UKIP Daily Associate Editor Mark Angelides in conversation with Nigel Farage MEP. Part Two will follow on UKIP Daily tomorrow.
Mark: You’ve become a major player in the American political scene recently, how do you feel the Make America Great Again agenda is coming along?
Nigel: I do genuinely believe that Donald Trump wants to be a man of his word; I think he has been deeply frustrated by the judges, and even by the Democrats, too, who have brought obstructionism in many ways to a new level. But I think the most disheartening thing has been the number of establishment Republicans getting in his way. Whether it’s John McCain, the Bush family, whoever it is. And I have absolutely no doubt, that in his own mind, the president wants to do things he’s been elected on, and you’ve seen, just this week, him revisiting the travel ban etcetera; he gave a very good speech about tax the other day, which incidentally, I think is the absolute key. I don’t think Trump is wavering from what he wants to do.
As president, there are all sorts of influences around him that are trying to drag him in different directions, but the man himself, I firmly believe, will stay resolute.
Mark: As you’ve said many times, President Trump’s election and Brexit were basically part of the same movement. Who else do you see as part of this movement operating on the world stage right now?
Nigel: Well, the movement takes many forms, it can manifest itself in right-wing politics; it can manifest itself in left-wing politics. Look, Jean-Luc Mélenchon is way out on the left of the spectrum, but he’s making some serious running in French politics today, right now! And he’s making very similar arguments about sovereignty, about the Euro, about France governing itself. On the right, you’ve got AfD (the Alternative for Germany party) making this historic breakthrough in Germany despite wall to wall hatred from the established German media. Obviously in one or two cases they’ve deserved a bit of it, but it’s interesting that despite all of that, they’ve broken through.
I think even within government now, you’re beginning to see the emergence of something fascinating going on within Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, where they are standing up to Merkel and Juncker and saying “No, no, no. We’re not going to pay for your errors of letting anybody unchecked from crossing the Mediterranean and coming to Europe.” So I think it’s manifesting itself in many ways.
And I think that the narrative you get, and I’ve heard this myself from Mr. Juncker, that the populist wave as they like to call it, is over. Well just think about this: they can cheer themselves on President Macron if they want to, but 48.4% of voters in the first round of the French Presidential election voted for hard-line Euro-sceptic candidates.
So I think the wave is far, far from over, and that the lessons that have been learnt by the European Commission, the Democrats, the opposition etcetera… I mean they actually believe the way to deal with the events of 2016, is to have some more of the same recipe that lead to these upsets happening in the first place.
It’s quite extraordinary. I think the whole game is still in play. It’s very much alive. And I think Juncker’s speech the other week (where he called for more EU integration and an EU army with the Commission at the helm) says it all.
Mark: In a Liberty Nation interview with Dr. Sebastian Gorka, we talked about a Jacksonian Foreign Policy for the U.S. Is that something that you would back for the U.K?
Nigel: I want the U.K to be engaged in foreign affairs and foreign policy, but before we decide exactly what kind of foreign policy we’re going to pursue, we need to disentangle ourselves first from European foreign policy. Because on vast ranges of areas from Zimbabwe to Russia, over the course of the last few years, people like William Hague, as Foreign Secretary said: We will mutually speak as one voice as part of the European Union.
Now that we are leaving the European Union; but what Theresa May was outlining in Florence, is that actually, we are going to stay associated with all of this, just rebadging it and using a different name. So we can’t even discuss our foreign policy, until we’re confident that it’s going to be independent once again, which I desperately want it to be.