Brexit leader Nigel Farage made his final speech to the European Parliament Wednesday where he expressed Brexit as a victory in the “historic battle going on across the west” against Globalism, but in which he had his microphone cut off by the Parliament’s chair during his final remarks.
Speaking during the debate on the withdrawal agreement Wednesday afternoon, in which Members of the European Parliament are expected to ratify the treaty thrashed out between the United Kingdom and Brussels, Brexit leader Farage spoke of the antidemocratic Union which drove the British to vote to leave.
Citing a key turning point for himself and many other Brits who became Eurosceptics this century, Mr Farage reflected on the attempt in 2005 for the European Union to enhance its long march towards statehood by giving itself a constitution. Yet the citizens of several member states were uncomfortable with the development and voted against it in nation referendums.
Instead of taking the direction given to it by the people of Europe, the EU elite simply rebranded the exercise and pushed it through without asking for consent.
Summarising the feelings of many, Mr Farage told the chamber: “We don’t need these institutions and all of this power. And I can promise you, both in UKIP and in the Brexit party, we love Europe. We just hate the European Union.”
MUST WATCH 📺 | @Nigel_Farage goes out in style, giving the European bureaucrats one last hammering in his farewell speech. He's even cut off for waving our national flag – the European Union doesn't take too kindly to national pride! Cheerio! 👋 pic.twitter.com/dzpQsXWTpB
— Leave.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) January 29, 2020
Firmly establishing the position of Brexit in the ongoing power struggle across many nations globally, Mr Farage also made clear Britain leaving the European Union was a populist revolt — invoking the Presidency of Donald Trump and other global developments without mentioning them by name. He said: “There is a historic battle going on across the west, in Europe, America, and elsewhere. It is globalism against populism. And you may loathe populism, but I’ll tell you a funny thing. It is becoming very popular! And it has great benefits.”
Yet as he was making his final remarks on looking forward to Britain working with Europe in the future as a sovereign state, the chair of the session cut off Mr Farage’s microphone because he was holding a small, desk-size British flag above his head as he spoke. Clearly angered by the violation of a new European Parliament rule that bans the presence of any national flag or banner, the chair seemed to have been goaded into a strongly worded response and said: “Please sit down, resume your seats and put your flags away. You’re leaving, and take them with you if you’re leaving now. Goodbye.”
Despite having had his microphone turned off, Mr Farage could be heard responding in the chamber: “That’s it, it’s all over. It’s finished, we’re gone!”
Mr Farage’s Brexit Party colleagues joined him in waving the small desk flags which were until recently a common sight in the European Parliament chamber, which by design makes no distinction between members based on their national origin.
The European Parliament will vote on the withdrawal agreement Wednesday afternoon but, whichever way they vote, the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union on Friday evening.
Nigel Farage’s speech in full:
So this is it, the final chapter, the end of the road. A 47-year political experiment that the British frankly have never been very happy with. My mother and father signed up to a common market, not to a political union, flags, anthems, presidents, and now you even want your own army.
For me, it has been 27 years of campaigning and over 20 years here in this parliament. I’m not particularly happy with the agreement we’re being asked to vote on tonight. But Boris has been remarkably bold in the last few months… he’s promised us there will be no level playing field, and on that basis, I wish him every success in the next round of negotiations, I really do.
What happens at 11pm this Friday the 31st of January 2020 marks the point of no return. Once we’ve left, we’re never coming back and the rest frankly is detail. We’re going, and we will be gone.
And that should be the summit of my own political ambitions. I walked in here, you all thought it was terribly funny but you stopped laughing in 2016. But my view of Europe has changed since I joined. In 2005, I saw the constitution that had been drafted… and saw it rejected by the French in a referendum. I saw it rejected by the Dutch in a referendum. And I saw you, in these institutions, ignore them.
[You brought it back] as the Lisbon treaty, and boast you could ram it through without there being referendums. Well, the Irish did have a vote and did say no, and were forced to vote again. You’re very good at making people to vote again, but what we’ve proved is the British are too big to bully, thank goodness.
So I became an outright opponent of the whole European project. I want Brexit to start a debate across the whole of Europe. What do we want from Europe? If we want trade, friendship cooperation, reciprocity. We don’t need a European Commission, we don’t need a European court. We don’t need these institutions and all of this power. And I can promise you, both in UKIP and in the Brexit party, we love Europe. We just hate the European Union.
I hope this begins the end of this project. It is a bad project. It isn’t just undemocratic, it is antidemocratic.
It puts in that front row, it gives people power without unaccountability. People who cannot be held to account by the electorate and that is an unacceptable structure.
There is a historic battle going on across the west, in Europe, America, and elsewhere. It is globalism against populism. And you may loathe populism, but I’ll tell you a funny thing. It is becoming very popular! And it has great benefits. No more financial contributions, no more European Courts of Justice. No more European Common Fisheries Policy, no more being talked down to. No more being bullied, no more Guy Verhofstadt! What’s not to like.
I know you’re going to miss us, I know you want to ban our national flags, but we’re going to wave you goodbye, and we’ll look forward in the future to working with you as a sovereign nation… [Farage is cut off by the chair]