• European Parliament, Strasbourg, 17 January 2018
• Nigel Farage MEP, UK Independence Party (UKIP), President of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group (EFDD) in the European Parliament - @Nigel_Farage
• Debate: Debate with the Taoiseach of Ireland Leo Varadkar on the Future of Europe
Well Mr Varadkar you are very popular here, a standing ovation from left and centre and right, Mr Junker looking joyous. In fact this European project could have no greater, stronger devotee for a militarised, expansionist United States of Europe. You of course worked here as a young man, you’re a devotee. In fact we should call you, I think a European unionist whatever the cost to Ireland may be. Normally of course small countries count for nothing here, its run by the big boys but right at the minute you’re important and you’re useful because you have helped with the obstructionism and the delay of Brexit.
Firstly on the Good Friday Agreement where as you know the European Union had little or nothing to do with it. They were written in at a later stage but of course as everyone knows nothing binds either side to continued membership of the Union and you know the UK government intends to fully uphold it.
The border issue has been put up as a problem but I think you’re predecessor Bertie Ahern has said look, in practical terms we don’t face a problem. There has been a Common Travel Area between us, of course, for decades but it is on trade where that border could in some ways be challenged. And of course when you think that nearly 50% of exports from Irish owned companies go to the United Kingdom and in agriculture in some sectors it’s as high as 90% you potentially have quite a lot to lose. And yet despite the fact that no one should be fighting harder for a genuine rounded trade deal than you that doesn’t appear to be the case. In fact I’d even go further and say that if there was no trade deal between the European Union and the United Kingdom an exception should be made for Ireland because of political sensitivity and it’s something that the World Trade Organisation, I have no doubt, would back up. And yet it seems to me that you’re prepared to put you’re devotion to the European project above the interest of Irish farmers and other companies to. And I wonder why?
Well lets cast our minds back a short distance to the rejection of the Lisbon treaty by the Irish. A second referendum forced on their people. Conducted on the most unfair, undemocratic lines that I have ever seen. You are part of course of a big attempt here and elsewhere to frustrate and to attempt to overturn Brexit. You don’t want Britain to leave because you know if you do others will leave to. And I would just say this to you. I don’t want a second referendum on Brexit. Absolutely not but I fear that you are all working together with Tony Blair and Nick Clegg to make sure we get the worst possible deal. I say that because I have seen it all before. The difference is if you force the Brits to do it again it will be a different outcome.