Nigel Farage’s Populist Brexit Party Wins Big in European Parliament Elections – The New York Times

The results underscore the growing polarization of British politics over Brexit, pointing to yet more political uncertainty and volatility in a country that has been in various degrees of political crisis since 2016, when voters opted in a referendum to leave the European Union.

Mr. Farage’s supporters have been fired up by Mrs. May’s inability to lead Britain out of the bloc, a failure that provided a poisonous backdrop to the European Parliament elections. Mrs. May had promised that the country would leave the bloc before the vote and would not have to participate.

After Mrs. May requested two delays to Brexit, the vote went ahead on Thursday. The results were released late Sunday and early Monday after voting had been completed in all of the bloc’s other 27 nations.

Mrs. May announced her resignation after her Brexit plan was rejected by Parliament three times. Her blueprint aimed to keep Britain inside the bloc’s main economic structures until at least the end of 2020 before breaking away.

It foundered largely over a backup plan tying the whole of the United Kingdom to European customs rules until an alternative system could be found to prevent checks on the Irish border. That idea infuriated Brexit supporters who abhor the idea of staying tied to some of Europe’s rules, possibly indefinitely.

Mr. Farage’s Brexit Party prospered by offering a clear and simple message: that Britain must leave the European Union at the end of October, without any agreement if necessary, whatever the economic costs.

Speaking late Sunday after he was re-elected to the European Parliament, where he has been a member for 20 years, Mr. Farage said that his Brexit Party wanted a role in the discussion on withdrawal from the bloc.


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