Strasbourg, EU. Things turned nasty this morning during Brexit negotiations as Nigel Farage has accused the EU of behaving like the “mafia” because it is holding Britain hostage with its £50bn divorce bill, during a raucous and at times bitter debate with MEPs in Strasbourg. “You’re behaving like the mafia, like we’re a hostage. We’re not – we’re free to go,” Mr Farage said.
The extraordinary remarks came as the EU parliament set out its base line position on negotiations for a Brexit deal during the debate. Representatives from the 27 member states are expected to back a call by EU leaders to first agree to divorce terms before striking any new trade deals.
Germany’s delegation was particuarlly forceful stating,”We want to have a clear signal that the European Union is united,” German MEP Manfred Weber, the head of the conservative European People’s Party. His agression uncontained, he then vented in this outburst, “London must understand that no splitting up of the EU position is possible.”
Another comment seen as intimidation came from Jean Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, who has previously suggested Britain would have to pay a Brexit “divorce bill” of up to £50bn in liabilities, and pledged funding. The United Kingdom officials handling Brexit negotiations have already stated no such recompense will be forthcoming, as public statements increase tensions between both parties.
The most recent statement from Strasbourg recounts Britain’s EU membership simply as “a waste of energy, stupidity.”