Nigel Farage

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Farage in 2009

Nigel Paul Farage (born 3 April 1964) is an English politician who has served as leader of Reform UK since 3 June 2024, a change announced during the 2024 general election. Previously, he was leader of the Brexit Party (as Reform was then known) from 2019 to 2021 and leader of the UK Independence Party (2006–2009, 2010–2016) and a Member of the European Parliament (1999–2020).

In 2021, Farage announced his retirement from active politics and hosted a TV programme on GB News in the UK on Mondays-Thursday evenings.






  • We seek an amicable divorce from the European Union and its replacement with a genuine free-trade agreement, which is what my parents' generation thought we’d signed up for in the first place.
    • In UKIP news (issue 56), July 2004.


  • You have the charisma of a damp rag, and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk. And the question that I want to ask, […] that we're all going to ask, is "Who are you?" I'd never heard of you. Nobody in Europe had ever heard of you. I would like to ask you, President, who voted for you, and what mechanism … oh, I know democracy's not popular with you lot, and what mechanism do the people of Europe have to remove you? Is this European democracy? Well, I sense, I sense though that you are competent and capable and dangerous, and I have no doubt in your intention, to be the quiet assassin of European democracy, and of the European nation states. You appear to have a loathing for the very concept of the existence of nation states - perhaps that's because you come from Belgium, which of course is pretty much a non-country. But since you took over, we've seen Greece reduced to nothing more than a protectorate. Sir, you have no legitimacy in this job at all, and I can say with confidence that I speak on behalf of the majority of British people in saying: We don't know you, we don't want you, and the sooner you're put out to grass, the better.
  • I have been called a great many things in my time – that's politics.


  • And I honestly predict that I mean this. That if we go on doing this to Greece. We will drive that country into a violent revolution.
  • And what is the reaction of the British political class? Well the Lib Dems, still think that the Euro is a success! I don't quite think where Cleggy gets this from, I don't know. Perhaps he is considering an alternative career as a stand up comedian, once he's out of politics.
  • It is virtually impossible for what you are voting on to remain as it is currently. There could be huge changes to the [EU fiscal] treaty and there could be huge changes to the euro zone itself.
  • The situation in Greece just goes from bad to worse. We’ve now got a situation where there was the big suicide a few weeks ago, where a 77-year-old man shot himself in the head outside the Greek Parliament. That was the public face of what’s gone wrong.
  • But do you know that every day there are people that are literally leaving their children at the doors of the Greek Orthodox Church, with notes around their necks saying, ‘We cannot afford to feed or look after these children, please take them from us.’ Can you imagine that?
  • This is taking place inside Europe. This is taking place inside a once great nation. The nation that invented democracy. We are on the edge of total social breakdown. And frankly, as far as the euro is concerned and the austerity measures are concerned, the medicine is killing the patient.
  • I do think that the banking system is now in the most perilous state we’ve seen in over 70 years.
  • [EU leaders] are not undemocratic. They are anti-democratic. These are very bad and dangerous people. They are the worst people we have seen in Europe since 1945.
  • As you are well aware, the last time the people of this country were given a say on membership of the European Union was back in 1975. This must have been a factor in your thinking when, in 2007, you gave a “cast-iron guarantee” to hold a referendum if you became Prime Minister. Since that promise, however, your message on the issue has been confusing and misleading. You say the time is not right but refuse to clarify when the time will be right. You believe that leaving would not be in our best interests and an in/out referendum is flawed because it offers a “single choice”. In last week’s Sun poll, almost 70 per cent of voters said they would like a referendum. In the same poll, a clear majority said they would like to leave the EU and yet your plans would deny them that opportunity. I believe the British people, along with many of your own backbench MPs, want and deserve a straight in/out choice in a referendum. I propose a public debate between us where we can put our respective cases forward. My challenge to you is an open and honest one and I hope you will afford me, and the people of this country, a proper say on the matter.
  • We know the costs of Europe. What are the benefits?
  • [On his aircraft accident during the 2010 general election campaign] I survived a bloody crash [...] I have more vigor and vim and gusto then I ever had before. I’m also an inch shorter.
  • I'm not really a politician [..] I’m actually a businessman. I supported Margaret Thatcher, I believed in Ronald Reagan, I believe in free markets, I believe in small government, enterprise, hard work, and I believe in a taxation system that doesn’t punish those who do well in life.
    • At an event in a Manhattan club, as cited in "Less Europe" The New Yorker (15 October 2012)
    • Farage's injuries in the crash included broken ribs and his spine.


  • I am delighted at Des's support in these elections. And thank him for his rewrite of the lyrics of Send in the Clowns which we are planning to sing at our South East conference.


  • [Responding to criticism of his comments in the GQ interview] I said it just after parliament had voted not to go to war in Syria, thank God. One of the things Putin said did actually change the debate in this country … I did make it perfectly clear. It depends what it means by the word … I said I don't like him, I wouldn't trust him and I wouldn't want to live in his country, but compared with the kids who run foreign policy in this country, I've more respect for him than our lot.
  • today we are rushing through, at undue speed, an Association Agreement with the Ukraine, and as we speak there are NATO soldiers engaged in military exercises in the Ukraine. Have we taken leave of our senses? Do we actually want to have a war with Putin? Because if we do, we are certainly going about it the right way.


  • A couple of times I've been stuck on the motorway and surrounded by swarms of potential migrants to Britain and once, even, they tried the back door of the car to see whether they could get in.


  • There's not much point in having a United Kingdom if we're governed from somewhere else. We may as well become a satellite state of the European Union because that's virtually what we are. Our courts aren't supreme. Our parliaments aren't supreme, whether that's in Holyrood or in Westminster. This is not about Scotland's relationship with Westminster. This is about whether Scotland wants to be part of an independent UK.
  • We are being sold that this is all about trade and that the single market is soft and cuddly and lovely like a baby puppy. But actually it is a smokescreen for the real, simply proposition of this referendum. It's actually rather simple: do you wish us to be a self-governing, independent, democratic nation or part of a bigger, broader, European Union?
  • We have fought against the multinationals, we have fought against the big merchant banks, we have fought against big politics, we have fought against lies, corruption and deceit, and today honesty, decency and belief in nation, I think now is going to win. And we will have done it without having to fight, without a single bullet being fired. We'd have done it by damned hard work on the ground.
  • I destroyed the British National Party - we had a far-right party in this country who genuinely were anti-Jew, anti-Black, all of those things, and I came along, and said to their voters, if you're holding your nose and voting for this party as a protest, don't.
    Come and vote for me - I'm not against anybody, I just want us to start putting British people first, and I, almost single-handedly, destroyed the far-right in British politics.
    If I hadn't been around, and done what I'd done, that strain of opinion would've been represented by (former BNP leader) Nick Griffin, and the BNP, and would genuinely have been motivated by hate. I'm not motivated by that, I'm not against anybody.


  • All of us in our lives go through ups and downs and I regret the down that I am in at the moment. But I make this plea, particularly to the media - please leave my wife and children alone. Don't hassle them, don't intimidate them. They don't deserve it and it's simply not fair.


  • The very idea of Tommy Robinson being at the centre of the Brexit debate is too awful to contemplate. And so, with a heavy heart, and after all my years of devotion to the party, I am leaving Ukip today. There is a huge space for a Brexit party in British politics, but it won’t be filled by Ukip.




  • So this is it, the final chapter, the end of the road. A 47-year political experiment that the British frankly have never been very happy with. My mother and father signed up to a common market, not to a political union, flags, anthems, presidents, and now you even want your own army. For me, it has been 27 years of campaigning and over 20 years here in this parliament. I’m not particularly happy with the agreement we’re being asked to vote on tonight. But Boris has been remarkably bold in the last few months… he’s promised us there will be no level playing field, and on that basis, I wish him every success in the next round of negotiations, I really do.
    • EU Farewell Speech, as quoted in Nigel Farage’s Final EU Speech: Mic Gets Cut as He Waves UK Flag in Victory, Breitbart news
  • What happens at 11pm this Friday the 31st of January 2020 marks the point of no return. Once we’ve left, we’re never coming back and the rest frankly is detail. We’re going, and we will be gone. And that should be the summit of my own political ambitions. I walked in here, you all thought it was terribly funny but you stopped laughing in 2016. But my view of Europe has changed since I joined. In 2005, I saw the constitution that had been drafted… and saw it rejected by the French in a referendum. I saw it rejected by the Dutch in a referendum. And I saw you, in these institutions, ignore them. [You brought it back] as the Lisbon treaty, and boast you could ram it through without there being referendums. Well, the Irish did have a vote and did say no, and were forced to vote again. You’re very good at making people to vote again, but what we’ve proved is the British are too big to bully, thank goodness. So I became an outright opponent of the whole European project. I want Brexit to start a debate across the whole of Europe. What do we want from Europe? If we want trade, friendship cooperation, reciprocity, we don’t need a European Commission, we don’t need a European court. We don’t need these institutions and all of this power. And I can promise you, both in UKIP and in the Brexit party, we love Europe. We just hate the European Union.
    • EU Farewell Speech, as quoted in Nigel Farage’s Final EU Speech: Mic Gets Cut as He Waves UK Flag in Victory, Breitbart news
  • I hope this begins the end of this project. It is a bad project. It isn’t just undemocratic, it is antidemocratic. It puts in that front row, it gives people power without unaccountability. People who cannot be held to account by the electorate and that is an unacceptable structure.
    • EU Farewell Speech, as quoted in Nigel Farage’s Final EU Speech: Mic Gets Cut as He Waves UK Flag in Victory, Breitbart news
  • There is a historic battle going on across the west, in Europe, America, and elsewhere. It is globalism against populism. And you may loathe populism, but I’ll tell you a funny thing. It is becoming very popular! And it has great benefits. No more financial contributions, no more European Courts of Justice. No more European Common Fisheries Policy, no more being talked down to. No more being bullied, no more Guy Verhofstadt! What’s not to like. I know you’re going to miss us, I know you want to ban our national flags, but we’re going to wave you goodbye, and we’ll look forward in the future to working with you as a sovereign nation… [Farage is cut off by the chair]
    • EU Farewell Speech, as quoted in Nigel Farage’s Final EU Speech: Mic Gets Cut as He Waves UK Flag in Victory, Breitbart news


  • What Brexit has proved, I'm afraid, is that our politicians are about as useless as the commissioners in Brussels were. We have mismanaged this totally and if you look at simple things, simple things such as takeovers, such as corporation tax, we are driving business away from our country.
    Arguably, now we are back in control, we are regulating our own businesses even more than they were as EU members. Brexit has failed.
  • We could have got it down to 50,000. If they put me in charge of it we would have got to 50,000 a year, no question about it, but they didn't.
  • They have ignored what was said in that Brexit referendum and so now a bigger question emerges as to how we are going to change politics in this country.
  • I wasn't in charge. Had we been a European country with proportional representation, I would have been in a position of authority to work with Government to try and achieve this.
  • I got a phone call a couple of months ago to say 'we are closing your accounts', I asked 'why', no reason was given.
    I was told a letter would come which will explain everything, the letter came through and simply said 'we are closing your accounts, we want to finish it all by a date', which is around about now.
    I didn't quite know what to make of it, I complained, I emailed the chairman, a lackey phoned me to say that it was a commercial decision, which I have to say, I don't believe for a single moment.
    So I thought, well there we are, I'll have to go and find a different bank, I've been to seven banks, asked them all 'could I have a personal and a business account?', and the answer has been no in every single case.
    There is nothing irregular or unusual about what I do, the payments that go in and come out every month are pretty much the same, I maintain in my business account quite a big positive cash balance, which I guess with interest rates where they are is pretty good for the bank too.
  • The truth is I've never received any money from any sources with any link to Russia.
  • [These comments from Nigel Farage are not attributed to the Twitter video in the source] I have been given no explanation or recourse as to why this is happening to me. This is serious political persecution at the very highest level of our system. The establishment are trying to force me out of the UK by closing my bank accounts.
    It has certainly made me think — what does this mean for me [...] No one has told me why and the only thing I can think of are the completely false claims made against me using parliamentary privilege.


  • I did 23 nights in that jungle. And it changed me. I've come out a completely different person [...] Because I am not afraid of anything now.
  • [D]o I want to be an MP? Do I want to spend every Friday for the next five years in Clacton?
  • The banking sector, now full of idiots, people are promoted not because of ability, but ethnicity or gender ... The white male – you lot – are going to feel the world's against you. Andrew Tate tapped into that. You're going to feel the world's against you, you're going to feel resentful and angry ... These are massive cultural battles.
  • There is no Conservative party, it does not exist. Oh, their members are conservative and patriotic, their voters are conservative and patriotic. Their parliamentary party is not. We have Jacob Rees-Mogg. There are others – like Liz Truss and Mark Francois – who have views similar to me. They are a tiny minority.
  • [Could he end up leading the main parliamentary opposition within five years?] It's possible. It never was before, but it's possible now.
  • The most poisonous thing that ever happened to Ukip was getting lots of former Tory MPs to join the party and bringing with them their way of doing politics, which is constant warfare and back-stabbing.
  • The Prime Minister has campaigned so woefully that I believe that we are now approaching a tipping point as voters realise that the general election is effectively over. Labour has won. The Conservatives will be in opposition, but not the Opposition.
    In their place, Reform UK now intends to be that voice of opposition in parliament and the country.
  • Have we had trouble with one or two candidates? Yes, we have.
    We paid a large sum of money to a well-known vetting company, and they didn't do the work.
    We have been stitched up politically, and that's given us problems. And I accept that and I'm sorry for that.
  • The race thing is even worse. The idea we should give people jobs according to how suntanned they are, the colour of their skin.
  • A guy who's my producer at GB News is half Indian. I'm darker than he is!

Quotes about Farage

In alphabetical order by author or source.
  • Now all that's left of Hope and Glory is Brexit champion Nigel Farage’s Union Jack socks and the certainty that the Queen is the last person who still knows how to behave in public.
  • This is all good news for Farage, who has capitalized on the boredom most Brits feel with the one-story news-cycle and formed his own Brexit Party to charge off the cliff.
  • [Published on the Sunday following the 2015 general election results] In a typically graceless gesture, he swept out before the speeches had finished on the pretext that another candidate had not played fair, but as far as I can see, neither did Farage, really, ever. For someone who arrived in politics claiming to be a good bloke, a man of the people, Farage led a strangely vicious, backstabbing, angry and unpleasant campaign, finally going so far as to report me to the Kent police for a "blatant" breach of electoral law (what?) after I joked on Have I Got News for You that I had spent more time in the constituency than he had.
    The comment supposedly broke the law because it misrepresented his campaign — a claim so ridiculous the police rejected the matter before Ukip had put the phone down (this is also a joke and not to be taken literally). But it was the first hint Farage really had lost it.
  • This is not to suggest that there is really such a thing as Faragism. There is just Powellism warmed up. Farage's gift was to refashion Enoch Powell's rather extraterrestrial persona as down-to-earth bluff English blokeishness.
    Undoubtedly, however, this was a repackaging of old content: Powell’s twin hatreds of immigrants and the EU. Powell visited Dulwich College in 1982, when Farage was in his final year there. The young man was spellbound. As he later recalled, Powell "dazzled me for once into awestruck silence". A decade later, when the founder of UKIP, Alan Sked, was contesting a byelection in Berkshire, it was Farage, as a volunteer, who had the privilege of driving Powell to a rally. This was one of Powell’s last public speeches and one of Farage’s first party political acts. Though it would not have seemed so at the time, it feels in retrospect like a neat moment of apostolic succession. Farage, more than anyone else, reanimated Powell’s undead spirit.
  • Farage, who earns his living as a City commodity-broker, is a man who often used words such as `nigger' and 'nig-nog' in the pub after committee meetings.
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