Nigel Farage: The prospect of Britain as a competitor 'terrifies' Brussels

Ellen Manning
·2-min read
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage speaks during a news conference ahead of a vote in the European Parliament on the Withdrawal Agreement in Brussels, Belgium January 29, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
The prospect of Britain being a competitor 'terrifies' Brussels, Nigel Farage has said (Picture: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir)

Brussels is ‘terrified’ at the prospect of Britain being a competitor on its doorstep post-Brexit, Nigel Farage has said.

The Brexit Party leader told the BBC that he felt the European Union was frightened of Britain as it left the bloc on Friday.

He said: “I got the sense [before leaving the European Parliament] that, for the first time since 2016, they are a little bit more frightened of us than we are of them.

“What they fear more than anything – and bear in mind Italy is in recession, Germany is very close to being in recession – what they fear is a competitor on their doorstep. That terrifies them.

“What we should be doing, in our national interest, is to make sure we are a competitor on their doorstep.”

Members of the European Parliament react after voting on the Brexit deal during a plenary session at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium January 29, 2020.  REUTERS/Yves Herman/Pool
Mr Farage said Britain should be a 'competitor on Brussels' doorstep' (Picture: REUTERS/Yves Herman/Pool)

Mr Farage said the Brexit Party would remain active as an “insurance” to prevent any slip-ups by the Government on trade talks with Europe.

He also welcomed prime minister Boris Johnson’s tough approach to the forthcoming talks and supported moves by the government to move away from Brussels rules.

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“If we finish up with alignment, then it means the 88% of our economy that does not sell goods into the EU is still bound by EU rules and that would not be Brexit,” he said.

“I think he is saying all the right things. I think he is being consistent with the manifesto on which he was elected.”

Following the official departure on Friday, the UK will now enter a “transition period” until December 31, during which the UK will effectively remain a member of the EU while the government negotiates its future relationship with the bloc.