Pure candy for Brexiteers on both sides of the Atlantic. The jeering begins before Farage has said a word but it ramps up around halfway through, when he notes half-jokingly (but only half) that he’s addressing a group of people who’ve never done an honest day’s work in their lives. Watch the faces of the MEPs behind him. They know he’s taking the piss out of them, to borrow a phrase from Farage’s country. And Farage knows that’s what his fans want to hear.
He knows what his American fans on the right want to hear too:
“Ultimately, Vladimir Putin behaved in a more statesmanlike manner than President Obama did in this referendum campaign,” Farage said. “Obama came to Britain and I think behaved disgracefully, telling us we’d be in the back of the queue, … treating us, America’s strongest, oldest ally, in this most extraordinary way.”
By comparison, Putin “maintained his silence throughout the whole campaign,” he told Regan.
Even so, Farage said he is “not a fan” of the Russian leader, adding that the Ukrainian crisis “actually was sparked by the European Union saying they wanted to extend their borders to take in the Ukraine which Putin took as being a direct threat.”
He ends here by urging Britain’s leadership to invoke Article 50 soon and begin its divorce from the EU and urging the EU not to be spiteful and punish the UK by rejecting what would be a new, mutually beneficial trade agreement. That’s easier said than done in both points. If the EU and UK make a sweetheart trade deal, that’s a signal to other wary members that they can quit the Union too and not suffer economically for it. As for Article 50, you know all about that hot potato if you read this last night. WaPo floats three ways the Tories might try to wriggle out of the referendum result plus one way, which sounds a lot like Farage’s suggestion, that they can try to have their cake and eat it too — a “Leave in name only” move in which formal membership is rescinded but trade continues almost as if nothing’s happened. Why the EU would agree to that, given the incentive it creates for a mass exodus, I don’t know.