WASHINGTON, DC – UKIP leader Nigel Farage today addressed a meeting at the Heritage Foundation, in Washington DC, where he slammed President Barack Obama and the U.S. State Department for their continued interventions in the debate surrounding Britain’s European Union membership.
In a speech entitled, ‘Patriotic Voices from Europe’, Mr Farage reeled off a speech about what he perceived to be the greatest threats and priorities for European countries and the United Kingdom.
He began with the Greek crisis, slamming the big American banking conglomerates who he said had “cooked the books” for Greece to qualify for Euro membership.
“Obama keeps saying that Greece must stay in the Euro”, he said, but “the only way that Germany and Greece can work together inside a monetary union is if the Greeks become like the Germans or the Germans become like the Greeks. It ain’t going to happen.”
And while he has been hopeful of a Grexit for sometime, Mr Farage’s response to the most recent developments in Greece laid the blame squarely at the feet of Greek PM Alexis Tsipras.
“I’m sorry, but Mr Tsipras doesn’t have much courage… he’s marched the Greek people up to the top of the hill, and he’s marched them back down again,” said Mr Farage, reflecting on how during the Great Depression, America’s economy fell 16 per cent, while Greece’s has so far fell by over 26 per cent.”
Mr Farage then took on the Mediterranean migrant crisis – which he called “migration of genuinely, old testament, biblical proportions”. He said that Britain had a proud history of taking genuine asylum seekers – citing the French Huguenots, Europe’s Jewish population, and Ugandan refugees – but he expressed concerns about the volume and Britain’s security.
“When ISIS say they will use this crisis to flood Europe with their own jihadists… I suggest we believe them,” he said, reiterating his pre-election warning about the boatloads of migrants making their way into Europe, with London in their sights.
“The debate about immigration in Europe is going to get onto the very key issue of security”.
He touched briefly on the General Election, the results of which he admitted had taken almost everyone, including the Prime Minister, off guard: “The Prime Minister himself went into the study at Chequers and wrote a resignation speech”. He laid the blame for the results at the feet of the Conservative Party, for promoting the Scottish National Party bogeyman:
“That appalling women [Nicola Sturgeon]” he began, to laughter. She, he explained, represents “a party that are nationalists and socialists at the same time… did I really say that? Well to hell with it, it’s true”.
He told the crowd “tired” he is, “of the Obama line, and the State Department line” on the European Union, and how they keep urging Britain to remain a member state.
Instead, he gave an impassioned plea for the resurgence of the Anglo-American special relationship:
“The relationship between Britain and America has been a very, very important one. We had a bit of a fall out a couple of hundred years ago… I understand that… what we’ve done together in fighting for the principles of liberty, democracy, and freedom… and at great price… we’ve been successful. We are your greatest ally on this planet. But if we lose this referendum, our ability to be your greatest ally will diminish by the day”.
He told of how the European Union is building its own army, navy, and air force, and how Britain is being run down on the world stage, with the support of the current U.S. administration: “Please can we have no more of Obama telling us how good it is for us.”
Mr Farage was asked if he believed himself to be the American Donald Trump, to which he replied: “I will avoid all comparisons with Donald Trump, but I like to think of myself as an update Henry VIII.”
He did however say that Mr Trump had picked up on some serious issues that had resonated with the American public.
On British jihadists, he blasted British Prime Minister David Cameron for worrying about how to get rid of them: “I’d pay their ticket!” he said.
And finally, he took a shot at the Iran nuclear deal, saying it was “too far too fast” though did express his view that “you should always be talking to people”.
“Don’t they still want to blow Israel off the face of the earth?” he asked. “Unless there’s been some massive shift [on Israel] then I think Obama has gone too far”.