• European Parliament, Strasbourg, 24 October 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: Conclusions of the European Council meeting of 17 and 18 October 2018 European Council and Commission statements
I think under rule 164 of our revered procedures I am allowed to respond to the comments you made as President of the Parliament. Some of them personally insulting, maybe you have a problem with your temper. I will ignore the personal comments you made about me but I will say this, we do see this morning to be struggling just a little bit with our history.
To claim Mr Tajani that the EU brought about the downfall of Nazism and Soviet Communism isn’t only laughable it is very ungracious and deeply insulting to the United States of America who made a massive sacrifice so that Europe could be free in the 21st Century and to a slightly lesser extent the United Kingdom as 30,000 British dead in Italy will attest. So you know you can claim what you want for the EU but please do not rewrite history.
Mr Tusk I want to thank you for confirming that it was Theresa May that asked for the one year extension to the transition period, I also want to thank you for your recent offer saying that if Britain wants a Canada Plus style trade deal you are open to it. Indeed it is what I’ve campaigned for 25 years, I’ve always thought that this was a better approach than between our country and the EU than the one we currently have.
Now every proposal seems to founder on this question of the Irish border, given the slight state of panic that German industry is now getting into, maybe that’s not surprising because a WTO deal would lead to not just tariffs on German cars but a weaker pound and probably a more competitive UK economy. So the time has come to look for answers and the funny things is the answers are staring at us. Mr Juncker in the Irish parliament not so long ago made it very clear that there were no circumstances where the EU would impose a border. Indeed Mr Varadkhar the Irish PM, not usually particularly helpful in the Brexit process, even he has said under no circumstances there will be a hard border. This parliament produced this study, one of your own committees, the AFCO committee, ‘avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland for customs control and the free movement of persons’.
The point is there are solutions everywhere we look, the idea that somehow this border is an impediment frankly is a red herring. The problem I’m afraid is that there is a rogue element in these negotiations, a group of people who do not wish to see a solution, who put up an immovable brick wall to stop us from breaking free and I regret to say that it isn’t your chief negotiator Michel Barnier, it is actually the British Civil Service. Olly Robbins’ team, they signed up years ago to the European dream, they’ve been happy to take their orders from Brussels. They are now out to sabotage Brexit, they are indeed the enemy within. I think that unless the Conservative Party comes to its senses and gets rid of a leader who clearly is being led by the nose then we will head to the December summit, we will towards a humiliating sellout and we will head towards the UK being trapped in EU rules for many, many years to come.