Leading Brexit campaigner Farage won't give up his EU parliament seat

The head of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage, a leading voice for the successful referendum campaign to pull Britain out of the European Union, said Tuesday he would not give up his seat in the bloc's legislature.

"The European Parliament is going to have a say that will be part of the Brexit debate. I lead the biggest British delegation in the European Parliament, I am not going to run away," Farage said on the sidelines of an EU summit in Brussels on the so-called Brexit.

Earlier Tuesday, Farage was sharply criticized by fellow EU lawmakers for his anti-EU stance in a raucous debate that preceded the meeting between British Prime Minister David Cameron and his 27 EU counterparts.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also spoke in parliament. Addressing Farage, he said: "To some extent I'm really surprised that you are here. You were fighting for the exit, the British people voted in favour of the exit, why are you here?" 

Amid uncertainty over the timing of Britain's departure from the EU and its future status, Farage said that following the model of Norway - which has to comply with most EU regulation and pay into its budget in return for access to its single market - was "not an option."

He said a no-deal scenario - whereby Britain's trade with the EU would be subject to tariffs under World Trade Organization rules - would "hurt more" the EU than Britain - a controversial assertion disputed by most analysts.

"There are no losses for us," the UKIP leader said. "I hope we can all be grown up, pragmatic and sensible and reach a tariff-free deal ... that would be the best for everybody," he added.

Last update: Tue, 28/06/2016 - 22:13

More from Europe

Romanian president joins thousands in anti-government rally

Thousands of Romanians were joined by President Klaus Iohannis in a street protest in Bucharest on Sunday against...

Suspected accomplice detained in Germany in foiled Vienna attack

A 21-year-old man and his wife have been arrested in their home in the western German city of Neuss on suspicion of...

May vows to press Trump on "unacceptable" remarks in Friday meeting

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday vowed to confront US President Donald Trump about any "unacceptable"...

Hungarian bus company probed for negligence after Italy crash

Criminal negligence charges are being mulled against the owners of a bus that was in a fatal accident in Italy at...

Number of missing at Italy avalanche-struck hotel rises to 24

The number of people still missing in a central Italian mountain hotel that was buried by a massive avalanche...