Here is the transcript of the second part of the conversation Mark Angelides, UKIP Daily Associate Editor, held with Nigel Farage MEP. Part One was published here on UKIP Daily yesterday.
Mark: With Theresa May’s Florence betrayal (the speech in Florence where she announced that Brexit would not take place until at least 2021), what steps are needed to ensure Britain actually gets out of the E.U.?
Nigel: The danger at the moment is that the course we are on means that we leave the European Union in name only. And I’m not just talking a transition period and the general dithering going on, I’m talking about the fact that she spoke about the E.U. in terms of foreign aid and security; I mean a list as long as your arm of things that basically said: “We think the European union is fantastic, we love it, and we’re going to stay closely engaged but from outside the E.U. but with close cooperation.”
So there is actually now, at the heart of government, a genuine desire NOT to push for independence. I think there are a lot more battles to fight on this yet.
Mark: You mentioned before that if it looked like Brexit was going to be betrayed, that you would consider a return to the front line of politics. Has that time arrived?
Nigel: Well, it’s all about timing isn’t it? You can’t dip in an out of these things. I’m very concerned about the course we are on. But I’m very much doing what I can through the written word, interviews, or through LBC (a popular U.K radio station on which Nigel presents five debate shows each week) wherever I am, to keep building awareness of these issues.
I went through to a million Twitter followers last week, and I think that says quite a lot. So the idea that I’m not active at the moment simply wouldn’t be true. And, in fact, you could argue on a personal level that I’ve built my support base over the last year more than it has ever been before. As to when the right moment to “activate” that, don khaki and head to the front lines…Well…we’ll see. It’s not yet, but it may well have to happen.
Mark: With the election of the new UKIP party leader Henry Bolton, what do you think he has to do as leader to put pressure on the government?
Nigel: I thought that Henry’s speech (Henry Bolton’s first main speech as leader) showed somebody of a deep sincerity; somebody who is clearly very comfortable in his own skin in terms of who he is, what he’s achieved, and what he’s done in his life. We’ve got a very competent and professional man whose life experience is ten times the other party leaders’ added up together. And I like that.
His biggest obstacle is going to be UKIP itself. The party is in need of absolutely fundamental reform, and I’m afraid that what was a very high-minded, idealistic organization, from about 2013 onwards, became one in which people sought careers and personal advancement. And that is really what’s at the heart of a lot of what has gone wrong with UKIP. Henry has to try and bust that up. And do you know something? If I can help him in any way to do that, I will.
Mark: Yourself and Arron Banks both seem to be very much behind Henry Bolton. What kind of things do you think you’ll be doing with the party and specifically Henry over the next year or so?
Nigel: Well it’s a bit too early to tell. I’ve not been inclined to do very much over the last year or so; I’ve been feeling a bit disenchanted with the direction it has gone in. But I think getting a completely new fresh face, and as I say, getting somebody who has actually done stuff and run stuff, if he wants me to help him in any way that I can with internal party reform or with raising money: I’m here to help.
Mark: Based on a fairly awful fortnight for Prime Minister Theresa May, what do you think the political landscape is going to look like going into the end of this year and the beginning of next year?
Nigel: Well I find it very difficult to see how she survives. I think that if the Manchester Conservative Party Conference that begins with an interview with Andrew Marr, who is hardly a Rottweiler, he’s an interviewer who tries to get the interviewee to speak, and what he just said to her was: “With respect Prime Minister, you’re not answering any of my questions,” and she blushes up, you think “Goodness, gracious, me,” … How does that look? No, I think the Conservative Party this week will attempt to show a face of unity, but that it won’t hold.
Mark: Which movements are you involved with in the U.S., in terms of Conservatism?
Nigel: I go and speak to a variety of organizations, I’m not formally tied to anybody, but I think it’s quite a well-known fact that I’ve known Steve Bannon well for a very long time, and he sees what the Republican establishment are trying to do Trump’s agenda, and he’s fighting back against it. And if I’m of any use to him in that, then I’m happy to help.