Brexit: Nigel Farage confesses UK is in ‘strange place’ after EU referendum

Nigel Farage on a previous visit to Portsmouth. Picture: Allan Hutchings

Nigel Farage on a previous visit to Portsmouth. Picture: Allan Hutchings

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  • Ukip leader admits country is in a ‘very strange place’
  • Nigel Farage doesn’t know what MEPs’ roles are now
  • But he tells The News he and fellow MEPs could have role in Brexit negotiations
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NIGEL Farage has confessed he doesn’t know what MEPs should do following a vote for Brexit in the EU referendum and said the UK is in a ‘strange place’.

The Ukip leader and MEP for the South East – which includes Portsmouth – has also said MEPs may have a role in negotiating Britain’s terms on leaving the European Union.

It’s a very strange place we find ourselves in

Nigel Farage

And he has even suggested Downing Street should issue guidance about MEPs’ role in the European Parliament and on when its laws will cease to effect Britain.

Speaking to The News in the wake of the historic vote, Mr Farage said: ‘There will be a lot of talk about this next week and the week after but it’s not clear.

‘We should be gone before the end of this term.

‘The question will be what will we do for the rest of this term.

‘If there are debates and things around Brexit we should be involved but there are big questions about MEPs’ roles and whether parliament want us.

‘Do British members fully participate in all votes or don’t they?

‘We’re going to have a meeting next week and talk about it – I’m not sure, I’m genuinely not sure.

‘It seems to me that there will be important things that happen in the parliament but I don’t know.’

Calls have been made by Leave campaigners for government to engage Article 50 – which would trigger a two-year departure from the EU.

At the same time, leaders of European countries have demanded Britain speed up its departure following Thursday’s vote.

The UK’s European Commissioner Lord Hill resigned on Saturday.

But Mr Farage added he thinks British MEPs will have a role to play in voting on Brexit in the European Parliament.

He said: ‘My gut feeling is that there’ll be new things in Brussels that do affect us, and particularly in terms of legislation - I don’t know the arrangement.

‘We need guidance from the UK government very badly.

‘When do new EU laws cease to apply?

‘That’s a question that we do need something from Downing Street.’

Asked if he will still attend parliament Mr Farage added: ‘If it was absolutely none of our business and didn’t affect us there’s a strong argument for not being there.

‘I don’t see this as the case, parts of the Brexit deal will get voted on in the European parliament.’

Mr Farage also believes MEPs could help negotiate terms of any exit.

He added: ‘Potentially there’s a role for MEPs particularly as many of them will know their way round.

‘It’s a very strange place we find ourselves in.’

And in a message to EU citizens living in the area he added: ‘It’s not personal, it’s done because we simply can’t go on like this.’

Votes declared in the early hours of Friday morning revealed Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport and Havant voted for Brexit.

And Mr Farage warned those who think a compromise or alternative could be reached instead of Britain leaving.

‘We’ve voted to leave and if there’s any backtracking on that people might not like it very much,’ he said.

An extraordinary plenary session is due to be held on Tuesday at 10am in the European Parliament.

It was called by group leaders and the parliament’s president Martin Schulz on Friday.

MEPs will vote on a resolution ‘analysing the outcome and ways forward’ after the vote.

EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and Council representatives will take part.

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