In a statement issued this afternoon, Mr Farage said: “It is with great sadness that I have to announce the death of Robert Rowland, after a diving accident near his home in the Bahamas. “Following a successful career in the City, Robert was an enthusiastic Brexit Party MEP and larger than life character.
He leaves a wife, Lisa Marie, and four children.
“On behalf of myself, and all those who were involved with the Brexit Party, I extend our sincerest condolences to his family”.
David Bull, another former Brexit Party MEP who knew Mr Rowland very well, told Express.co.uk: “I am absolutely devastated.
“Robert was the kindest, most gentle, thoughtful friend. He was deliciously funny, dry, intelligent, erudite and compassionate.
“He was a huge support to me in the European Parliament and when I was campaigning in the General Election.
He was a true team player. We started as colleagues and ended up as the closest of friends.
READ MORE: Eurozone warning – EU rules would be ‘disaster’ for the UK
Express.co.uk spoke to Mr Rowland in 2019, at which time he voiced his concern that Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal with Brussels would leave the UK vulnerable to a “toxic time bomb” of £32 billion (€37billion) if the Eurozone hits the skids – equal to more than a quarter of the NHS’s annual budget.
He said: “I think it’s the single biggest financial issue in the WA.
“It will come back to haunt us.
“I believe this is gross ineptitude.”
He added: “I think people have been so focused on the backstop they have not focused on the real bread and butter issues here, which are horrific for this country.
“It’s not even as if that £3billion comes off the top of the £39billion either.
“It’s paid back in instalments, over 12 years!
“It doesn’t matter if you are Leave or Remain – this is outrageous.”
(More to follow)