Tuesday 21 November 2017

Nigel Farage accuses EU of 'stoking Irish nationalism to make Brexit difficult'

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage Photo: Frederick Florin/Getty
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage Photo: Frederick Florin/Getty
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage has accused the European Union of "stoking Irish nationalism" in order to make Brexit negotiations difficult for the UK.

Speaking on his radio show Leading Britain's Conversation, Farage was commenting on the alleged row between Theresa May and the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Reports claim Mr Juncker said Brexit could "not be a success" and Britain would be forced to pay a huge divorce bill.

However, Farage said the thing that was bothering him was the EU's "stoking of Irish nationalism".

"The EU have indicated that if Northern Ireland would opt to leave the United Kingdom and join up with Eire, there would be absolutely no problem in a new United Ireland automatically becoming a member of the European Union.

"So what they are doing to try to make Brexit negotiations difficult for this government is they are prepared to stoke Irish nationalism and all that could come with that.

"I have to say I think that perhaps this is the most contemptible thing that I've heard so far."

His comments follow the formal acknowledgement by EU leaders of the possibility for Northern Ireland rejoining the EU as part of a united Ireland post-Brexit.

A statement in the minutes of the EU's first official Brexit summit said that if Northern Ireland voted in favour of a united Ireland in future, then "the entire territory of such a united Ireland would thus be part of the European Union".

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the text was "hugely important in order to dispel any doubt or any uncertainty" but added that it did not mean a united Ireland was on the cards.

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