#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 6°C Thursday 25 February 2021

'You're behaving like the mafia... no, gangsters': Nigel Farage takes aim at EU

“I do understand national sensitivities. I’ll change it to gangsters,” Farage continued to say.

Image: Jean-Francois Badias

BRITISH MEP NIGEL Farage has compared the EU and its leaders to ‘the mafia’ – and after provoking outrage from his fellow European lawmakers, toned it down to ‘gangsters’.

He made the comments in the European Parliament this morning in relation to the terms and conditions around the UK’s exit from the EU.

You’ve shown yourselves with these demands to be vindictive, to be nasty – all I can say is thank goodness we’re leaving.

“You’re behaving like the mafia, you think we’re a hostage! We’re not, we’re free to go!”

At this point MEPs began protesting at being compared to the mafia. So Farage toned down his language.

I do understand, Mr President, I do understand national sensitivities. I’ll change it to gangsters.

“And that is how we’re being treated – we’re being given a ransom note.”

France Europe Brexit Interesting, if not surprising sock choice by Brexiteer and former UKIP leader Nigel Farage. Source: Jean-Francois Badias/PA Images

There was suggestions before that the EU – in giving Spain a veto over the Brexit deal because of their claim to Gibraltar – were trying to antagonise the UK.

British Defence secretary reacted strongly to the veto provision by saying they’d go to war over Gibraltar, while most said that the territory shouldn’t be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations which will be complex enough as it is.

It’s also expected that Britain will have to pay a fine to the EU to leave, which is what Farage seems to have been alluding to above when he talks about a ‘ransom’.

Although the exact figure is unconfirmed, some reports suggest they’d have to pay as much as €50 billion to leave.


The claims by Farage today are not unlike those made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last month.

In a televised address, Erdoğan compared the EU’s leaders to ‘Nazis’, saying “Europe is swiftly rolling back to the days before World War II”.

This was after the EU’s top court ruled in favour of European companies banning employees from wearing religious or political symbols – including the Islamic headscarf.

“Shame on your European Union acquis!” Erdoğan said, referring to EU law. “Shame on your values. Shame on your law and justice!”

The response came after The Netherlands and Germany blocked Turkish ministers from holding campaign rallies to secure a “yes” vote on expanding Erdoğan’s powers.

With reporting from EuroParlRadio.

Read: Enda Kenny says he ‘doesn’t have to answer to Nigel Farage’

Read: Here’s what the European Union will ask for during Brexit talks

About the author:

Read next: