Tuesday , January 26 2021

Brexit: Nigel Farage praises EU negotiator Michel Barnier for role in Johnson deal – The Independent, Independent





Nigel Faragehas praised theEuropean Union‘s chief negotiator for his work on the prime minister’sBrexitdeal.


“I wish we could employ him,” theBrexit partyleader said ofMichel Barnierto a rally of supporters in Westminster. “He’s been a damn sight better than our negotiators have been over the course of the last few years”.


Mr Farage has repeatedly painted him as one of the EU’s chief villains over months of negotiation.




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Earlier this week in the European Parliament, he accused Mr Barnier of not acting in good faith and of putting obstacles in the way of the UK.


But at the rally of Brexit party supporters alongside the DUP’s Ian Paisley, he appeared to change his tune as he called Boris Johnson’s deal a “reheated” version ofTheresa May‘s withdrawal agreement.




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“This deal, if it is to pass, will not get Brexit done” he said. “All we’ve done is end the first phase of the negotiations.


“In fact in the last three and a half years we’ve just done the easy bit, because we’ll move on to a long agonising negotiation in which Brussels will hold all of the cards – and I don ‘ t know if you’ve heard this, but Michel Barnier has been reappointed head up the next phase of the negotiations ”.


As the prime minister has pushed forward with his deal, Mr Farage has become increasingly critical of it.


Earlier this week he was mocked after defending a law that would delay Brexit, despite having spent months insisting that the UK must leave the bloc by 31 October.


Mr Farage hit out atJean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, after he suggested there should be no further delay to the UK’s EU withdrawal – despite regularly calling for no more delays himself.


Mr Juncker told reporters at a European Council summit in Brussels that there “will be no prolongation” after the EU and UK agreed a deal just hours before European leaders are due to meet.


Referencing policy from Hilary Benn he has repeatedly denounced, Mr Farage tweeted: “So an unelected, retiring bureaucrat says: no extension, take this new treaty or just leave. He is overriding the Benn Act. to be a thuggocracy – power without accountability. Appalling people. “





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