Brexit leader Nigel Farage urges Germans to lead revolt against EU
Britain’s former UKIP party leader Nigel Farage on Friday said Germans should lead a revolt against Brussels as he joined a campaign rally of the anti-immigration and Eurosceptic AfD party.
Farage said he was amazed Brexit had barely figured in debates between Chancellor Angela Merkel and her centre-left challenger Martin Schulz, the former European Parliament president, whom he labelled “a pro-EU fanatic”, ahead of September 24 elections.
“It’s all too embarrassing to admit that their beloved European project is now about to be exited by one of the big countries,” said Farage, whose UK Independence Party was the driving force that led to Britain’s shock vote to leave the European Union in 2019.
Farage insisted he was at the Alternative for Germany (AfD) event at the “personal invitation” of his fellow European Parliament member, the AfD’s Beatrix von Storch, the granddaughter of Hitler’s finance minister Lutz von Krosigk.
Farage said he wanted “to get a proper debate going in the biggest, richest, most important and powerful country in Europe about not just the shape of Brexit but perhaps even the shape of the European project to come”.
He said Germany, as the biggest EU economy, should “say to Brussels: look, the reason the Brits left is because you’re behaving so badly, you’re taking away so much of people’s freedom, liberty and democracy”.
But Farage charged that Germany “hasn’t had the debate” about Europe and “about breaking the closed shop” of EU bureaucrats.
“We managed to break it in the United Kingdom. At the moment Germany is at a point where it is very, very to tough to break through,” he said, adding however that “I predict, in Germany, it will probably start in Bavaria.”
Von Storch, whose party opposes “the United States of Europe” and wants Germany to introduce Swiss-style referendums, hailed Farage for “showing that doing the impossible is possible”.
The AfD, which rejects immigration and Islam, is on course to become the first hard-right nationalist party to enter the country’s parliament in the post-World War II era, now polling around five to 10 per cent.
Its leaders have sparked outrage by saying German border guards should open fire on illegal immigrants “if necessary”, labelling Berlin’s Holocaust memorial a “monument of shame” and suggesting a Turkish-origin German politician be “disposed of in Anatolia”.
At the event Friday at the Spandau Citadel, a 16th century military fortress surrounded by a moat, the AfD displayed a campaign poster that said “For a Christian Occident”.
Farage said that the AfD “have had their problems, as new political parties do” but added that “we’re on the verge of something very interesting happening”, that Germany “is about to get a voice of opposition in the Bundestag”.