Finally, we have left the European Parliament

Brexit Party MEP Alexandra Phillips reflects on a mad last day in Brussels.

Alexandra Phillips

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It was fitting that the final footage of Nigel Farage inside the European Parliament was of his microphone being hastily switched off mid-sentence by a visibly prickly chairwoman. Farage was told off for brandishing a tiny, 10x15cm Union flag. ‘Put your flags away. You are leaving. And if you are leaving now, take them with you’, she sternly instructed with matronly clarity.

And so we did, our little nylon standards held aloft as the other Eurosceptics waved us off vigorously. Meanwhile, the perpetually mournful EU zealots in the rest of the hemicycle broke into an uncomfortable rendition of ‘Auld Lang Syne’. It was typical to see the rules of parliamentary procedure applied unevenly. ‘Part 10, subsection three’ was cited to rid us Brexit Party MEPs of our national flags, but the chair was strangely deaf and dumb to the singing in the chamber, which is also prohibited. Of course, every EU rule is designed to be interpreted solely by the powers-that-be as they see fit.

Earlier in the debate, we were subjected to the feverish rantings of Guy Verhofstadt, who was allowed to spill opulently beyond his three-minute allocated slot into an almost eight-minute proselytisation on the lessons of Brexit. According to Verhofstadt, dissent from the EU should be prevented by creating a full-on legal straitjacket, rather than granting concessions or so much as a slither of additional say to member states.

Farage, on the other hand, made a small symbolic nod to the country he has been elected to represent for over a quarter of a century. He was silenced for even alluding to the existence of the nation state. But if the nation state is so problematic, it begs the question of what the European Union is a union of, exactly.

The revulsion at any kind of plurality or heterogeneity among EU elites has become quite breathtaking, particularly when observed up close on a daily basis. Perhaps it was no coincidence that the vote on the Brexit withdrawal agreement was scheduled to fall in the same week as Holocaust Memorial Day. Cue swathes of MEPs with rheumy eyes drawing connections between the Second World War and the dangers of populism and the purportedly tragic matter of the UK withdrawing from ‘Europe’ – a continent for whom the UK fought, twice, at the cost of millions of lives, to ensure peace.

The new commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, spent a full half-hour pontificating about the virus of European conflict and the necessity of the EU as the only linctus. Just as well that Von der Leyen, the disgraced former German defence minister, responsible for crippling her own nation’s armed forces, will be tasked with overseeing a fully integrated European foreign and defence policy as part of the next strident step to be taken by the emerging government of Europe.

Nobody on the pro-sovereignty side even dared mention that the two wars were fought to protect the integrity of sovereign states over imperialist continental ambitions, spearheaded by Germany. Even the suggestion of this inconvenient history would have EU fanatics reaching for the rules on hate speech. It was therefore quite fitting that as a reward for their six months of service, all of the outgoing British MEPs were given an encased, exclusive edition of the European Union’s own tome on European history. I will most certainly be filing this in my non-existent library under the category ‘Revisionism’.

Remainer MEPs – who would not have even been elected in the first place had Theresa May’s government delivered Brexit on time – staged a histrionic ceremony before leaving. MEP after MEP took turns in the hemicycle to decry the referendum result as the product of dark powers, Russian subterfuge and mass brainwashing. At the same time, MEPs insisted that a bloc established in 1957 was responsible for the transition to European peace in 1945. It’s an interesting interpretation of history that NATO, with headquarters just a couple of kilometres up the road in Brussels, might have something to say about.

As the EU’s acolytes gather tomorrow for the lowering of the Union flag, which will be exhibited in the ‘House of European History’, one has to wonder whether the other 27 national standards will soon follow. Having witnessed first-hand the EU’s myopic ambition to create not a federal bloc but an all-powerful Government of Europe, I’m convinced that the countries which don’t jump will inevitably be consumed by something nobody ever voted for.

Alexandra Phillips is a Brexit Party MEP for South East England.

Picture by: Getty.

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Comments

Ray Rivas

1st February 2020 at 3:28 am

I am so happy for you, Brexiteers. Although the road ahead may be pretty bumpy, as your land cruisers run over the heads of the remoaners flattening them like folks in Queensland do to cane toads (a very apt comparison, I thought), humanity cannot survive without freedom. Totalitarians seek to destroy humanity from the face of the earth. Freedomeers seek our continued existence and improvement. Bravo!!!!

Garreth Byrne

31st January 2020 at 9:51 am

Two groups of British MEPs demonstrated on their last day in the European parliament. Nigel Farage and his merrie followers waved union jack flags in a final taunt at the continentals. The other British wore drapes displaying the union flag on one side and the EU flag on the other, and they sang a few verses from Auld Lang Syne. Farage’s attitude was a sneering ‘good riddance to you lot’ while the ‘other British’ remembered happier times and looked forward to happier times together. As an Irishman I look forward to meeting those Other British and their electoral supporters. Regardless of the good and bad points about the EU project – the Leave voters have strong understandable points – people of different national traditions in Europe and other continents have got to recognize a common humanity and find common ground for respectful international co-operation and understanding. National chauvinism is not common ground.

NEIL DATSON

1st February 2020 at 7:44 pm

Garreth, I don’t know whether or not you troubled to actually listen to Farage’s words, or merely came to your judgement based on a media report. If the latter, and it was anything like the general standard of the broadcast media in the UK, I can understand your reference to: ‘a final taunt at the continentals’. Farage – and I’m no champion of his – was quite clear, he loves Europe and things European, but hates the EU. If he was ‘sneering’ at all it certainly wasn’t at the people of neighbouring countries. And he was absolutely correct: the way in which an anti-democratic political construct has undermined the sovereignty of European nations is the reason that the British have had enough of it. He even referenced Ireland’s travails over the Lisbon Treaty. Don’t you, as an Irishman, remember being told to vote again because you got it wrong the first time?

As for the flag waving, I can’t say I personally think much of it. The Union Flag and the Irish Tricolour both have their place, but it’s better not to fetishise them, whatever your political views or national feelings. On the other hand – given how long it has taken and against such odds – Farage and his fellow Brexit Party MEPs should be allowed to celebrate their moment of triumph in whatever peaceful way they choose.

Jim Lawrie

2nd February 2020 at 11:45 am

Nigel Farage said good riddance to The EU, not to any person or peoples.
Unable to evidence your allusion to chauvinism, you introduce the word continentals, which he did not use, but which for your purposes imputes racial overtones to his conduct.
Then you tell us you are Irish. What relevance has that?

Jim Lawrie

2nd February 2020 at 12:08 pm

Your twisting Mr Farage’s words into an expression of hatred for other peoples and nations is exactly what your countrywoman Mairead McGuinness did.

Michael Lynch

30th January 2020 at 10:56 pm

I really couldn’t care a toss for Brussels and it’s acolytes after tomorrow night. It doesn’t even bother me if Britain disappears down an economic sink hole as a result of Brexit. It’s entirely beside the point because what matters most is that this a victory for democracy. The British people wouldn’t be bullied, they didn’t react to the name calling or the vile bigotry of zealots; instead, they calmly waited, bided their time and reasserted their right to be counted via the ballot box. What a brilliant moment for all of us who believe in the individual and the principle of one person, one vote. After all, what price can you really put on freedom?

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

30th January 2020 at 9:54 pm

25 hours of freedom left! Thanks for all you’ve done Brexiters! We owe you one…

Signed, The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the People’s Republic of China

Dominic Straiton

30th January 2020 at 7:23 pm

The nasty “parliamernt”.

Gareth Edward KING

30th January 2020 at 5:57 pm

I wonder how the EU will make up for the 10 billion annually it’ll lose from its anual budget? But hadn’t UK contributions increased by 15% over 2018-19 despite our wish to leave? Germany, France and Italy might find it difficult to make up for the shortfall. Perhaps, the new acession states: North Macedonia and Albania will make up the difference? Spain is already short of 8 billion Euros in terms of its annual budget, but I don’t see the EU bending over backwards to help out, somehow.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

30th January 2020 at 6:42 pm

Any significant decline or collapse of the EU will have a negative effect on the UK. It is in the UK’s interest for the EU to be successful.

Bobby Mosca

30th January 2020 at 5:56 pm

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

30th January 2020 at 9:57 pm

steven brook

30th January 2020 at 11:20 pm

Ah brings back memories, I always liked the cymbals bit. However I prefer Giovinezza, really catchy.

T Zazoo

31st January 2020 at 3:16 am

For those not as clever as Zen:

That’s Horst Wessel Lied. That’s German for The Horst Wessel ‘Song’

Not Horst Wessel told big porkies.

Though he probably did. No doubt the Nazi’s were unaware of the irony at the time just as Zen appears unaware now.

behepeh behepeh

30th January 2020 at 4:33 pm

Fantastic work-from-home opportunity for everY one. Work for three to eight hrs a day and start getting paid in the range of 7,000-14,000 dollars a month… Weekly payments……

w­w­w.M­y­W­o­r­k­5.c­o­m?

Don’t include “?­” in url

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

30th January 2020 at 11:28 pm

Better take advantage, in a few hours’ time the Japanese will be closing down their UK factories!

quaybored

30th January 2020 at 3:43 pm

And so the Brexit Party loses its source of funding. Boohoo.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

30th January 2020 at 11:26 pm

The *whole UK* just lost its source of funding lol. For some reason, known only to themselves, 52 percent of the UK population decided we needed to leave the world’s largest trading bloc. The 52 percent thought that 30 years of almost continuous economic growth was not good enough and that we could do better by walking out of the tent and into an Antarctic blizzard. We may be some time.

T Zazoo

31st January 2020 at 1:56 am

I like Spiked but it does seem to be a bit of a shoestring operation. They only have one troll. Maybe we can crowdfund another one.

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