One month before the 2016 Brexit referendum, Nigel Farage, who favored Brexit, was quoted arguing that a close result would leave "unfinished business":

Farage told the Mirror: “In a 52-48 referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way. If the remain campaign win two-thirds to one-third that ends it.”

The referendum result was 52-48, but on the "leave" side of the knife-edge.

Two days after the referendum, he was quoted arguing against another referendum:

But they [petition signers] were snubbed by Nigel Farage, who told the Sunday Mirror: “It’s the last thing I want to see. It’s not a game of the best of three.”

Has Farage addressed his earlier "Unfinished Business" quote?

  • 3
    I seem to recall Farage actually supported a second referendum (obviously in the hopes that a new vote for Brexit would settle the issue more definitively) at some point in the last 12 months or so. Don't know if he does now,
    – Relaxed
    Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 22:40
  • Please see my comments below. As of 2019 Feb 28 Farage is against a second referendum.
    – H2ONaCl
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 21:44

2 Answers 2


I'm not aware that Nigel Farage was ever asked about this specific quote, but he has expressed his opinion about a second referendum a few times recently:

  • 1
    In Farage's LBC broadcast of 2019 Feb 28 Farage said a second referendum would be "an outrage" and he said "I don't see much demand for it". The YouGov poll ending on 2019 Jan 4 has second referendum support at 41 / 36 / 22 (3-ways: support/oppose/neither) so Farage seems disingenuous because he obviously keeps an eye on YouGov. Farage is very fond of pointing out that there is only 8% support for a second referendum in what he presented as a 5-way poll but was actually a 7-way poll.
    – H2ONaCl
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 4:34
  • Timestamp 8:08 youtube.com/watch?v=ONK654dN9a4
    – H2ONaCl
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 4:54
  • @H2ONaCl Thanks, I added this to my answer, hope that's ok? Also I couldn't find the results of the poll you mention, do you have a source?
    – Erwan
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 11:05
  • The 2019 Jan 4 second referendum poll is from on Wikipedia. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… I believe both polls are on the YouGov website but you need to scroll back a few weeks.
    – H2ONaCl
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 21:27
  • There may be newer polls but since you asked for it, here is the link to the 2019 Jan 8 result with the second referendum getting a 8% result in a 7-way poll. See page 3. d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/… Both polls are from YouGov so it seems Farage monitors YouGov.
    – H2ONaCl
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 23:21

A caller on Farage's show on LBC radio put this quote to him on September 3rd, 2016. Farage denied making the comment, suggesting that he had been predicting that members of the Conservative party would be irreconcilable to the result of the referendum. The show is available on YouTube (timestamped link) and a transcript of the exchange is below:

Simon: I also believe that you said, before the referendum, that if the vote is close, like 52-48 on the Remain side, you wanted a second referendum because it wasn't conclusive enough. Because it's gone in your favour you've suddenly backtracked on that and you don't agree with it.

Farage: Actually Simon, I said that there would be some within the Conservative party who I knew would be irreconcilable to this result, but frankly, when I hear the Scottish Nationalists talking about another referendum on separating from the rest of the United Kingdom, I think it all sounds a bit like sour grapes, and I would argue Simon, I would argue, that there was indeed a certainty that what we voted for in this referendum, we voted to take back control of our country. Exactly how that looks, nobody can tell you right today, just as nobody could tell you exactly what it would be like had we voted to stay in. But I don't think anyone was confused, but I respect your opinion if that's how you feel.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .