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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 18th May 2018 > Mr. Brexit

Mr. Brexit

Nigel Farage turned Britain inward, transforming Europe. He says his work has just begun.
Portrait by JON ENOCH

BREXIT HEADQUARTERS in London is a poky Westminster townhouse a stone’s throw from the Houses of Parliament. Its location is fitting because the only person who has an actual office in the building is Nigel Farage, a man who has made throwing stones—at British Parliament, at so-called globalists and at the European Union—his life’s work.

Yet Farage, the Brexit activist turned TV and radio personality, is hardly ever there. As a European member of Parliament, he spends at least two days a week in Brussels or Strasbourg—which, he concedes, can be a little awkward nowadays—as well as in the U.S., where he attends conferences, gives speeches and has abuse hurled at him as he walks down New York’s Fifth Avenue. To be fair, that abuse happened only once, Farage says, and generally—whether he’s in a bar or a taxi—he gets a far warmer welcome in the U.S. than in the U.K., at least since Britain voted to leave the EU in 2016.

A vocal supporter of President Donald Trump and a Fox News pundit, Farage is regularly tasked with explaining Europe to conservative America. But he keeps an eye on Europe, and he likes what he sees. Since Brexit, Farage’s anti-EU allies have been emboldened. In Hungary, Viktor Orbán won a resounding victory in April’s election. In Italy, the right-wing populist Five Star Movement has become the country’s largest party, and Germany’s far-right Alliance for Deutschland (AfD) has become the country’s second biggest. In 2018, the European project is floundering, and Farage couldn’t be more pleased.

The former commodities trader isn’t finished in Britain either, despite the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) that he founded all but imploding since he stood down as leader (for the second time) soon after Brexit passed. Farage expects the U.K., as planned, to leave the EU on March 29, 2019, but has not ruled out the possibility that forces within the Conservative Party or its Labour rivals will try to sabotage Brexit. If that happens, he says, he’s ready to put aside the punditry and get back out on the streets.

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Mr. Brexit In turning Britain inward, former Independence Party leader Nigel Farage transformed Europe. He says his work has just begun.