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Farage-y bargy

"Why are you here?" - An EU chief wasn't impressed with Nigel Farage today

“It’s a pleasure,” replied Nigel Farage.

Britain EU Matt Dunham Matt Dunham

THE PRESIDENT OF the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker was deeply unimpressed to be heckled by a UKIP MEP today.

Juncker was addressing a plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels today, ahead of EU leaders meeting to discuss the UK’s withdrawal from the union.

Juncker called on UK Prime Minister David Cameron to clarify quickly when Britain intends to leave the EU, saying there can be no negotiation on future ties before London formally applies to exit.

“I will see the prime minister later this morning… to ask him to clarify the situation as rapidly as possible. We cannot get into a period of extended uncertainty,” Juncker told the European Parliament, adding: “No notification, no negotiation”.

“It cannot be that people now secretly seek to start negotiations,” he said.

It is we who must decide what happens, not just those who wish to leave the European Union.

Can’t watch the video? Click here

Having received sarcastic applause for saying “we must respect British democracy” from UKIP MEPs, Juncker rounded on them to applause from many in the chamber.

“That’s the last time you will applaud (this speech).

And to some extent, I am really surprised you are here.You are fighting for the exit, the British people voted for the exit, why are you here?

“It’s a pleasure,” replied Farage, who was a leading figure in the campaign to leave.

UKIP is the largest British party in the European Parliament, having 22 members.


Belgium Britain EU European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, right, greets UKIP leader Nigel Farage. AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Giving his own speech, Farage was widely jeered, prompting Martin Schultz to call on members to be democratic and listen to him.

“When I came here 17 years ago and said I wanted to lead a campaign to leave, you all laughed.

“Well, you’re not laughing now, are you?”

Farage went on to say that the EU as an institution was “in denial”.

“The reason the UK voted the way it did was because you have, by stealth, imposed upon them a political union.

“Last Thursday was a remarkable result. It was a seismic result.

What the people did was they rejected the multinationals, they rejected the merchant banks, they rejected big politics.

“We now offer a beacon of hope to democrats across Europe.”

Farage added that no deal with the EU would be better than the current deal and that any punitive exit deal would be worse for the EU than the UK.

“We will trade with you, co-operate with you and be your best friend in the world, but let us go and follow our global ambitions.”


Belgium Britain EU European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker waves prior to addressing a special session of European Parliament in Brussels. AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats called on the UK to trigger article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and leave the EU immediately.

He said that only an immediate withdrawal of the UK would end the “uncertainty and toxic climate”.

The remaining 27 states should not have to wait for a disoriented Tory party to get its act together.

“We do not need a lot of imagination. We need a healthy memory to get back to the principles of our founding fathers.”

Read: Four ways the UK could possibly stay in the EU

Read: Poll: Should Scotland leave the UK?

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