Tuesday 18 December 2018

MEP Flanagan: 'I personally would like to see a vote for Brexit'

Independent MEP Luke 'Ming' Flanagan
Independent MEP Luke 'Ming' Flanagan

Niall O'Connor

Independent MEP Luke 'Ming' Flanagan said he believed Ireland will benefit from Brexit and that the EU is a body that tries to dictate when people should use the toilet.

It emerged this week that Mr Flanagan voted in tandem with far-right politicians such as Nigel Farage and Marine Le Pen in favour of a hard Border for the North.

All other Irish MEPs voted the other way.

Mr Flanagan claimed he made the vote "in error". He later requested to the EU authorities that his vote be changed after he was criticised by the Border Communities Against Brexit group.

Video footage has now emerged of Mr Flanagan heralding the prospect of Brexit.

The video was recorded prior to the decision taken by the British electorate. He also issued an extraordinary attack on the EU - saying it tried to dictate when people use the toilet.

"I personally would like to see a vote for Brexit," the Midlands-North-West MEP said.

"There are swings and roundabouts for Ireland out of it. But I think one of the biggest effects of it would be that it would be the jolt the European Union needs.

"One thing I do not support is a union that tells me what time I have to go to the toilet at, how long I can work - that should be the decision of the people of Ireland, no more than it should be the people of Great Britain who make them decisions for themselves. So I would be pleased to see a Brexit happen."

It's understood Mr Flanagan became engaged in testy exchanges with the Border Communities Against Brexit group after it criticised his decision to vote against the resolution.

A meeting was then scheduled between the MEP and the group for last Thursday. Sources close to the group say they were furious with Mr Flanagan.

Mr Flanagan did not respond to a request for comment last night.

On Saturday, he responded by wrongly claiming he had an encounter with this journalist in the Oireachtas restaurant.

"An error in following my voting list," Mr Flanagan said.

"Haven't heard from you since we had to run you from our dinner table in the Oireachtas restaurant."

The resolution opposed by Mr Flanagan - which passed through parliament - was issued in response to the serious concerns about the return of a hard Border.

It states that the parliament "stresses that the unique position and special circumstances confronting the island of Ireland must be addressed in the withdrawal agreement and this in a manner fully consistent with the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts, the agreed areas of co-operation, and with European Union law in order to ensure the continuity and stability of the Northern Ireland peace process".

Irish Independent

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