Nigel Farage told press that Germany was ‘about to get a voice of opposition’ as he shared a platform with Alternative for Germany (AfD) MEP Beatrix Von Storch ahead of the German Federal election later this month.
“We are on the verge of something very interesting happening in that the biggest and most powerful member-state of the European Union is about the get a voice of opposition in the Bundestag [the German parliament]. That in of itself is a very big moment,” he said.
Mr. Farage came on a personal invitation from Ms. von Storch, whom he has known for some years, and although having no association with the AfD, was happy to appear with the fellow Member of European Parliament on Friday.
In Germany’s first major televised debate last Sunday, Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), who is leading in double digits, and Martin Schulz of the Social Democrats (SPD), broadly agreed on many issues.
Mr. Farage noted of the debate, watched by 20 million people, that neither candidate discussed Brexit or the implications of Brexit on Germany.
“It’s as if [Merkel and Schulz would] rather not talk about Brexit during the election because it’s all too embarrassing to admit that their beloved European project is now about to be exited by one of its biggest countries.”
Asked by a journalist about his reception in a ‘Europhile’ country, Mr. Farage said there was Eurosceptic representation across Europe, including in Germany.
“This is a breakthrough moment for an opposition in Germany. Whether that leads to Germany becoming a much more Eurosceptic country will depend on how the AfD representatives perform in the Bundestag.”
“Once people begin hearing alternative arguments, opinions begin to change,” he added.
“One thing we see across Europe is a desire for genuine reform,” Mr. Farage noted.
“If there is one country that could, post Brexit, say to Brussels: ‘look, the reason the Brits left is because you’re behaving so badly, you’re taking away so much of people’s freedom, liberty, and democracy’… and make a change to the shape of the EU” it would be Germany, the Brexit architect speculated.
“If I can help in any way to at least get that debate going, it will be well worth me being here,” he said.
The anti-mass migration AfD looks to enter the German parliament for the first time having become the third largest party following strong regional election results including beating the CDU in Merkel’s home region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.