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‘What a joke!’ Michel Barnier denies Nigel Farage formal meeting after welcoming Remainers


NIGEL FARAGE has raged at Michel Barnier who denied the former Ukip leader a formal meeting after he welcomed Remainers like Nick Clegg to Brussels. Michel Barnier denied Farage a formal meeting but said he was happy to meet the Brexiteer

in the “members bar” on the continent on Wednesday. Farage was left seething by the Frenchman’s response to his letter after a number of Remainers were granted

meetings with the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator. Speaking on his LBC show, Farage announced that he would continue fighting for his meeting with Mr Barnier. He said:

“Do you know what happens in a negotiation when you blink, the other side sees weakness, and they go in for the kill. That is what Barnier is doing now. “He’s doing

so encouraged of course by the never-ending stream of British politicians who get the red carpet treatment at the Berlaymont building in Brussels. “Clegg, Ken Clarke,

Lord Adonis, Nicola Sturgeon, Carwyn Jones, virtually every Remainer in the country has been to see Monsieur Barnier. “I thought to myself I have just about had enough

of this so I wrote him a letter. What I said was as leader of the largest group of British MEPs in the European Parliament and as the leader of the party who won the

European elections of 2014, I too would like to have a meeting with him. “Well true to form, I think, he’s responded pretty much as I would have expected. No written

reply but a telephone call from his office on Friday suggesting that he meets me in the members bar this Wednesday. “What a complete and utter joke, total contempt

he treats anybody who wants to leave the European Union with.” Farage vowed that he would not meet the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator but would write another letter

until he got his formal meeting. He said: “I will say ‘what about forwarding at least somebody who wants to speak up for the 17.4million people, the opportunity of a proper formal 10-minute conversation’. “They are the kind of people we are dealing

with”. Speaking after the sixth round of Brexit talks, which concluded on Friday, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator could not understand why Brexiteers were frustrated with him meeting Remainers. The Frenchman claimed that he was only going to negotiate with the Government and David Davis’ team, but reiterated that his “door was always open”. He said: “I follow the public debate in the UK closely. We try to provide information and answer questions. “The other day I was struck by the reaction amongst the British population to the fact that I met Nick Clegg and others, but my door is always open. “For example, this week I met a delegation from the House of Commons Parliamentary Committee.” Michel Barnier made clear that he would only negotiate Brexit with the Government of the United Kingdom. He said: “We negotiate with the Government of the United Kingdom, the Government in place, and that Government has confirmed that they will be leaving the European Union.” Last week Labour Remainer Mr Benn lead a group of MPs in an informal Brexit discussion with the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator this week. Joining the Labour MP was Labour’s Stephen Kinnock and Seema Malholda, Conservative MPs Stephen Crabb and John Whittingdale, Lib Dem Wera Hothouse and the SNP’s Joanna Cherry. Leadng Brexiteers, who are also part of the House of Commons Brexit Committee, Peter Bone and Jacob Rees-Mogg did not attend the talks. Last month Mr Barnier also controversially met with arch-Remainer Nick Clegg, alongside Lord Andrew Adonis and Ken Clarke causing anger among Brexiteers back in the UK.