UKIP leader Nigel Farage has blasted the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the French President Francois Hollande in the European Parliamentary chamber in Strasbourg today, following their guest speeches in which they urged “more Europe” and further European Union (EU) integration.
Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Hollande both used their speeches to defend their countries’ records on the ongoing migrant crisis, which was met with cheers from pro-EU types in the chamber, but derision from those such as UKIP leader Nigel Farage, Front National leader Marine Le Pen, and even David Cameron’s European ally, ECR Vice President Ryszard Antoni Legutko.
Mr Farage started his speech by acknowledging that European integration to limit Germany’s powers after the Second World War was understandable, but said “sadly the whole thing has been corrupted”.
“The EU is no longer about peace, it is about power,” he said, quoting former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who originally made the statement in 2014.
And he slapped down President Hollande, noting that “the French voice in this relationship is little more now than a pipsqueak” before turning to the big topic of the day: the European migrant crisis.
Mr Farage described Mrs Merkel’s policy of accepting up to 1.5 million migrants as “the worst piece of public policy in half a century”, echoing comments that Mrs. Merkel has been receiving from inside her own party as of late.
He, perhaps controversially, referred to the migration wave as “a stampede” and noted, as reported by Breitbart London, that “80 per cent [of those coming] are not Syrian refugees… in fact what you’ve done is open the door to young, male, economic migrants… [who] behave in an aggressive manner… the opposite of what you’d expect from a refugee”.
“This isn’t a Europe of peace, it’s a Europe of division,” he claimed, lampooning the pair for attending the European Parliament, and declaring that “Europe isn’t working so we must have more Europe… more of the same failings”.
And then he got onto Britain’s European Referendum.
“There is a bright star on the horizon,” he commented. “It’s called a British European referendum” and said that Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Hollande’s policies made “a Brexit now [look] more likely”.
“I hope that Britain leaving the European Union will be the beginning of end [for the EU]“ he concluded.
Mr. Hollande agreed that if Britain wanted to leave Europe, it should leave.
European President Martin Schulz concluded the meeting by asserting that those who tried to take the EU down from within had today “learned a lesson in democracy”. It is not clear what was democratic about German and French leaders reporting in to unelected bureaucrats in Strasbourg.
He admitted that it was “logical” for Britain to leave the European Union if it didn’t want to be a part of a “common” state: “We’ve been going through this for years. If we don’t want to strengthen Europe, then there’s only one road and I heard what Mr Farage said that the only road is for those who are not convinced of Europe is to leave Europe.
“There is no other way. It’s a horrible path, but it’s a logical path. Leave Europe, leave Schengen and leave democracy. If you can because do you really want to participate in a common state, that’s the question.”