Nigel Farage has described the UK’s departure from the EU as “the achievement of my lifetime” in the wake of the final Withdrawal Agreement vote.
Following his fiery departure speech – which saw him having his microphone cut off and being told to leave “and take your flags with you” by the deputy speaker Mairead McGuinness – Mr Farage said he found it hard to believe Brexit was happening.
He told the PA news agency: “The book is about to close and we are going to leave in 48 hours and that is for me, in a way, the achievement of my lifetime political goal.
“I’ve been campaigning for this for 27 years, 20 of them in this parliament, and sometimes as a human being if you want something so badly it’s almost difficult to believe it’s really happening.
“But it is happening and I think it’s the right thing and I also think – I’m seeing the first signs of it today – it’s going to lead to a lot of reflection across the union.”
He said EU citizens would start to question whether governance structures set up in the 1950s still work in the 21st century.
“When 11pm UK time comes on Friday, we’ve passed the point of no return,” Mr Farage said.
“I think we’re never coming back so I think a debate will go on now with other countries about what their relationship with the EU is going to be.”
He added: “And who knows? Maybe we’re going to be the really good Europeans because maybe we’ll lead to a Europe where we have sovereign states cooperating and I’ve always wanted to do that as a European.
“I think Europe needs a structure of some kind, I think European countries need to cooperate with each other.
“We literally are like neighbours living in the same street and what happens in the next-door house necessarily affects us – but it’s a question of whether you deal with those problems through cooperation or through assimilation of power at the centre.”
Mr Farage left the EU Parliament for the final time shortly after 8pm today, accompanied by loudspeakers blasting “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” by the Animals.
He said he was bullish on the prospect of the UK getting a trade deal but remarked “What price freedom?” when asked by a reporter if he would take responsibility if it doesn’t.
The British Brexit Party leader said Brexit was the most significant political event in Britain’s history since Henry VIII broke with the Church of Rome.
“There’s a lot more work to do but I think we’ve broken the back of it,” he said.
Mr Farage said he would be in Parliament Square in London on Friday night for the moment the UK officially leaves the EU.