Nigel Farage has hailed today as a “remarkable victory for democracy” as Britain gears up for its departure from the European Union.
The UK will officially leave the trading bloc at 11pm tonight, more than three-and-a-half years after the country voted to do so.
The Brexit Party leader, who has spent decades campaigning for the move, told talkRADIO that today marks a “significant moment in our history”.
“Arguably, it’s the most significant constitutional change and positional change for us in the world since Henry VIII took us out of the treaty of Rome, so the occasion should be marked because it’s that historic and that significant,” he told Julia Hartley-Brewer.
The former MEP will tonight be hosting a party in Parliament Square, where he plans to play recordings of the chimes of Big Ben to mark the moment – he said the scene will be the “iconic picture around the world”.
He continued: “The entire establishment did not want Brexit to even be discussed, let alone have a referendum, let alone deliver it.
“And it’s happening and why? Because people would not be bullied and whatever the thoughts in our country, what happens at 11pm tonight is a remarkable victory for democracy.”
However, although Brexit will become official when the clock strikes 11, there will be very little immediate change.
As part of Boris Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill the UK will enter into an 11-month transition period while details of the divorce from Brussels are ironed out.
It means that until the end of 2020 Britain will remain aligned with EU legislation but, no longer being part of the union, will not have a vote in the law making process.
Former MP and leading Remain campaigner Dominic Grieve described celebrating this phase as “bizarre”.
He told Julia: “This evening people will celebrate leaving the EU but rather bizarrely we’re celebrating embarking on an 11-month period, at least, when Britain’s sovereignty will be probably at its lowest at any time since the Middle Ages because we will be bound by a whole series of rules which we can no longer influence.”
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