Brexit has been delayed. What was once set in stone and U.K. law as the leaving date, March 29, has now been moved in what political commentators are describing as an “international humiliation” for Britain.
At a late evening meeting, British Prime Minister Theresa May implored the other 27 E.U. national leaders for a delay on the withdrawal mechanism, Article 50. She asked for an extension of months and was rewarded with days … 14 to be precise. The new leaving date is now set for April 12; many may consider two weeks a drop in the ocean of time, but the decision reveals something of great importance: The U.K. may never actually become independent of the E.U.
One person uniquely involved in the debate, prominent Brexit activist Nigel Farage, appears unwilling to let this happen.
An Establishment in Terror?
When former Prime Minister David Cameron first floated the idea of a referendum on Britain’s continued membership of the European Union, it was not done with the interest of democracy in mind; it was a political ploy.
As leader of the Conservative Party, Cameron was approaching a general election with the threat of the marginal United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP, then under Farage’s leadership) repeating their surprise electoral success of the previous year in the European parliament. Cameron offered the British people the referendum on condition that his party won a majority in 2015. The public responded and gave him his re-election.
It was a referendum offer made in the fear that UKIP would begin gaining influence in establishment politics. When the Conservatives won the election, it was assumed that the “UKIP fox had been shot.” The referendum, to the surprise of Westminster, was won by the Brexiteers, with Farage leading the charge. But with this, the wind seemingly disappeared from the UKIP sails. In early 2019, Farage resigned from the party.
Recently faced with the prospect of the U.K remaining tied into never-ending delays, Mr. Farage – or Mr. Brexit, as President Trump refers to him – announced that, once more, he would be stepping into the fray.
The Brexit Party
The British Electoral Commission has just announced that it has recognized the creation of and standing of The Brexit Party, and leading this party is none other than Farage himself.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4, he said:
“I will take over as leader of the Brexit Party, and I will lead this party into the European elections.
We will put out a candidates’ list of people from right across the political spectrum — left, centre, and right, and we’ll do it on trust. Our trust has been betrayed by politicians and if we fight those elections, it’s a chance to say what we think.”
When Farage last led a party in the European elections, it was the first time in 100 years that both main parties in the U.K. had been defeated. There is likely to be much soul searching and fear in the heart of Westminster today as politicians representing the establishment parties are faced with having to take on the man regarded as the most influential British politico since Winston Churchill.
Never a person to shy from controversial language, Mr. Farage had earlier stated that if Theresa May sought an extension to Article 50, he would do his best to “tear her party limb from limb. It deserves no better.”
A Genuine Threat?
Mr. Farage has already proven that he can successfully beat both the Conservative and the Labour Parties in European elections, and this was before Mrs. May began asking for permission from E.U. leaders to extend Britain’s membership. Many news outlets are already discussing the inevitability of a Farage victory, but will it be enough for him to make a play for British Parliament?
According to the betting odds, Nigel has a 3 to 1 shot of becoming an MP in 2019, and a 25 to 1 shot of becoming Prime Minister by 2025. While the odds may seem long for now, they are steadily shortening week by week.
Farage is a man who has dedicated his life to not only taking the U.K. out of the E.U., but also to helping other countries run their own referenda on the same issue. He is the man the establishment in both Europe and Britain fear more than any other – and they have only themselves to blame for his creation.