Farage, the Ukip leader, said, Monday, he will step down as head of the party in the wake of the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
“During the the referendum I said I wanted my country back … now I want my life back,” Farage said at a press conference in London on Monday.
Farage, 52, has led the party in various stints since 2006. He previously resigned as Ukip leader following the May 2015 general election after not being elected as an MP. However, he soon changed his mind and returned to the job. This would not happen this time, he said.
In a statement, Farage said: “I have decided to stand aside as leader of Ukip. The victory for the ‘leave’ side in the referendum means that my political ambition has been achieved. I came into this struggle from business because I wanted us to be a self-governing nation, not to become a career politician.
“Ukip is in a good position and will continue, with my full support to attract a significant vote. Whilst we will now leave the European Union, the terms of our withdrawal are unclear. If there is too much backsliding by the government and with the Labour party detached from many of its voters then Ukip’s best days may be yet to come.”
Answering questions from reporters, Farage said he hoped there would not be “weakness or, frankly, appeasement” of the EU in the UK’s negotiations to leave. Whoever took over from David Cameron needed to argue from a position of strength due to the EU’s reliance on trade with Britain, Farage argued. He said: “We need a prime minister who recognises that we’ve got the trump cards.”
Farage said he and other Ukip MEPs would remain in the European parliament until the UK left and the roles no longer existed, something he hoped would happen within two years. He added: “The Ukippers will have been the turkeys who voted for Christmas.”