British politician Nigel Farage likened President Trump’s win to the successful Brexit campaign which led to Great Britain planning to leave the European Union.
In a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, D.C., on Friday, the former U.K. Independence Party leader argued that the two campaigns would be remembered by generations “in years to come.”
“Two-thousand-sixteen was the year that the nation-state democracy made a comeback against the globalists and those who would wish to destroy everything that we have every been,” he said.
Farage, who enjoys such a close relationship with Trump that the President broke with protocol to suggest he should be the ambassador to the U.S., described coming to the U.S. shortly after the Brexit vote and witnessing similar feelings at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
“I realized that amongst the Republican activists and a large chunk of the American people, there was something approaching Brexitmania,” he said.
Farage said he told many Republicans that weekend that they could replicate the success of Brexit in their presidential campaign.
“I told that audience, don’t listen to the pollsters, don’t listen to the media, don’t listen to the commentators, they’re trying to break your will, they’re trying to make you stay at home,” he said.
Trump has repeatedly praised Brexit in numerous interviews and public appearances. In a January press conference with British Prime Minister Teresa May, Trump said he predicted the decision to leave the E.U. and was attacked for his prediction.
“I think Brexit is going to be a wonderful thing for your country,” he said. “I think when it irons out, you’re going to have your own identity, and you are going to have the people that you want in your country and be able to make free trade deals without having somebody watching you and what you are doing.”
During the presidential campaign he periodically linked his own insurgent rise to the surprise Brexit vote, even tweeting “They will soon be calling me Mr. BREXIT!”
Brexit was in many ways consistent with Trump’s America First vision, which he outlined in his own speech to CPAC earlier Friday morning.
“The core conviction of our movement is that we are a nation that put and will put its own citizens first,” he said. “For too long, we’ve traded away our jobs to other countries. So terrible. We’ve defended other nations’ borders while leaving ours wide open, anybody can come in.”