LEADING THE WAY OUT OF THE EU

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BRISTOL, England — Arron Banks, now 50 and very rich, is an engaging, self-styled “bad boy” who got his start by secretly removing and selling lead from his school’s roof and hawking insurance online to motorcyclists. He is also the person considered, with Nigel Farage, the former leader of the U.K. Independence Party, as most responsible for Britain’s voting to leave the European Union.

In a nearly four-hour interview recently, he happily admitted that he was adamantly opposed to the European Union and that he hated the Conservative Party and especially its previous prime minister, David Cameron. For him, Mr. Cameron’s resignation was almost more satisfying than the victory of the so-called Brexiters in the June referendum.

If Mr. Farage was the grinning, beer-guzzling face of Brexit, then Mr. Banks was its enabler in chief. It was largely done with Mr. Banks’s money, pugnaciousness and cheery recklessness, which sometimes upset even Mr. Farage.

Mr. Banks plowed $11 million of his personal fortune into UKIP and the unofficial Leave.EU campaign and raised an additional $5 million. Though a small figure by American standards, it made him the single biggest political donor in British history…

Read the full article in the New York Times by following this link.