Brexit Party leader and MEP Nigel Farage gave his final speech in the European Parliament, denouncing the EU as an anti-democratic experiment. He waved the Union Jack flag to cheers from his UK colleagues as he said goodbye.
As the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to approve the agreement that would let Britain leave on January 31, Farage rose one last time to cap his 20-year term in the forum with a speech declaring victory and wishing the EU good riddance.
Once we’ve left, we are never coming back.
The founding member of UKIP and now leader of the Brexit Party, who has campaigned against the EU since 1992, painted an unflattering picture of the EU as a fundamentally anti-democratic political experiment that gives people “power without accountability” and ignores votes that do not go in its favor.
“We love Europe, we just hate the EU,” he said of both UKIP and the Brexit Party, noting that his parents signed up for a common market, not an unaccountable state with a flag, anthem, courts and the rest of it.
No more being talked down to. No more being bullied… I mean, what’s not to like?
Arguing that the EU wants to ban national flags, he pulled out a pocket flag of the UK to wave the MEPs goodbye – and promptly got his mic cut off by the chair, Irish MEP Mairead McGuinness, who insisted that the flags be put away.
“If you disobey the rules, you get cut off,” she said. “Put your flags away. You’re leaving? Take them with you, if you are leaving now. Goodbye.” McGuinness also objected to Farage’s use of the word “hate” about the EU.