Brexit Party Leader Nigel Farage furiously blast the EU’s chief negotiator, claiming Michel Barnier still “genuinely didn’t understand” why people voted for Brexit.
Last week, Nigel Farage threatened Prime Minister Boris Johnson that he will take action if the UK is not ‘free’ from the EU by December. Marking the one year anniversary since the Brexit Party won a landslide in the 2019 European Parliament elections, Mr Farage took to Twitter to remind Mr Johnson of his duty to deliver Brexit on time. The party won 29 seats in last May’s elections forcing the Conservatives and Labour to suffer heavy losses, with the former getting less than 10 percent of the vote.
Mr Farage wrote: “One year ago today The Brexit Party stunned the establishment and easily won the European elections.
“Without us, Mrs May would have limped on and there would have been no Brexit on January 31.
“Let us hope that Boris frees us from transition.”
Mr Johnson pledged that the UK would leave the EU by December 2020, saying his priority was to “get Brexit done”.
However, in recent weeks rows have broken out in trade deal talks as both sides accuse the other of being unreasonable in their demands.
As tensions rise and the clock ticks down, unearthed reports reveal how Mr Farage wrote to the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, asking him for a one-to-one meeting in 2017.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, former Conservative MP Ken Clarke and the former Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis had all had talks with Mr Barnier and EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici.
Officials from the bloc insisted this was part of Mr Barnier’s “open door” approach to meetings.
Worrying that Mr Barnier was hearing only one side of the Brexit story, Mr Farage penned a letter to the French politician.
Mr Farage wrote: “As you appear to be conducting a series of meetings with UK political figures on the issue of Brexit I wish to make a request.
“As leader of the Party, UKIP, which won the European Elections of 2014 I would like to hold a meeting with you in Brussels.
“It seems that you are listening to a group of people who want to stop or delay Brexit. I will come to speak for the 17.4 million who did not vote for a transition deal or any further delays and whose resolve is getting stronger.”
Mr Barnier agreed and the two met three months later, in January 2018.
As he emerged from the meeting in Brussels, Mr Farage told reporters: “I always said he would be very civil and indeed he was very civil. Coffee was offered which I thought was very nice.
“I genuinely don’t think he understands why people voted for Brexit, I really don’t think he gets it.
“When I suggested to him that it might be something to do with open door immigration from within the EU, he almost looked at me with incredulity as if to say ‘well surely wasn’t it outside the EU migration that was the issue’. He didn’t understand that.”
When asked whether it was a fruitful talk, Mr Farage replied: “Well, I genuinely thought that the views of the 17.4 million had not been expressed before to Mr Barnier and the meeting confirmed that, yes.
“I don’t think anybody has been to see him to really make the point that immigration was front and centre of that campaign.
“It was what motivated millions of people who don’t normally vote to go out in the referendum and basically, where have we got to in terms of our debate in our negotiations – I’ll tell you, nowhere.”