Brexit Party MEPs protest having their desks cleared - and their flags taken away
PUBLISHED: 16:45 16 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:55 16 January 2020
Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party claimed that they wanted to lose their jobs when they turned up at the European Parliament in June 2019.
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But now they are planning to leave for the last time they are protesting about having their desks cleared... because they have removed their union flags from the table.
There has been a storm brewing on social media all week after the flags were removed when Farage tweeted: "We have just had our Union Jack flags removed from our desks in the European Parliament, by order of the president. Thank God we are leaving." Today it spiralled into the chamber when Italian MEP Marco Zanni complained about officials "breaking the rules" by removing the flags, reportedly an order by the parliament's president.
It sparked the Brexit Party group chair Brian Monteith to call for a "point of order" - only to be told they would have to put away the flags from their desks to be heard.
She was applauded by fellow MEPs, but a small delegation of Brexiteers banged their tables and continued to shout "let him speak" while waving their flags.
"Sorry colleagues but you are not letting him speak, because you are not following the orders of the president so just do so and we'll let him speak," Ewa Kopacz, the vice president of the parliament, told the Brexit Party MEPs.
One MEP pointed out that the rules are not even allowed to have a glass of water on their table, let alone a flag.
Monteith could be heard shouting "MY FLAG IS NOT A GLASS OF WATER!" provoking the Brexiteers to whoop and cheer.
Another MEP pointed out "banners" were not allowed in the European Parliament - and a flag falls under that definition.
As the parliament moved on to a vote, Brexit Party MEPs shared their own account of the protest.
Michael Heaver tweeted: "We weren't having it. Magnificent moment of unity just now. We are proud of our flag!"
Journalist Alex Taylor - observing the scenes - unfold said: "They think they're patriotic but these jingoistic charlatans, banging tables. They have done untold long-term damage to the reputation of Britain, fought for by my parents' generation."
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Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.Become a supporter