Nigel Farage has said that a Brexit following the upcoming European Union (EU) referendum would be the “first domino” to fall leading to the disintegration of the politico-trading bloc, a result he favours.
Mr. Farage was discussing the prospects and outcomes of a Brexit result in the referendum during an interview with the pro-EU newspaper, the Financial Times. He predicted other leaders within the EU will intervene to “do whatever they can to stop Britain leaving” because Brexit would be the “first domino” in the rest of their union disintegrating.
Mr. Farage made it clear that while he has a long personal history of campaigning against the EU, and is firmly in favour of it “disappearing”, his own hostility is directed towards the institution and not against the constituent Member States. In his words:
“I am not anti-European, but I’m anti what is being done in the name of Europe.”
In the interview he identified the passing into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009 as a particularly egregious event in the development of the EU, although his antipathy predated that event by many years. He explained:
“I saw the European Constitution rejected by the French, rejected by the Dutch, and yet what happened? They were ignored completely and they carried on with the project.”
For Mr. Farage the EU is an institution that represents the past, not the future: “What is happening all over the world, every single year a new country has an independence day. The days of big, artificial blocs are gone.”
The future he favours would entail the re-emergence of Britain as a sovereign state trading globally, as opposed to being part of a trading bloc to which Mr. Farage feels no loyalty.
“I don’t believe in the flag, I don’t believe in the anthem and I don’t believe in all these various presidents who no one can name,” he said.
In its place he’d rather see “a European continent of individual, sovereign democratic states that trade with each other.”
Mr. Farage conceded that Brexit would not be a path devoid of “uncertainty”, but suggested stability would be found under a new Prime Minister “saying ‘this is our course’”, adding that it may be “up to a week before [David] Cameron goes.”
The Treasury’s warning of “tens of thousands” of job losses in the City caused by a Brexit, was dismissed by Mr. Farage, who drew comparisons to similar predictions he’d seen before: “I heard all this baloney back in 2000: If we don’t join the euro, the big banks will all go.”
In fact he believe the real danger lies not in a Brexit, but in continued membership of the EU: “I see an anti-Anglo-Saxon agenda and I think we are at great risk with the financial transaction tax and many other things coming down the line. I take the view that London needs to be global.”
Mr. Farage also batted back comments from critics deriding the lack of support for Brexit from international figures other than Donald Trump, pointing out that the founder of the British Union of Fascists, was a lifelong enthusiast for a European superstate:
“Oswald Mosley was a fanatical pro-European until the day he died.”