Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
17 May 2019updated 23 Jun 2021 6:09am

“That is Wales, isn’t it?” Nigel Farage struggles on the campaign trail

By Media Mole

On the European elections campaign trail, leader of the Brexit Party and eternal ballot box botherer Nigel Farage decided to visit the Welsh town of Merthyr Tydfil.

The only problem was, he clearly had no idea how his party’s main pitch – uh, Brexit – would benefit the town at all.

Repeatedly asked by a BBC reporter what the benefits for residents would be, Farage was reduced to nothing but the grinning pinstripe he really is – at one point saying something vague about steelworks in an entirely different part of Wales.

Here’s the exchange:

“Mr Farage, towns like Merthyr have received millions of pounds of regeneration money…”

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.


Content from our partners
Small businesses can be the backbone of our national recovery
Railways must adapt to how we live now
“I learn something new on every trip"

“This whole town centre has been funded by EU grant aid. What will Brexit offer them?”

“Let’s be honest about it, it’s not EU money. That’s one of the great sort of myths and pretensions.”

“But Wales as a whole is a net beneficiary to the tune of £250 million pounds a year. What will Brexit offer?”

“We have so far, over the course of the last few decades given away hundreds of billions…”

“But not in Wales, Wales has been a net beneficiary, Mr Farage, address that point.”

“Well the Welsh steel industry certainly hasn’t been a net beneficiary, absolutely not…”

“Agriculture, towns like these valleys have been regenerated using EU grant aid. What will Brexit offer?”

“Well, if you’re right about that, why aren’t people better off?”

“But what will Brexit offer?”

“Well, it’ll offer opportunities.”

“Such as?”

“Well, for example, the steel industry, we’ll be in charge of the steel industry.”

“That’s in Port Talbot, that’s 40 miles away from Merthyr.”

“That is Wales isn’t it?”

“South Wales though. Towns like the South Wales valleys.”

“Oh sorry, I do apologise.”

Watch it here: