Farage & Barnier in Brexit showdown TODAY: Ukip MEP in Brussels to confront EU negotiator

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Posted on Jan 8 2018 - 12:28am by admin

The Ukip MEP is due to meet Michel Barnier at the European Parliament building in Brussels for talks this morning.

He revealed yesterday that he wants to use meeting to see if the EU diplomat has fully grasped the reason why so many people in Britain voted Leave in the 2016 EU referendum.

“My concern is the 17.4 million have not had their voices heard – I will endeavour to start a process of doing that tomorrow,” Mr Farage said on his chat show on LBC Radio.

“Once I’ve been there, there’ll be others from the Leave side who go there as well and that’s a very good thing.” 

My concern is the 17.4 million have not had their voices heard

Nigel Farage

The former Ukip leader invited listeners to his LBC show to send their suggestions of issues to raise with Mr Barnier. 

The three he chose to ask today were:

:: “Does Michel Barnier understand why Britain voted for Brexit?”

:: “What happens to the EU’s economy if there’s no trade deal with Britain?” 

:: “How does Michel Barnier view mass migration into the EU coming across the Mediterranean and elsewhere?” 

Nigel Farage and Michel BarnierGETTY

Nigel Farage will meet Michel Barnier at the European Parliament building in Brussels this morning

After meeting Mr Farage today, Mr Barnier is due to hold talks with other leading Brexit campaigners later this week.

He is expected to meet a cross-party delegation of Euro-sceptics led by independent MEP Steven Woolfe, a former member of Ukip, and including former business leaders Lord Digby Jones and John Longworth, in Brussels on Wednesday.

They demanded the meeting after Mr Barnier met leading opponents of Brexit including Tony Blair, the former Lib Dem leader Sir Nick Clegg, senior Tory MP Kenneth Clarke and former Labour minister Lord Adonis.

Mr Woolfe said: “I am delighted Michel Barnier has agreed to meet with us. 

Nigel Farage speakingGETTY

Mr Farage invited listeners to his LBC show to send their suggestions of issues to raise

“A number of Remain voices, including Blair and Clegg, are spearheading a campaign both publicly and privately to try to water down Brexit or keep the UK in the Single Market and the Customs Union.

“That is not acceptable, and the European Chief Negotiator needs to know that the will of the British public remains completely unchanged – and shouldn’t give any time or thought to these possibilities.

“Britain will be leaving the EU, the Single Market and the Customs Union, and all energy has to be focused on getting a good, quick deal that is beneficial for both sides.”

Lord Digby Jones, a former director general of the Confederation of British Industry, said: “I look forward to meeting with Michel Barnier, and stressing the need to go into the next round of talks on trade with optimism and will to get an all-embracing deal for the benefit of all Europeans, especially the unemployed in countries such as France and Spain.” 

He added: “We should also start serious discussions about bureaucratically obstructive and delaying non-tariff barriers to trade.

“There can be no cherry-picking by either side – financial services, aviation and all other aspects of trade must be in the mix.

“The people of the present EU deserve no less; this trade deal is for them, not tribal politicians of any colour or bureaucrats.”

John Longworth, co-Chair of the pressure group Leave Means Leave and a former director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “I look forward to sitting down with Barnier.  

“The meeting is an opportunity to make clear that the UK is not prepared to negotiate away our newly won freedoms as a country to achieve a trade deal. 

“The public and I personally will not stand for any backsliding and it must be made clear at the highest levels.

“No trade deal is better than a bad trade deal for the UK, and the EU has an obligation to prepare for global trade on World Trade Organization terms should no deal be reached.”

John Mills, chairman of the of Labour Leave pressure group and another member of the delegation, said: “The purpose of this delegation is to turn the corner on the first phase of talks, and start talking seriously about getting to a quick, mutually beneficial free-trade deal.  

Michel BarnierGETTY

Mr Barnier is due to hold talks with other leading Brexit campaigners later this week

“It must be made clear to Barnier that the possibility of the UK staying in the Single Market is simply not an option. 

“It wouldn’t give the UK control over its borders or judicial system, and is not what the British people voted for.

“Instead, we need to focus all our energy on reaching a deal that is beneficial for both the UK and Europe.”

“If that is not possible, the UK can safely fall back on World Trade Organization terms and we need to make that option clear.” 

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