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Farage jeered for ‘mafia’ slur in EU parliament

Brexit champion Nigel Farage shares a joke with Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier/AFP

STRASBOURG, France, Apr 5 – Brexit champion Nigel Farage on Wednesday outraged the European Parliament on Wednesday when he branded the EU as “gangsters” and “mafia” over its negotiation demands.

As the European parliament prepared to vote on its red lines for Brexit talks, former UK Independence Party chief Farage said the European Union was treating Britain like a hostage.

“You are behaving like the mafia. You think we are a hostage. We are not. We are free to go,” he said, triggering cries of indignation and jeers from many of his fellow MEPs.

The parliament’s Italian chief Antonio Tajani interrupted Farage to say it was “unacceptable” for him to compare the parliament to the mafia.

“Mr President, I do understand national sensitivities. I will change it to gangsters and that is how we are being treated. We are being given a ransom note,” Farage replied.

Farage blasted the EU over its demands to negotiate divorce terms before striking a post-Brexit trade deal, as well as its stance on the British territory of Gibraltar and its multi-billion dollar exit bill.

Farage joined British fury after the European Union said last week that Spain should have a veto on extending any trade deal to Gibraltar after the British leave the bloc.

“Gibraltar is clearly a deal breaker,” Farage said.

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