‘Fifth Column’: EU Brexit Boss Demands Farage, Orban, Salvini Populists Be Shut Out

citizenship
NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/AFP/Getty Images

Nigel Farage has blasted the European Parliament’s chief Brexit coordinator for a “baseless lie” and demanded that he retract claims the former UKIP leader used “Kremlin money” to “deliver Brexit”.

The hardline federalist Guy Verhofstadt used a speech to call Mr. Farage and other right-wing and populist leaders a “fifth column”. He also demanded that elected populist governments be shut out by the unelected bureaucrats leading the European Union (EU).

He added to the speech, given to the European Parliament, in a tweet, claiming Mr. Farage “colluded” with Russia to trick voters into backing Brexit.

“This is a baseless lie. I have never received any Russian financial or political support. I suggest you withdraw,” Mr. Farage shot back on the social media platform.

Speaking earlier on Wednesday, Mr. Verhofstadt had said the EU should become like “one nation” and ranted: “Inside the European Union we have a fifth column amongst us.

“I call them the cheerleaders of Putin: Farage, Le Pen, Wilders, and the friends of them are sitting here.

“In fact doing just one thing: they take money from the Kremlin, they take the intelligence of the Kremlin.”

He added: “These people have only one goal and that is to destroy Europe, to kill our liberal democracy.”

He also named Viktor Orbán, the Hungarian premier, Matteo Salvini, the Italian populist leader and Minister of the Interior, and Jarosław Kaczyński, the chairman of Poland’s conservative governing party.

“It is time we stopped corporation with people like Orbán, Kaczyński, [and] Salvini, who are in fact working with these nationalists and these populists,” he said.

Adding: “We as liberals can never accept the illiberal plot of these people. We and you have to be in the front of the fight against them.”

The European Commission, the bloc’s unelected executive branch, is currently moving to punish elected populist and conservative governments implementing the will of their people.

The Commission has launched legal action against the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland for failing to accept illegal migrants and asylum seekers, and threatened “sanctions” against Poland and Hungary for reforming their legal systems and limiting the power of foreign leftist activists like George Soros respectively.

The policies have popular democratic support among these nations’ populations.

The EU has even said it could escalate action and suspend Hungary’s democratic voting rights in the Council of Ministers, the EU’s highest decision-making body.

.