Nigel Farage delivered an excoriating barrage at EU ‘pipsqueaks’ trying to humiliate Britain today during a stormy battle in the European Parliament.
The Brexit Party leader condemned the behaviour of Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel and warned that the UK must go for a ‘clean break’ from the bloc.
The stinging assault came as Brexit Party MEPs were ordered to shut up by the chair of the debate as they heckled opponents.
At one point, vice-president Mairead McGuinness stopped proceedings to demand ‘are you finished’ to the 29-strong group.
One MEP shot back: ‘Are you inviting me to go on?’
But Ms McGuinness snapped: ‘I am in control.’
In the European Parliament today, Nigel Farage delivered a barrage at EU ‘pipsqueaks’ trying to humiliate Britain today during a stormy battle in the European Parliament
Mr Farage insisted that the UK must go for a ‘clean break’ from the EU rather than tweaking the Withdrawal Agreement
At one point, vice-president Mairead McGuinness stopped proceedings to demand ‘are you finished’ to the 29-strong group
Mr Farage said it was clear from the ’emollient’ comments by Mr Juncker that the two sides were ‘very close’ to a deal at the EU summit next month in Brussels
Kicking off the debate in Strasbourg this morning, Jean-Claude Juncker trolled Mr Johnson over the bitter row over suspending the Commons – saying the European Parliament is ‘open and in action’.
The EU commission chief delivered the jibe as he gave a speech to MEPs in Strasbourg updating them on the Brexit process.
What happens next in the Brexit crisis?
Here is how the coming weeks could pan out:
Today: Supreme Court continues to hear case on whether prorogation of Parliament was illegal.
September 21-25: Labour conference in Brighton, PM at UN summit in New York.
September 29-October 2: Tory conference takes place in Manchester, with Mr Johnson giving his first keynote speech as leader on the final day. This will be a crucial waypointer on how Brexit talks are going.
October 14: Unless it has already been recalled following the court battle, Parliament is due to return with the Queen’s Speech – the day before Mr Johnson had hoped to hold a snap election.
October 17-18: A crunch EU summit in Brussels, where Mr Johnson has vowed he will try to get a Brexit deal despite Remainers ‘wrecking’ his negotiating position.
October 19: If there is no Brexit deal by this date Remainer legislation obliges the PM to beg the EU for an extension to avoid No Deal.
October 21: Decisive votes on the Queen’s Speech, which could pave the way for a confidence vote.
October 31: The current deadline for the UK to leave the EU.
November/December: An election looks inevitable, but Labour is hinting it might push the date back towards Christmas to humiliate the PM.
Mr Juncker said his lunch with Mr Johnson in Luxembourg this week had been ‘friendly’, but he warned he could not ‘look you in the eye and tell you progress has been achieved’.
He insisted he was ready to work ‘day and night’ to get an agreement with the UK, but warned that the risk of No Deal was ‘palpable’.
A series of federalist MEPs rose to put the boot in over the decision to prorogue the UK Parliament until next month – the subject of a titanic legal showdown in the Supreme Court this week.
Guy Verhofstadt insisted Brexiteers could never again say that the European Parliament was undemocratic in light of the row.
And German MEP Manfred Weber taunted that Britain’s crisis was helping to show European voters that leaving the bloc is a ‘stupid idea’.
‘It’s not Britain that is leaving the EU… jobs and business have been leaving the UK,’ he said.
The swipes prompted fury from Brexit Party MEPs, who grew increasingly noisy as proceedings continued.
When his turn came, Mr Farage said it was clear from the ’emollient’ comments by Mr Juncker that the two sides were ‘very close’ to a deal at the EU summit next month in Brussels.
However, he said such an agreement would be bad for the UK as it would leave it reliant on the ‘good faith’ of the EU when it came to negotiating the future relationship, when it was clear from recent events that there was no such good faith.
‘I am of course referring to the pipsqueak prime minister of Luxembourg who set out to ritually humiliate a British prime minister in the most astonishing way, only to greeted as a hero by President Macron at the Elysee Palace,’ Mr Farage told the European Parliament.
‘The only way forward now is to deliver on the referendum is for a clean break Brexit.
‘Once we have done that we will have a grown-up conversation about trade and about the way forward.’
Mr Juncker trolled that the European Parliament was ‘open’ – although there were swathes of empty seats for the session in Strasbourg this morning
Brexit Party MEPS were out in force for the debate in the European Parliament today
After refusing to move a press conference away from noisy protests in Luxembourg on Monday, Xavier Bettel delivered a furious anti-Brexit rant against the backdrop of a Union flag, while gesturing at the empty podium set up for Mr Johnson (pictured)