Just when you thought the Republican National Convention guest list couldn’t get any more unusual, here comes Nigel Farage. According to USA Today, the former UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader and notoriously smug Brexiteer will be joining his right-wing counterparts in Cleveland, Ohio, today (July 19). As strictly an “observer,” Farage is not scheduled to address convention-goers in any official capacity.
Currently a member of the European Parliament, Farage is known at home as a chief figurehead of Euroskepticism and anti-immigrant politics. Surely his brand of anti-establishment, ultranationalist conservatism will likely fit in among the Trump-loving crowds on the streets of Cleveland.
Indeed, there appear to be some parallels between the unexpected victory of the Leave campaign and the effort to elect Donald Trump, arguably the most confounding success story of the populist right-wing in decades, to the White House.
“I think there are a lot of Republican strategists who are looking very closely at what we did and how we did it,” Farage told Politico Europe prior to his arrival in Ohio. “I think the conversations when I get there that will be of interest will be the comparisons between what we call the M25, which is the road that circles London—and the attitudes inside the M25 and outside the M25—to what you guys talk about as the Washington Beltway.”
Several other Euroskeptic leaders will be in attendance in Cleveland this week, including British MEP Syed Kamall, leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists group, along with 13 other members of the party; and Dutch white supremacist Geert Wilders, founder of the far-right, anti-immigrant Dutch Party for Freedom.