After the Brexit party insulted the European parliament by turning their backs to the anthem, Nigel Farage has defended the stunt by calling it ‘cheerful defiance’.
Speaking to Sky News, Farage said that the party members started by declining to stand for the anthem, but after president Antonio Tajani intervened they stood, but with their backs to the chair.
Farage said they took umbrage at the president of the European parliament calling the EU “a nation” – which he didn’t exactly do.
“He called this place a nation!” said Farage. “I’ll tell you what is disrespectful. What is disrespectful is to take the ancient nation states of Europe, and without asking anybody’s permission, turn it into a country. Because that’s what the president of the parliament called it this morning … I’ll stand for any anthem of any nation of the world, but not a false creation like this. I think we did the right thing.”
What Tajani said was: “Rising to your feet is a question of respect. It doesn’t mean that you necessarily share the views of the European Union. If you listen to the anthem of another country you rise to your feet.”
Farage carried on to describe the Liberal Democrats’ ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ t-shirt stunt as “student union behaviour”.
WATCH: Lib Dem MEPs wear Bollocks to Brexit t-shirts to European parliament“We turned up, we had union jacks on our desk, and we just obeyed the president’s instructions to stand, we just faced the other way,” said Farage.
He called it a “silent act of defiance” but promised to make more noise so that the EU is compelled to make sure the UK leaves the union on October 31.
“I’m all for a nation of states working together, trading together, I’m all for that. What I’m against is – and it was shown this morning by the very act of declaring it to be a country – is this forced political integration without any real democratic support.”