Nigel Farage: Brexit is 'beginning of the end' for the EU

Andy Wells
·Freelance Writer
·3-min read
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage speaks during a media conference at the European Parliament in Brussels, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. The U.K. is due to leave the EU on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, the first nation in the bloc to do so. It then enters an 11-month transition period in which Britain will continue to follow the bloc's rules while the two sides work out new deals on trade, security and other areas. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
Nigel Farage is spending his final day in the European Parliament before Brexit today. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

With Brexit just two days away, Nigel Farage has said he believes the UK’s departure will mark the “beginning of the end” for the European Union.

The leader of the Brexit Party – and a soon-to-be ex-MEP – said that other EU countries would now be able to see it was possible to leave the bloc.

Mr Farage told the BBC: "I think, two years down the road, there'll be a big debate going on in many other countries about what kind of Europe people want.

"Do they want a Europe of trading co-operation or a Europe run by these institutions in Brussels? And I think the UK's departure really will mark the beginning of the end of this European project.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson drives a Union flag-themed JCB, with the words "Get Brexit Done" inside the digger bucket, through a fake wall emblazoned with the word "Gridlock", during a visit to JCB cab manufacturing centre in Uttoxeter, while on the General Election campaign trail.
Britain is set to leave the EU on Friday (PA)

Mr Farage’s comments come as the European Parliament prepares set the seal on Britain's departure from the EU in a final vote on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal.

MEPs meeting in Brussels are expected overwhelmingly to back ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, paving the way for the UK to leave on Friday.

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Asked about polling suggesting that support for the EU had risen since Brexit, Mr Farage added: "That's because we made such a Horlicks of leaving.

"I think many of the Eurosceptic groups around Europe began to shake their heads and say 'Oh, perhaps it is not possible to leave’.

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"Now it's actually happening, if we chart a clear path - and provided that Boris Johnson sticks to the very clear promises that he made in his manifesto - then I think all of that will change a couple of years down the line.”

Mr Farage, who is packing up his offices and leaving Brussels ahead of Brexit day on Friday, said he would miss being the "pantomime villain" at the European Parliament.

He said Brexit was a "victory for grassroots campaigning" in the face of opposition from the "entire UK establishment”.

"Whatever my criticisms may be of the political system in the UK and its need for urgent reform, in the end what this shows is that it still actually works," he said.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage speaks at Barnby Memorial Hall whilst on the General Election campaign trail in Worksop, England, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. Britain goes to the polls on Dec. 12. (Jacob King/PA via AP)
Mr Farage said he would miss being the "pantomime villain" at the European Parliament (AP)

"So, I'm going to be celebrating the fact that democracy and the will of the people has triumphed at 11 o'clock this Friday.”

As British MEPs arrived in the European Parliament, a sign above the chamber could be seen reading: "It's not goodbye, it's au revoir.”

The message had been put up by the S&D, a coalition of socialist parties.

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