One of the most prominent supporters of the Brexit movement Nigel Farage said Saturday he wants to use his close connection to President-elect Donald Trump to improve the relationship between the United State and the United Kingdom.
“I would like formally or informally to do whatever I can to bring our great nations a bit closer together,” he told CNN’s Michael Smerconish on Saturday, after being asked about his role in connecting the two countries.
“And I just happen to know a few people in his administration. I’ve clearly got Trump’s confidence,” the former United Kingdom Independent Party leader added.
Trump and Farage connected throughout the presidential campaign, both leaders of political movements that rejected increased globalization and what they saw as unfair trade deals. Trump even suggested in a tweet November 21 that Farage would make a good British ambassador to the US, a position that the spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May publicly reminded Trump was currently occupied.
Farage, who met with Trump since his election victory last month, said the connection between England and the United States has been weakened under President Barack Obama, who preferred to work with the European Union over Britain.
“I do think the special relationship is very important. It was significantly devalued during Obama’s time,” he said. “Post-Brexit we got a chance to start all over again with a president in Trump, who is Anglophile. He is pro-British. He knows the things we’ve shared together over the years — the good and the bad.”
Brexit — the “British exit” — was the referendum passed in June where British citizens voted to leave the European Union, a movement, Farage said, was rooted in British desire to have a more independent country.
Farage said he hopes the countries would develop a free trade deal between them.
“I want us to move as quickly as we can towards a free trade deal between the UK and the USA that would be good for both of us,” he said. “That would also send a signal to the European Union that there’s a bigger world outside of the European Union, and Britain can manage just nicely.”