UKIP leader Farage speaks of love of Europe, hatred of EU

UKIP leader Farage speaks of love of Europe, hatred of EU

Nigel Farage, head of the UK Independence Party that is currently leading polls ahead of this month's European elections, told AFP during an interview in Portsmouth of his hatred of the European Union and his determination to bring down its parliament from the inside.

UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage drinks a cup of tea after addressing a press conference at Portsmouth's Guildhall in southern England on April 28, 2014

Question: "You have predicted a political earthquake, what will it achieve? Are you anti-European?"

Answer: "I always wanted a political earthquake, the polls are enormously encouraging but I am not going to delude myself. There is far more work to be done but we are on our way."

"Anti European? Noooo. This is a ridiculous thing to say.

"I love Europe, it is a great place. I am married to a European, I've worked for European companies and I like European culture.

"But I hate the flag. I hate the anthem. I hate the institutions.

"And I don't think a uniformed political union is in the interest of anybody. Not just Britain, but anybody in Europe.

"I want us to have a Europe of cooperating sovereign, independent, democratic nation states. We don't need to build a state in Europe.

Question: "So why the big effort to win seats in the European Parliament, where you already have nine representatives?"

Answer: "To expose it. Simple as that.

"Before UKIP, MEPs went to Brussels, nobody in Britain knew anything that went on over there. It was as if it was a secret, it was all silent.

"And we have changed the whole nature of the debate in this country by pointing out that it is an expensive bureaucratic and fundamentally anti-democratic system of government."

Question: "How different will the next European Parliament be? You will still have a lot of enemies there, but maybe more friends?"

Answer: "There will be more eurosceptics in the next parliament, that is for certain, and they will represent all ranges of political opinions.

"There will be the very nationalistic hard right eurosceptic wing, there will be more communist eurosceptics, there will be more people like us, in the middle.

"There will be a collection, a rainbow of different kinds of eurosceptics in the next parliament. Will it be enough to form a blocking minority? I don't know. I doubt it.

"But it will certainly be a livelier, more interesting European Parliament. But the real effect will be what happens in the different states.

"In Britain, it will be a clear, a full, free and fair referendum on whether to stay a member of a political union, or not."

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