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.
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.
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.
The European Parliament voted 621-49 on Wednesday to approve the agreement that would clear the path for the UK to begin exiting the bloc on January 31, pending negotiations on the details with Brussels.
It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves