“Isn’t it funny? When I came here 17 years ago and I said I wanted to lead a campaign to get Britain to leave the EU, you all laughed at me but you are not laughing now,” Farage told MEPs.

Farage said the European Union was “in denial” about its failing and wrong-headed ambitions for a united Europe from which voters were turning away in droves.

“You have imposed on them a political union and when the people in 2005 in the Netherlands and in France voted against you, you simply ignored them and brought the Lisbon Treaty in by the back door!” he told MEPs in an emergency debate on Britain’s Brexit vote.

Going into the chamber, a beaming Farage embraced European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker, his long-time sparring partner who in his own address asked why the UKIP leader had even bothered to turn up.