Yet little more than four months later it took 30.5 per cent of the vote in the European elections, securing 29 of Britain's 73 seats in Brussels. It succeeded because it presented the public with one clear policy - properly enacting the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum - at a time when other parties were prevaricating. The Brexit Party was everything that the Independent Group for Change, the eagerly awaited party that many were expecting to break the mould of British politics, wasn't.
But it is the Brexit Party's very clarity of purpose which should lead it to conclude that it would be folly to contest more than a handful of seats now. Its overriding aim to enact Brexit would be far better assured if it stood aside in most constituencies and allowed the Conservatives a clear run.To his credit, leader Nigel Farage seems well aware of this and will make an announcement of their strategy very soon.
It is true the withdrawal deal that Boris Johnson has negotiated with the EU is far from perfect. It will create a kind of regulatory and customs border between Britain and Northern Ireland - something that has deeply offended the Conservatives' partners in the last Parliament, the DUP.
Theresa May was right to be wary of such an arrangement.
Yet it is a vast improvement on May's deal. Crucially, it eliminates the backstop, a device that May's own attorney general confirmed could be used to trap the United Kingdom for ever in a subservient, de facto membership of the EU. Unless the EU had agreed to release us from the backstop, and it had a lot of incentive not to, we would have been forever bound by EU law and trade rules without having a say in how those laws and rules were made.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (Image: FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP via Getty Images)
For all its faults, Boris's deal is the only one now on the table. It was clear in the last Parliament that MPs will go to the ends of the Earth to prevent a no-deal Brexit, and that is unlikely to change with the new Parliament. Moreover, while the referendum proved that a majority of the public would like to leave the EU, polls