The former UKIP leader was met with rancorous applause at an Alternativ für Deutschland (AfD) rally in Berlin, arguing that, ‘Brexit may embarrass Merkel and Schulz, but they need to start talking about it to protect the jobs of their own workers.’
By Max Caskie
Farage also pointed out that there was a “lack of debate in the German campaign about the UK’s split from Brussels”, something which was evident in the duel between Merkel and Schulz earlier this week. The MEP claims it is because Brexit is a ‘huge embarrassment’ for EU leaders – though the Centre for European Reform argues that this is not the case.
He said to reporters, “(I’m trying) to get a proper debate going in the biggest, richest and most important, powerful country in Europe about not just the shape of Brexit but perhaps even the shape of the European project to come.”
The AfD was founded in 2013 by a group of German economists in response to the Eurozone crisis. The party’s objectives include having a Brexit style referendum on both the Eurozone and the European Union. Currently, it is polled at around 11 percent support, which would make it “the largest opposition party if Merkel wins, as expected, and renews her ‘grand coalition’ with the SPD.” The party is known for its controversial views, having stated in the past that “German border guards should open fire on illegal immigrants “if necessary“.”
AfD members were enthusiastic about Farage’s call for Germans to “say to Brussels: look, the reason the Brits left is because you’re behaving so badly, you’re taking away so much of people’s freedom, liberty and democracy”.
Reuters reported that Beatrix von Storch, deputy chairwoman of the AfD, takes ‘hope from Farage’, and was quoted as saying, “Nigel Farage showed the impossible is possible if you just believe in it and fight this fight – he did that for more than two decades and that makes him a role model for us.”
Farage also pushed for Germany to negotiate a deal with Britain without Brussels: “Merkel needs to know that unless she tells Brussels to come to a common-sense accommodation, then she will be putting the interests of Brussels above the interests of common people.” He also stated that, “Trade is a two-way street. If it [Brussels] denies a good deal to the UK, it is denying a deal to the German workers.”
Yet Politico argues it is a misguided belief that Berlin will come to the aid of Britain in the form of a ‘soft Brexit’, because Germany will always favour the single market over any tariff-free access deal.
You can watch Nigel Farage’s speech in full here: