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Nigel Farage, the fiery advocate of the Brexit campaign in the United Kingdom, tells Yahoo News he is expecting to play “quite a useful role” for the Trump administration — as a salesman for the White House agenda to British and European audiences.
Farage also elaborated on his hard-right, anti-immigrant agenda, saying that many of those seeking to enter Europe and the United States, like the immigrants to Germany allowed in by Chancellor Angela Merkel, are not legitimate refugees at all, but “young males, effectively economic migrants.”
“When ISIS says they will use the refugee crisis to flood our country with their terrorists, we ought to take that seriously,” Farage said.
Farage made those comments to Yahoo News shortly after he spoke to a wildly appreciative audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Md., where he celebrated last year’s passage of Brexit and Trump’s election as the twin signs of a “global political revolution.”
“We did it! 2016! We did it!” Farage shouted from the stage, to loud cheers. With a Churchillian flourish, he said that “when, in years to come, the generations that follow us … there is one year that every school child will know.” That year, he said was 2016, because of its political significance.
Later, in the interview, Farage expanded on his analysis that 2016 was a “pivot point” in Western history.
“What 2016 showed was that the nation states made a comeback,” Farage said. “This is a fight back against supernationalism — globalism, as many people call it. It’s a fight back against the idea that we should give away powers to forces outside our own countries, beyond our electoral fingertips.”
“I think a lot of this is about identity,” he added. “It’s about the feeling that immigration levels, certainly in some European countries, have been too high and have completely changed the way neighborhoods look and feel. And what electorates were saying in Britain and America, and will say in Europe this year, is: Enough.”
Farage, the former leader of the right-wing United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) and a member of the European Parliament, was asked what he would do about the 4.6 million Syrian refugees who have fled that country’s civil war and are now living in tents in settlement centers in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
Farage said at first that they are only the “tip of the iceberg” of as many as 60 million displaced people around the world. He then added, when pressed about what he would say to Syrian refugees in particular: “We will help you. We will in a Christian way, we will support you. We will make sure you’re fed. We will make sure you’re warm, but we can’t do more than that.”
Farage acknowledged that he has met with President Trump, adding: “But he’s a busy man.” He went on to describe a role for himself as an informal ambassador for Trump in Britain and Europe. “I’m also there in the U.K. trying to explain to people that he’s not the monster that people make him out to be,” he said. Beyond that, he is pushing for a fair trade deal between the United States and Britain, and trying to make sure NATO members in Europe “get the message” that the Trump administration expects them to pay their fair share.
“I will do everything I can to be helpful,” Farage said.
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