LONDON — Former UKIP leader and MEP Nigel Farage told EU politicians on Wednesday that they were “behaving like the mafia” over Brexit.
Speaking to EU Parliament in Brussels, Farage said that the demands EU figures have made since Britain triggered Article 50 last week had been “all too predictable.”
The staunch Brexiteer said Britain should not pay a multi-billion pound exit bill and suggested instead that the EU should be the party handing over money as part of the Brexit settlement.
He also criticised the suggestion that Britain could not discuss potential trade deals with the rest of the world until it has left the EU.
He said: “The ever-charming Mr Verhofstadt, the parliament’s chief negotiator, tells us that we cannot discuss potential trade deals with anybody else in the world until we’ve left the European Union. That has no basis in treaty law whatsoever, and it’s rather like saying you can’t guarantee yourself a dwelling for when you leave prison, and I trust that the British government will completely ignore you.”
“That has no basis in treaty law whatsoever, and it’s rather like saying you can’t guarantee yourself a dwelling for when you leave prison, and I trust that the British government will completely ignore you.”
“You have 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.”
After he was chastised by the Italian chair of the European Parliament, Farage said: “I do understand national sensitivities. I’ll change it to ‘gangsters.'”
Watch the full exchange below:
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