After 27 long years of hard fighting, Great Britain will once again have her independence, thanks in no small part to a grassroots leader who had enough of “conservatives” betraying their principles and surrendering his country. His fight, and victory, teaches us that persistence and casting sunlight pays in the fight for liberty.
On Friday, the United Kingdom became free and independent of the corrupt and autocratic European Union. It did not happen in a day, a month, or even five years. And it didn’t happen because of the political establishment but in spite of them. And Britons everywhere have one man to thank for that: Nigel “Mr. Brexit” Farage.
Farage was a commodities trader when Britain’s Conservative Party, under then-Prime Minister John Major, signed the Maastricht Treaty in 1992—bringing Britain into a closer political union with the European Union and beginning a long process of surrendering her national sovereignty.
Farage was appalled. In 1993, he started the fight that would define his life by co-founding the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP). For years, Farage warned his countrymen of the dangers of the EU and tirelessly campaigned for the freedom of his country. Sadly, he got nowhere fast, and for years was thought as something of a joke. He didn’t even get elected to the EU Parliament until 1999, but he showed no sign of giving up on his ultimate goal during his first speech in the Parliament, when he declared: “I, for one, will be urging my own government to leave this club and to rejoin the real trading world.”
He would become a YouTube star for his many powerful speeches taking on the establishment and crying out for freedom. Over time, the speeches of this grassroots leader won him and his cause a growing army of supporters.
The British political establishment stopped laughing at him in 2006 when UKIP won the second-highest amount of seats of all the British parties in the EU Parliamentary elections. Eight years later, they came in first, winning 4.5 million votes across the U.K. Farage’s years of hard work and persistence were paying off, and more Britons wanted their nation free again.
Britain’s Conservative Party, the same one that got Britain into this mess to begin with, now found itself under pressure from this growing grassroots army. They based their entire 2015 re-election campaign on delivering what Farage had long been demanding: a public referendum on whether or not to stay in the EU.
We all remember that day in 2016, months before the earthquake election of President Donald Trump on this side of the Atlantic, when the British people said they wanted to leave. The political establishment was in shock, and the grassroots rejoiced—a bit too early, as it turned out. Even Farage himself thought it was over and retired.
But the establishment dithered for three years, failing to deliver the clean Brexit demanded by voters and fighting to undo the results of the referendum. In 2019, Farage had had enough. He came out of retirement, started a new party, and won another large majority of seats in the EU Parliament’s 2019 election.
Farage then leveled a strong electoral threat at the Conservatives: deliver Brexit or be removed from power.
One man heard Farage and the people. Boris Johnson led a successful rebellion within the party, became the new prime minister, and—after a tough fight against elements in his own party—won a new majority in the 2019 national election running on the promise that he would deliver Brexit.
On Friday, Johnson delivered on his promise, and Farage won his 27-year-long struggle for liberty. The future of the British people is now brighter and freer, thanks to Farage.
No matter how long and difficult the struggle, if we keep at it and hold our leaders accountable, we too will win fight after fight for the cause of liberty in our state—and in our country.
And so, to our friends across the pond, we say, “Happy Brexit Day!”