The man who led the charge to pull Britain out of the European Union has some harsh words for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canadian-born Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England.
In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Nigel Farage, the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party, criticized Mr. Trudeau for being out of touch in backing British Prime Minister David Cameron in his bid to keep Britain in the EU. And he said Mr. Carney may have to resign for not being impartial during the referendum campaign, which saw 52 per cent of Britons vote to leave the EU.
"I'm afraid that the whole international political community rallied to Mr. Cameron and the status quo," Mr. Farage said on Sunday referring to Mr. Trudeau, who was one of many world leaders who supported Britain staying in the EU.
Mr. Farage added that Mr. Trudeau would have never endorsed Canadians giving up similar powers under the North American free-trade agreement.
"I mean I'd love the Canadian Prime Minister to tell you guys that you've decided to make NAFTA a political union, and that you are going to transfer all Ottawa's authority to someone else, that you are going to have foreign courts overruling you," he said. "How long would you last? A day? A week? And yet that's what the Canadian Prime Minister was effectively recommending to us. I wonder sometimes whether foreign leaders genuinely understand what the European Union is."
He added that "whatever Trudeau said, the fact is that the United Kingdom now has an opportunity to chart a much freer course in the world."
And he criticized Mr. Carney, who repeatedly warned that Britain would face serious economic consequences if it left the EU, including a possible recession. Mr. Carney has defended his remarks, saying it was his duty as the central bank governor to point out risks to the economy. But Mr. Farage and others on the Vote Leave side have said he went too far.
"I don't want to be disparaging about one of your nationals," Mr. Farage said. "I don't think the governor of the Bank of England behaved in an independent manner during this campaign at all. And I think there will be some real questions in Parliament about whether it's appropriate for him to continue in that role."
Mr. Farage co-founded UKIP in the early 1990s, modelled partly on Canada's Reform Party, and he has been fighting to get Britain out of the EU ever since. It was largely UKIP's rising popularity in recent years that prompted Mr. Cameron to call the referendum. And despite the efforts of Mr. Cameron, world leaders, most of the cabinet, all the major opposition parties and nearly every economist, more than 17.4 million Britons voted to leave the EU compared to 16.1 million who voted to remain.
"I'm extremely happy, extremely happy, that the ordinary people, the little people have told the establishment what they think," Mr. Farage said of the result.
Mr. Farage was a controversial figure during the referendum campaign and he was shunned by the official Vote Leave side, which was led by Conservative MP Boris Johnson and Justice Minister Michael Gove. However, he is being taken more seriously now as someone who understood the pulse of the nation better than most. UKIP has only one elected MP, but there could be an election this fall and many expect the party to do well.
"I think there are opportunities [for UKIP] but I also think there is a job to make sure that our Westminster political class, many of whom are somewhat gutless … that they actually carry out the will of the people and it is UKIP being there and posing a threat that will make them do that."
As for how Canadians should react to last week's vote, Mr. Farage said: "I think Canadians should rejoice that the country in the world that they are closest to in every way, just got back its democratic rights, rights that Canadian and British people stood side by side in two world wars, fought and died for."