312. “It was with sad regret that democracy died quietly in her sleep at 11:00 PM on March the 29th, 2019. The cause of death was foul play, and the culprits have yet to be brought to justice. Democracy campaigned for the rule of law, human rights, and always, always favored the majority in her decisions. She will be sorely missed. God have mercy on our soul.”
What is happening in British politics beginning on May the 23rd isn’t now just about Brexit, isn’t now just about us leaving the European Union. It’s about what kind of country we are. We have the oldest, longest-serving, continuous parliament in the world, the mother of parliaments. We have fought and given much for that principle of nation-state democracy, not just for us, but for our friends in Europe too.
I sense among some in my country, disillusionment. But in others, I sense a burning anger. Not one to put on a yellow vest and protest, but one that says we need a peaceful political revolution in our country. We need to sweep away the two-party system that has let us down so badly. And I think you’re all going to be very, very surprised by what happens on May the 23rd. It will be a new future for British democracy and, goodness me, it’s needed.
Hi, Iliana Oscar. I’m with the Washington Ireland Program. Sorry, it’s a bit of a selfish question, but you advocate that the UK should leave the EU. Northern Ireland currently and tax reasons are about 11 billion a year, yet they take about 23 billion from the UK purse. They’ve also had an awful lot of money recently from the European Peace Fund. I was wondering if you’ve considered the implications for Northern Ireland leaving the EU.
Oh money, isn’t it great? Wonderful, isn’t it? I tell you what. You give me 20 quid, and I’ll give you 10 quid back. You then tell the room how much better off you are, because that’s effectively what’s happening.
We as a nation, put £55 million a day into the European Union. Coincidentally, haven’t had their account signed off, but the order is for 18 years in a row, but nevermind. And we get about half of that money back. Most of that money comes back to pay people to own land. And indeed, as Roger will tell you, to put those wonderful wind turbines on them. They’re terrific wind turbines, they really work well. Roger will explain it all later, I’m sure. So we get about half of our money back.
We’re a massive net contributor to this union in terms of pure cash, but if you actually look up a cost to small business, of an excessive rule book … Whether it’s environmental or health and safety, or employment legislation … When you actually quantify what the costs are, they are massive.
What the EU are very good at doing, they’re good at trying to buy people off with their own money. I’ve often said that Stalin used to kill his opponents, and what the European Union do, is to bribe their opponents. And so we get people like Neil Kinnock, who was the last Prime Ministerial contender to advocate in the ’80s we should not be part of this political project. And they make him European Commissioner for ten years, and give him a great big salary.
As far as Northern Ireland’s concerned, they tried their very best in Brussels to show how wonderful they are by supporting various peace initiatives. Despite all of that, actually Northern Ireland is probably the most Euro skeptic place in the world. Because not only are there the unionists, the DUP in particular, very, very strongly against European Union, but actually, unlike the Scottish nationalists, Sinn Féin do have some … I’m not being nice about Sinn Féin, by the way … But Sinn Féin do have som sincerity in that they believe that the Ireland of Ireland should be independent. So I’m pretty confident come the referendum, that Northern Ireland will be strongly in the no camp. Our problem in winning this referendum, is going to be London and Greater London, and the number of people that work for the big banks that we’ve discussed in this room today. Those that are doing very nicely out of the status quo, will be our problem.
Right here in the middle.
How are we doing on time?
We’re good. Now, this needs to be … We’ve got a few more questions.
I’ll wrap it through.
But in order to keep our time, we’ve got just a few minutes left. So let’s try to make these questions tight, and get two more, then we’ll call the time.
Yes, I’m Russell King. Bobby Jindal recently made a public statement about the so-called no-go zones in British cities and European cities. The British Prime Minister and Mayor of London disagreed with them.
To the best of my understanding, it’s in Muslim areas maybe, where they might have Sharia law. You don’t have the entire national law there. There are hate speech laws I believe, in Britain and Sweden that sort of means you cannot make even an innocuous statement about some immigrant groups. Can you discuss the hate speech laws and the no-go zones, whether or not they exist or not?
Yeah, it’s very easy. I just send you about 20 front pages from The Times newspaper over the last two years, condemning me for some sort of form of appalling bigotry. I mean, you’re right. We can’t tell the truth anymore. With the Romanian migration that we’ve seen into Britain, a lot of it organized and run by organized criminal gangs. So we now have a situation where over 90% of ATM crime in London, is committed by Romanian gangs. And yet if I say that, I’m accused of being racist. It really is quite difficult.
Does Britain have no-go zones? I suspect that France has a much bigger problem with this than Britain. I think there were quite large parts of the urban areas in big French cities, that are really seriously problematic. I don’t think Britain has no-go zones as such. But have we pursued a policy of turning a blind eye, because it’s easier to do so? Well let me just give you one very quick, I promise, example.
In a medium sized northern town called Rotherham, population about probably 350,000 people. We have just uncovered in the last few months, the grooming and sexual abuse of 1,400 girls. 1,400 girls in a town of that size, have been serially sexually abused and raped. And over 95% of the perpetrators have come from one specific religious and ethnic group. And yet, because they were seen to be Pakistani Muslim men, clearly what has happened, is the police and the local authorities thought it better to allow this kind of thing to continue rather than to confront it and to be thought to be racist. It really goes back if you like, to what I was trying to say earlier. We have to start having more self confidence in who we are and what our values are, and asserting them.
Right here in the front row, and then the young man in the green shirt will be your last question.
Hi, Mr. Farage. Thanks very much for coming. I’m Michael Shaw. I’m from Northern Ireland.
I guessed that.
There’s a lot of it about, isn’t there?
I can’t wait to join a compendium to leave the European Union.
Yay, give a round of applause.
I was absolutely disgusted to see the establishment rounding you and collude to ensure that you didn’t get into Parliament. Is it possible that we’re just going to see more collusion between the established parties and their corporate buddies to ensure there’s not a fair fight in the referendum?
This is, this is the biggest political decision that we faced for many, many decades. This is it. This is the big one. And I talked earlier about people who work for the big guy. You are going to see the most massive coming together of the vested interests whose lives work as part of this corporatist project.
Whether they’re big landowners who now can bring in labor from Lithuania at a very, very low cost, whether it’s the big banks who benefited from it … We are going to see a coming together. Probably the levels of nastiness and unpleasantness that I’ve come up against so far, will be seen as nothing yet compared to what’s going to come over the next 12 or 18 months, depending exactly when the date is.
So, we’ve got the modern day battle of Britain on our hands, and it will be nice … I know you’re from Northern Ireland, and I look forward to seeing you on the campaign trail I hope. But it will be nice if as a result of this visit of a group of us from the European Parliament … It would be nice if we started to hear one or two American voices actually speaking up and saying that an independent Britain would be good for America in the world to counteract Obama and the State Department. That might just help us win this referendum.
Okay. Young man in the green shirt, he’ll be our final question.
And then you can make any wrap up comments.
Hello, Mr. Farage. My name is Alex, and I have to questions that are semi related. Being the leader of an insurgent political force that more relates to the right wing, how do you view the current state of the modern Republican Party, and the divide between the more establishment/anti-establishment groups?
And also, I had the pleasure of seeing you speak at CPAC this year. Do you know if you’ll be invited next year, or if you’ll be doing any more speaking events in the states?
Generally in life I find, that when I’ve been invited somewhere once, I never get invited back. So I say, we’ll just have to see on that one.
The reason, the reason that UKIP in the end, won the European elections and managed to hold up very respectably in the general election despite this big surge and this big fear of that ghastly woman from north of Hadrian’s Wall, whose party is both Nationalist and Socialist … I couldn’t resist it. The reason is … Look, I was before getting involved in politics, I was a member of the Conservative Party. Why was I a member of the Conservative Party? I thought Mrs. Thatcher was a very necessary thing when she came and brought in the reforms that modernized Britain, painful though some of them were. You know? So I would have considered myself traditionally, to be on the center right of British politics.
What I’ve learnt through UKIP, is there are some issues that are so fundamentally important, that the old labels of left and right become completely irrelevant. And by talking about sensible immigration controls, and the shape of our communities, and the wage levels of those in skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled jobs … What we’ve done is to reach out across the political spectrum, and in fact in many ways, to bridge the class divide that exists in British politics. I’m very proud of the fact that we’ve done that.
I can’t really, and I shouldn’t really comment much on the Republican Party, but my observation would be that the Republican Party doesn’t seem to pick on those issues these days, but cross that bridge in that same way. Ronnie Reagan, when he was … He was a pretty remarkable fellow, it seemed to me. What Ronnie Reagan did, was to go for big issues that reached across the left/right divide, and you had the phenomenon of the Reagan Democrats. No Conservative Party in the western world can ever win a majority if they haven’t got significant blue collar support, and that is what I think the Republican Party needs to do, and I think it failed to do that at the last election in quite a big way.
We’ve run overtime.
Hi, Mr. Farage. My name is Jamie Kirchick. I’m a fellow with the Foreign Policy Initiative, here in Washington. I have two somewhat related questions.
You mentioned two crises, but one that seems to missing is Ukraine. It seems to be a pretty big crisis, probably maybe even I would in my opinion, more importantly mentioned. I’m curious to what your view on that is. British policy should be EU policy and whatnot.
Somewhat related, I agree with you on the importance of the special relationship with Great Britain. And one of the reasons I’m worried about Brexit, is without Britain and the EU, we will lose a voice for free markets, free trade, Atlanticism, stronger defence. The EU’s not going away, and I think it’s better that we have Britain in it. This is from an American perspective, and perhaps that’s selfish, but I think it’s better that we have Britain in it, than without. So how would you allay those concerns? Thank you.
Okay. Point number one. I think what happened in the Ukraine was absolutely appalling. Moronic, actually. What happened was a democratically elected leader of the Ukraine was brought down by a street staged coup d’état, by people waving European Union flags.
I think the foreign policy that we pursued though NATO, which does need serious reform as an organization as well, but the model’s okay. The foreign policy that we pursued, is we’ve said we want the Ukraine to join NATO. Politically, the message that the European Union’s been pushing, and indeed the biggest cheerleader of all for this, has been David Cameron, is we want the Ukraine to join our political union.
Well, all of those frankly, are very provocative acts on Russia and Putin. Whatever we think of them … And I think the Ukraine crisis is something that we have provoked. All right? Now when I make that argument, it doesn’t mean that Putin’s my best mate or that I want him to be, and I can see why people living in the Baltic states are genuinely concerned about Putin. But can I say this? This will probably shock you. But, we’re all told that Putin’s a baddie, and that Assad’s a baddie. All right? These are the really bad guys in the world.
Let me put this point to you, that actually, when it comes to the biggest threat that we face, which is violent extreme Islamism, on that great battle, which may well over the next couple of decades, be the next big terror that we actually have to confront on those issues, both of those men are on our side. So I do think when it comes to some of this big foreign policy stuff, we need to start thinking. Not about what’s good, or the right thing to do for the next six months, but where we should be positioning ourselves for the next decade and more.
Second point. Britain inside the European Union has lots of influence, and therefore that’s good for America, because we will convince the EU to be free trade, Atlanticists. I’m sorry, we’ve been there now for 35 years, and we haven’t succeeded. One of the most recent statistics over the course of the last five years, on 65 occasions of which the British government at the final meeting of the counsel … When the final rubber stamp is going on legislation … For the last 65 occasions where the British representative said, “Excuse me, we’re not very happy with this. Can we have a rethink?” I think we’ve got 90% record now, of losing. So when we’ve really raised an issue, we’ve lost 90% of the time. We are not going. Britain has about an eight percent share of the vote and the say within the EU.
The concept of national vetoes is one that’s been watered down and virtually eradicated. If anybody in Washington thinks that somehow Britain is going to have a reforming influence on the European Union, just look at the way they’ve talked to and treated Greece over the course of the last few days, and you’ll realize these people are obsessed with their project in exactly the same way that the Soviets were obsessed with their Communist project. The Soviets used to convince themselves that the reason Communism wasn’t working, is there wasn’t enough of it, and if you have more Communism, it might succeed. And that’s exactly the same with the European Union.
Okay, can we bring a mic down here to the front row?
He asked two questions, that was cheating.
Pardon me. Hi, Carl Golovan. I’ve heard it said that you believe gold is actually money, and not credit borrowed into existence at usury, which is the foundation of most central banking.
I just wanted to comment that America was founded as a constitutional republic, based in part on the writings of Roger Sherman, who put in our Constitution … No state shall make anything but gold and silver coin, a tender in payment of debt. He wrote in caveat against injustice in 1752, subtitled on the evils of a fluctuating medium of exchange … How if there are multiple systems of paper money, that they can be differentially inflated in order to steal wealth, one from the other. It seems to really be what’s happening between Germany and Greece. All of that pointing towards what the Bretton Woods agreements were supposed to be, where gold was the anchor of honesty in international trade.
What do you think about Iceland as a geopolitical focal point for a new Bretton Woods, where each nation could bring some gold and hold each other accountable to not over inflating our currencies and dumping them into each other’s economies?
I get the point about the way governments are able to inflate currencies. And I certainly get the point about the way that governments, even my government back in Britain, through quantitative easing and all sorts of extraordinary tricks, have behaved over the last few years.
The simplistic argument that we should return to the gold standard, is not one I buy. The trouble with going to the gold standard, is a fixed system of currency pegs based on gold. If you think about it, is actually rather like a slightly bigger version, an even more rigid version, of being in the Euro. It doesn’t give countries that are having good times or bad times, the ability for their currency to fluctuate. I’m not sold on the idea of returning to the gold standard, though I am sold on the idea that as electorates, we’re going to have to start making our governments rather more accountable for the sheer level of debt they’re piling up. But it’s one of the very difficult things to discuss.
One of the narratives that we got from Cameron and from Osborne the Chancellor in the general election, is vote Conservative, because we have been prudent. We’ve been the prudent government. And actually, in the space of five years, they’ve doubled our national debt. They increased our debt level in five years, more than the Labour Party managed to do in 13 years. It’s quite some achievement really, when you think about it, isn’t it? So yes, I do want governments to be more responsible, but I don’t buy a return to the gold standard.
Okay, let’s go back over here. I see lots of hands. The gentleman in the back row, and then we’ll do you next.
Hi Nigel. As a British Conservative, what makes it tough to support what you’re saying, or to believe in what you are trying to do?
You’re very vague about if Britain leaves the European Union, what it’s going to do next. So trade agreements and being more friendly with the United States, basically isn’t enough. Britain is an intellectually much bigger country than that, and needs to form alliances around the world on trade, military, government affairs. What are the principles that we should use to do that?
Is it Parliamentary democracy? Is it just English speaking? Is it military? We need to really investigate a lot more before making this jump. Can you say what to do next?
Okay, well William Dartmouth is going to speak very specifically on trade, and how potentially our trade situation is better not being tied in with this old-fashioned concept of a Customs Union.
What was interesting, was to hear you say about what a big country we are. Which is very interesting, because the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg … Even the Prime Minister are on record as saying they don’t think Britain is big enough and good enough, and strong enough to negotiate our own trade deals on the world stage.
When I mentioned Iceland earlier, if a country’s a third of a million, can negotiate a trade deal with China, I’m damn certain we can. I look at Switzerland, who’ve got more genuine FTAs around the world, than we’ve got as EU members.
You’re right about one thing. One thing that the No Campaign has to do in the run up to this referendum, is to come up with some quite definitive answers on these things. My current position is quite simple. If the Swiss can get a deal that suits them, and the Norwegians can get a deal that suits them, and if Mexico can have exactly the same terms of trade with Europe that we’ve got at the moment but without being members and without paying one percent of our GDP as a membership fee, I’m sure that we as now the Euro Zone’s biggest export market in the world, can get our own bespoke deal with the EU.
Do you know something? If you do business with countries that speak the same language as you, and if you do business with countries that have Common Law and countries that have recognizable contract law, you actually find there are huge trade advantages to wiping away tariffs and barriers with those countries. And I would see the first area for the UK to prosper with new FDAs, would indeed yes, be with the English speaking parts of the world. It’s a no brainer. That’s a very good, quick easy place to start.
Okay. Yes, right here, and then we’ll come back over to this side.
Mr. Farage, my name is Bob Patterson. I write for the Philadelphia Inquirer, just three hours north of here. Could you share your perspective? I know you don’t live in America, but do you sense that America faces the exact same threats to sovereignty, independence, autonomy, as Britain?
I guess what I’m particularly asking you … This recent Obama trade deal that went through was all pushed by Goldman Sachs, all the big banks. All the same people that are pushing the European Zone, and these deals aren’t really about free trade, they’re more about maybe integration on an economic level. So could you care to share your perspective … If the United States faces the same kind of dangers that England faces?
Then my last question, real quick. Would you be considered the Donald Trump of England?
I’m pretty sure that if the EU was to try to expand itself across the Atlantic, Obama would be the first to sign America up to it. Obama loves this concept of big supernational organizations, whether it’s international courts, whether it’s the EU, whether it’s the United Nations.
We’ve got this breed of people, and they all work hand in glove, and you’re quite right. It’s the unholy trinity, isn’t it? Between big government, big banks, and big corporate businesses. What is happening with these new so-called trade deals and everything else … What is happening, is we’re seeing a victory of corporatism over capitalism. And it is the job for those with genuine conservative voices, to start making the arguments for capitalism, for popular free market capitalism. Which is actually being crushed by big business and big government corporatism, who are setting up a framework and a rule book that makes the costs of market entry to any potential competitors too damned difficult, and hands the world over to a few big companies. So yes, there are great similarities.
I also feel very strongly, that immigration is increasingly becoming a big argument in America. And much as we were told, what terrible people we were to even dare to raise the issue. We’ve now made it a mainstream debate. And I suspect in America, this immigration debate about who is coming, in what numbers, and what quantity they are, that will also become a big debate.
I just have to say, slightly selfishly, back to you from my side of the pond … It would be nice if America had a President who actually liked my country, because the current one doesn’t appear to. Now in terms of Donald Trump, I will avoid all comparisons with Donald Trump. But I like to think of myself as the updated Henry VIII. That’s about where I fit in.
Okay, let’s come right here to the second row.
Hello, Mr. Farage. My name is Jordan Harms. I’m a student at Georgetown University. Props to the man who suggested you’re Donald Trump, because if I was British, I definitely would vote for you.
My question is two pronged, and they’re both similar in theme. One primary concern, you touched on it briefly about the Islamic State. We call it ISIS or ISIL, whichever suits us. One primary concern that I think the European Union faces, is the problem of foreign fighters.
I’m sure you know, especially about these British citizens who regularly travel to join ISIS. Not necessarily because they have any love for Sharia law, but simply because they’re disgusted by what they see in their own country and in their own societies. Especially now, with the recent deal of Iran and in the nuclear scheme of things.
What is the best strategy that the European Union or at least in terms of Britain, can do to assuage this problem of ISIS that is a problem of foreign fighters?
Okay. All right. On the Donald Trump point, seriously. I do think some of the things he’s picked up on in the last few weeks are very similar to the kind of themes that we picked up on in British politics. The feeling that there is a centralized bureaucracy in Washington, maybe not connecting with some of the concerns of ordinary people.
Look, we’ve been very, very good over the last decade and more, about worrying what’s happening in the Middle East and North Africa, and Afghanistan. We’ve been very busy intervening in all these places, and we’ve been almost negligent in the growth of Jihadiism within our own communities.
What I said last year to the usual hells of outrage … What I said last year, that we now have a fifth column living inside our own countries. They carry our passports, they speak our language, and they hate us. They want to kill us. They want to overthrow our culture, our Constitution, our whole way of life.
My own view is we should worry a bit more about what’s happening within our countries, than what is happening across the rest of the world. And I think that is going to be the politics of the future. I think we’ve intervened too much militarily around the world, without always thinking about what this may mean for the longer term. We must focus on our own countries. Part of that it seems to me, needs to be we have got to be more assertive in saying who we are as a nation. What our values are. What those that built your great country and built mine, what they represented.
In the case of my country, we actually have a Christian Constitution. We have a Church of England. It is the established State Church. Yet our leaders in recent years, whether they’re political or even some of our bishops, appear to be almost ashamed to stand up and defend our culture and who we are. So we need to be more muscular about this.
The man that I admire hugely from the Conservative Movement over the course of the last 30, 40 years, is the Australian, John Howard. John Howard, he won four elections. And Howard who said … His big message to immigrants coming to Australia is if you’ve got a trade or skill to bring, and you can make this about a country, you’re welcome. And we couldn’t care less whether you’re black or white, or yellow, or whatever you are, we couldn’t care less what your religion is. We’re not interested. But if you come here, you speak our language, you integrate with our society, you become part of our Australian dream … If you don’t want to do those things, don’t bother coming in the first place. And isn’t that what we need to do, to be a bit more assertive?
Just quickly, on the issue of foreign fighters. David Cameron’s big push now, is that when they find out that someone wants to leave the country and go and fight in Syria, for ISIS or ISIL or whatever we call it, that we now stop them leaving the country. I’d pay their ticket. And then take away their passport, and make sure they never ever come back.
Okay, the back corner there, and then down here to the front row.
Hi, Stephan Grover with Euro News. What is your view on the Iran deal? You haven’t really touched upon this.
I think that he’s probably going too far, too fast. Is the idea that you talk to people a good idea? Of course it is, whoever they are. You should always be talking to people.
Is the removal of sanctions a good thing? Well, if it will fill your car up with gas over the next five years, it might be quite a good thing. Have we gone too far in terms of the nuclear provisions? Well actually, unless I’m mistaken and unless something fundamental has changed, don’t they still want to blow Israel off the face of the Earth? That’s at least what I think.
So unless there’s been some massive shift in the Iranian stance on the existence of Israel as a State … Unless that’s happened that I haven’t noticed, then I think Obama has gone too far.
When I began to realize back in November, December, that extension was almost certain to come, that there would be more European elections, I thought, I know what I’m going to do, I’m going to set up a party. I’m going to call it the Brexit Party, but given that it’s the most Googled word in the English language, I wonder whether the electoral commission would allow me to use the name? Well, they have. You are here today at the birth, at the launch of a new force in British politics. Welcome to the Brexit Party.
All over the world people look on with incredulity because they still think that we’re a great country and the funny thing is that we, the people still think we’re a great country, but our leaders are happy to continue down the path of managed decline. I genuinely believe right now this nation, we are lions led by donkeys.
I don’t think what’s happened is our two-party system simply can’t cope with Brexit, I think our two-party system has been exposed, frankly, as being unfit for purpose. I think we have a parliament that is now completely out of touch with our country. I think politics is broken.
Not only are our leaders weak, not only have they willfully betrayed this result, but they’re also pretty much incompetent. They’re not actually very good at what they do. They’re not very good at anything. Too many of them, too many of them have been down the path of going straight from Oxford to become a researcher, to become a member of parliament in their late twenties, they’ve got no experience of the real world, they are classic career politicians.
I did say that if I ever had to come back into the political fray next time, it’d be no more Mr. Nice Guy and I mean it. I mean it. I mean it. Yes, I’m angry about what’s happened. I know lots of people out there are angry, but this is not, as I say, a negative emotion, this is a positive emotion. We’re going to use these elections to change things. I said many years ago, that I wanted to cause an earthquake in British politics. Well, now what I’m fighting for, and with your support, what we will attempt to achieve is a democratic revolution in British politics because that is what we need.
I remember in the run up to the referendum when it was 4:1 against Leave winning and I went into a bookmakers in London and put down a bet, how everybody thought it was so terribly funny. Well, I did manage to collect my winnings. I have this morning and I have this morning put £1,000 pounds on the Brexit Party to top the poll in the European election at the odds of 3:1.
Standing for us in England, Scotland and Wales on May 23rd and can I please welcome to the stage mr Nigel Farage
.. for debate with guests the likes of my next one, Nigel Farage, former Ukip leader and current independent MEP and now the brand new leader of the new Brexit Party. He joins me. Good morning to you Nigel.
Good morning Julia.
Good morning. The Brexit Party exists and you are formally its leader.
Yes, I signed the forms yesterday, so yep, I’m the leader of the Brexit Party.
We’ve set it up because well firstly UKIP has taken rather a change of direction, so sadly I had to leave after a long time. But really I’ve set it up because I felt a few months ago that it was likely that we just were not gonna get any meaningful form of Brexit, that an extension to the Article 50 date was the most likely outcome.
And if that’s the case, which I really do believe it is, then we have to contest European elections and those elections will be the first opportunity that the British public have to express their opinion on the way that Parliament and indeed our government has handled Brexit.
Well, you are going to be attending a rally outside Parliament today, the Leave Means Leave rally. It’s the end of the march down from Sunderland. Well, it started with a few dozen up to a couple of a hundred people marching down to protest for a genuine Brexit departure. How are you feeling today though about the fact that we were supposed to be leaving, supposed to be big celebrations, independence day everyone was calling it?
Almost three years ago now, there was so much hope, so much expectation this would be delivered. Did it ever occur to you when you were campaigning for us to leave back in 2016 that if we won, that that would be stopped, that would be thwarted by the establishment, the politicians, the MPs in the Houses of Parliament?
Well, I thought there’d be some battles obviously, and I didn’t necessarily think we’d get everything we wanted in one fell swoop. But I have to say, that the day two years ago, exactly two years ago today, when 498 MPs voted for Article 50, which said we leave on this date with or without a deal, I must confess you thought then we’d done it. I thought we’d won.
And so this has become a day of betrayal, a day of shame, and I think actually one of the saddest chapters in the long history of our nation. It is an outrage that the democratic will of the people has, as you say, been thwarted by our political class, and I’m very, very angry about it.
But the one thing that encourages me is the British public, far from changing their minds, actually there are more people now who think we should leave than ever before, and even though it’s not gonna happen today, I’ll make this one promise to your listeners, it will happen. The genie is out of the bottle, we are going to leave, but I’m afraid to say we’ve got some more battles to fight first.
Well, we’re told again and again by politicians, an awful lot of them remain, but some of them Brexit as well saying, “Look, people have had enough. They just want this over and done with”.
Do you think that there is actually any evidence that people are saying, or there’s any evidence that Brexit voters are gonna say, “Yeah well shrug, well we had a good go, never mind”?
No, in fact they’re hardening and if you look at the recent spate of opinion polls, what it shows now is that leaving with no deal is the most popular option by far, it enjoys at least a 15 point lead over extension of any form.
So what is happening is Brexiters are uniting around the position we’re not interested in deals of any kind, we’ve had enough of being talked down to by Mr. Tusk and Mr. Juncker and Mr. Barnier, we just want to leave. And I think people that have come to that conclusion are not gonna change their minds.
We’ve got into a situation, the Prime Minister went with her begging bowl last week trying to get the EU to agree to an extension, so she had more time to get her deal through. If by 11PM tonight she doesn’t get her withdrawal agreement, which no one expects she will, she’ll have to go back before the 12th of April and ask for another extension because if we don’t get that deal through today, 22nd of May falls as the date for us departing.
What do you think? You’ve spent a lot of time in Brussels and we talk to a lot of Brussels correspondents and people who spend time there, but what do you think the European Union wants to happen next? Would they rather they just got shot of us and we went for a no deal? Do you think they’re willing to make changes to the withdrawal agreement, to do a deal that’s perhaps more beneficial to us? Or do you think they are going to hold firm?
No, and let’s please not call it the withdrawal agreement, let’s give it its proper name, the treaty, okay? Monsieur Barnier walks around the building with the bound copy of the treaty, as he calls it, under his arm and they are not going to change that, not one little bit. There is a possibility, maybe not that big a one, but there is a possibility that some European leaders say, “Do you know what? We’re bored with this. The UK is stopping us getting on with our work,” so there is a chance that they veto any extension.
There’s also a chance, I suppose, that Mrs. May in the end says, “Alright, let’s just leave on the 12th of April with no deal”. But in reality, they will probably offer us an extension. The talk this week was that it would be an unlimited extension. Can you imagine the humiliation of Theresa May signing up to an unlimited extension? So I think whichever way you cut this, an extension of one or two years plus is the most likely outcome.
And you seem to be almost relishing the idea of that. You’d rather we were leaving today, but if we’re not leaving today with either a no deal or a deal that you can live with, do you think an unlimited extension of one year, two years, who knows how many years, is actually working in the favor of the leave voters?
Yes, I do. I think that we’re gotta get a new prime minister this year, whether she wins or loses today, that is certain. And I think a new prime minister with this treaty would be in a very bad place. It would lead to years of acrimony. It gives the other side the whip hand.
So I think a new prime minister at some point this year with a clean sheet of paper and a chance to press the reset button and say, “We’re not accepting this treaty. We actually want to get back to where we should be, either we have a free trade deal or we leave,” I think that actually is the best hope that leavers have got now.
And in terms of the European elections, if there’s an extension past the 22nd of May, as it looks very likely there will be, you’re going to be standing in those European election. As you say, you’ve just signed on the dotted line in terms of the Brexit Party.
The Brexit Party will be standing. It was the 2014 European elections where you actually, a leading Ukipper at the time, won those elections. Again, a lot of people forget that that was the real reason why we ended up getting that referendum, because the threat from Ukip to Tory MPs was so great. What do you predict will happen this time round?
All I can say is this, I think that our Parliament, our political classes, our government, our two party system have shown themselves to be incapable of delivering the will of the people. I think British politics needs a revolution.
I can’t promise that I’ll deliver it, but I can promise that if I’m leading the Brexit Party on May the 23rd, I will endeavor to begin a political revolution, a break up of our two party system, and to try and get ultimately a House of Commons that reflects the will of the people of this country. As I say, I have no guarantee of success, but I tell you what, I’ll try my damnedest.
Now just the march for Brexit arrives in Parliament Square today. There are a number of different demonstrations, we think up to 11 different organizations, [inaudible 00:07:30] you have to apply to the police for permission. We know that one of those demonstrations is by your former party, led by Gerard Batten, Ukip, along with the likes of Tommy Robinson in Whitehall. You’re with Leave Means Leave and that’s gonna be in Parliament Square.
There are lots of worries that there could be trouble. Now we’ve seen horrible events that are going on in the streets of Paris and I like to think we’re not French, we do things by the ballot box. But is there a worry, a concern that actually the anger that people are feeling about their vote being ignored from 2016 could actually spill into violence on our streets?
Well, everything I’ve done with Leave Means Leave and with the Brexit Party as well, everything I have done, Julia, is to make sure that people actually have a peaceful means and a democratic means through which they can express that anger.
And I would urge all people on the leave side, however angry they are to deal with this in the appropriate way. Whether we get aggravation and trouble from the other side, well, we’ll just have to see. But I hope not.
Okay, just finally there are a lot of people waking up this morning just feeling a little bit down, feeling a little bit blue, feeling very, very different from how they would have felt that Friday, that beautiful Friday morning, the 24th June 2016, when I have to say I was crying, genuinely tears of joy that we had actually done it, that we had seen our country returning to be an independent sovereign state.
Many people feeling today that that may not happen, feeling that they have been ignored. What do you say to those people listening right now?
Well, I’d say to them don’t worry, I haven’t gone away, many of us haven’t gone away, and if you think back through history, all the great changes in history tend to come after a series of battles and struggles.
We thought we’d won, but we may have to go and fight this all over again, and we will win in the end. We will prevail, of that I have absolutely no doubt at all.