Guy Verhofstadt tells the Brexiteers it's Westminster - not the EU - acting undemocratically

PUBLISHED: 08:56 18 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:13 18 September 2019

Guy Verhofstadt in the European parliament. Photograph: European parliament.

Guy Verhofstadt in the European parliament. Photograph: European parliament.

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Guy Verhofstadt has told the Brexit Party to end their digs about the 'undemocratic EU' and comparisons to the Soviet Union because it's Brexiteers in Westminster acting against the wishes of democracy.

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In a speech to the European parliament the Brexit negiotiator pointed the on-going saga over Boris Johnson's prorogation of parliament.

He told colleagues that the "British parliament might be shut down but in the case of the European Union it is not".

Turning to Nigel Farage, he said: "It is fantastic that the Brexit Party are here making so much noise, because they can't do it in Westminster any more so they have to do it here."

Smirking the anti-Brexit politician joked: "By the way they are not even elected in Westminster!"

He said Eurosceptics like "to say the European Union is undemocratic", but he continued: "I can tell you that Jean-Claude Juncker or Tusk can do a lot of things but at least they can't close the doors of this house - that is not possible!"

Referring to the Brexit Party, he said: "If the Eurosceptics in the coming minutes want to use again the ridiculous comparison with the Soviet Union they can point the finger at Westminster rather than Strasbourg or Brussels."

Verhofstadt used his speech in the debate on the UK's withdrawal from the EU pointed out there was one positive from Brexit - that it at least made the European project more popular.

To jeers from Eurosceptics he added that 40 of 73 MEPs elected from the UK were Remain politicians.

He referred to Boris Johnson's comparison to the Hulk while talking about EU citizens' rights.

He said that the prime minister needed to rethink settled status in the UK for EU citizens, and said that there should be automatic registration.

He quipped: "Boris Johnson likes a lot to compare himself with movie characters. Well, concerning citizens' rights, instead of playing the angry Hulk I think he should inspire himself by another character - the caring nanny from the film Mrs Doubtfire."

He added that with any Withdrawal Agreement the EU would continue to "defend companies and defend its economy" and would "never accept a Signapore by the North Sea".

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