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Farage quits as UKIP leader, says will stay to monitor Brexit negotiations

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Farage quits as UKIP leader, says will stay to monitor Brexit negotiations

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The best known face of the fight for Britain to leave the European Union is Nigel Farage who, just days after the referendum vote, announced he will quit as leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party.

That followed leading Brexiter and ex-London mayor Boris Johnson abandoning his bid to take over the Conservative party and become Prime Minister.

One of the founders of UKIP, Farage, a former commodities broker in the City of London, has been a member of the European parliament since 1999.

In a speech designed to provoke boos, he told fellow MEPs: “When I came here 17 years ago and I said that I wanted to lead a campaign to get Britain to leave the European Union you all laughed at me. Well I have to say, you’re not laughing now are you?”

Nor is outgoing prime minister David Cameron laughing, having seriously underestimated the influence of UKIP, a party he once described as “a bunch of fruitcakes, loonies, and closet racists”.

Farage has said he will remain in the European Parliament to monitor Brexit negotiations.

He warned against the UK’s negotiators accepting the kind of trade deal that Norway has with the EU.

Norwegians voted in 1994 against EU membership, but Norway has mostly free access to EU markets.

The ruling Conservative party and UKIP want to retain that access for Britain

However Norway also accepts free immigration from the EU, which a new British government is likely to oppose.

EU leaders insist full access to the single market will only be granted if Britain keeps its borders open to European workers.

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