The European Parliament’s Brexit point man Guy Verhofstadt today (14 September) clashed with UKIP leader Nigel Farage at the debate after Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union speech.
Farage branded ALDE’s head Verhofstadt ‘a fanatic’ and ‘and EU nationalist.’
“If you would think of this building as a temple (the European Parliament), Mr. Verhofstadt is the high priest, a fanatic. There is only one real nationalist in this room, and it’s you,” Farage said.
Verhofstadt responded to the accusations, calling them “ridiculous.”
“If you defend Europe, if you defend a European vision, then you are a accused of being the source of nationalism and protectionism. That’s ridiculous,” Verhofstadt shouted.
Commission’s President Jean-Claude Juncker defended the idea of European integration, arguing “the Commission doesn’t intend to get rid of nation states. We don’t destroy, we don’t want to undermine, we want to construct, we want a better Europe.”
“Far too often national interests are brought to the foreground. We shouldn’t misunderstand; this European integration cannot bow to interests of individual member states,” he said