Guy Verhofstadt probably wasn’t on Nigel Farage’s Christmas card list anyway…

It would be fair to say that Nigel Farage and the leader of the ALDE group in the European Parliament, former Belgian Prime Minister, Guy Verhofstadt, are unlikely to be close friends. It’s rather less likely after this intervention on Wednesday. Sit back and enjoy…

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This entry was posted in Europe / International and News.


  • Farage faraged! I recently read that Farage now had a German wife, so Farage will be OK if he gets his dream of the UK (or some of it) outside the EU.

    Does anyone know where to find Farage’s attendance record in plenary sessions and committee meetings in Brussels? If Guv Verhofstadt is correct, his record should be more widely publicised.

  • Richard Norris 23rd Nov '12 - 9:06pm

    It certainly takes a large amount of brass neck and/or lack of principle to accept the considerable material benefits in terms of salary, expenses and, presumably, superannuation of being an MEP for a party the sole aim of which is to promote the withdrawal of this country from the EU. UKIP contributes nothing of any value to the Union so the attendance of Farage and his fellow MEP’s would seem to be redundant.

  • Farage is doing first-rate work for the UK, and I look forward to the day that the UK has a zero attendance record, in this destructive superfluous, EU bloat fest.

  • Steve Comer 23rd Nov '12 - 9:47pm

    Thanks Mark – a great clip.
    I heard another speech from Guy Verhofstadt on the Parliament channel a few weeks ago, he’s a great combattive advocate for Liberalism, and the book he’s co-authored with Daniel Cohn-Bendit is on my Xmas wish list!
    About time Guy was invited to address Autumn Conference I feel, after all he’s just as much our Leader as Nick Clegg is.

  • Steve Comer 23rd Nov '12 - 9:48pm

    PS: why are some words in the above underlined to link to an ad for bloody I-phones!

  • @Martin
    “I recently read that Farage now had a German wife”
    Since 1999 I believe, I don’t think it’s something that has been secret.

    “Does anyone know where to find Farage’s …………”

    @Richard Norris
    “UKIP contributes nothing of any value to the Union….”
    He doesn’t contribute any of your values, but as he was democratically elected he is obviously contributing to the value by putting across the views of a group of voters. Surely that is something to be welcomed (even if it is a view you don’t like)?

  • Kirsten de Keyser 24th Nov '12 - 12:53am

    Great clip! And always such a pleasure to see a government in action where members applaud like normal people rather than bray like a herd of demented donkeys.

  • As Richard Norris so astutely says :
    “It certainly takes a large amount of brass neck and/or lack of principle to accept the considerable material benefits in terms of salary, expenses and, presumably, superannuation of being an MEP.”
    I couldn’t have outlined the EU gravy train any better. Thanks Richard.

  • Martin Lowe 24th Nov '12 - 1:30pm

    If they were decent, honest and intelligent, UKIP would purely focus on getting MPs elected to the House of Commons – because that’s the only arena where they can take action to get Britain to leave the EU.

    The only honest reason for them to have MEPs is to stop all new legislation passing through the Parliament and to lobby for repeals of existing legislation. But they don’t do that, because they don’t turn up for key votes or committee meetings.

    Basically, the only reason for UKIP to have MEPs that don’t do any work is for personal enrichment.
    They take their voters for fools.

  • François Houtart 24th Nov '12 - 4:25pm

    Franchement l’Angletterre devrait relever son image de marque autrement que par ses critiques et, d’autre part les flon-flons de la royauté … On a tout compris !!

    Quel est votre modèle social ? Mieux que dans les autres pays d’Europe ? J’en doute pertinament.
    Rêver, innover, connaître l’Histoire, trvailler aux Droits de l’Homme et à l’Etat de droit, c’est là que devrait être notre idéal.

    La liberté ??? Oui : de vivre quelque chose, de rejeter l’njustice et la misère sociale près de chez soi : Anglais faites votre boulot avant de venir pleurnicher à Bruxelles !!!

  • Hehe – the difference is that if people don’t like the amount of work and effort Nigel is doing, they can vote him out. (Unlike the EU Commission which people cannot) However I think it will be lots of Lib Dem MEPs that are the ones who get voted out in 2014…

    “But they don’t do that, because they don’t turn up for key votes or committee meetings.”
    Erm UKIP do do that in plenary where it matters! Committees are a waste of time and a talking shop.

    If it wasnt for UKIP then there would be no democratic opposition at all…. instead of votes going through like 600 in favour and 12 against it would be 612 in favour and none against. At least UKIP offer opposition to the EU government in Brussels instead of all the political groups voting the same way on 99% of EU legislation. You should thank UKIP – in a weird way they are making it more democratic!

  • Guy Verhofstadt has said that paying Farage a salary as he has never attended a comittee,is hasn`t he just backed up Farage`s claims that the EU is a waste of money as they pay people for doing nothing? Doesnt really seem as if he thought his speech through

  • Alex Macfie 7th Dec '12 - 1:37pm

    JJ: Committees are where most of the real work is done in any legislature. The European Parliament is no different. Plenary sessions are mainly pantomimes, although rather less so in the European Parliament than in, for example, the UK parliament due to the non-adversarial nature of the EP’s working. You say:

    If it wasnt for UKIP then there would be no democratic opposition at all

    What do you mean by “democratic opposition”? If you mean opposing all proposals for the sake of it, then I don’t want that thank-you very much. Of course there is no formal “opposition” in the EP because the EP doesn’t work like that. It works according to the principle of separation of powers, so is totally independent of both the Commission and the Council. Also there are several party groups (and incidentally, UKIP is also a member of one of these groups; in the UK the only MEPs that aren’t are those from the BNP), and no one group has a majority of seats. MEPs look at Commission proposals with a critical eye, and nearly all proposed EU laws are amended in the European Parliament, and sometimes proposals are rejected. It is NOT true to say that all groups always vote the same way. There are clear political divisions in the European Parliament: look at to see what really happens.

  • Nikolas Tolsky 22nd Dec '12 - 4:44pm

    MEPs get a daily bonus for each day that they turn up to the parliament so an MEP that turns up everyday will make alot more money than one that is less regular like Nigel.

    Guy Verhofstadt was using the check in register that determines whether you recieve this daily allowance to see how often Nigel turned up to the parliament but unfortunately the register doesn’t record how long the members stay at the parliament. If it did then it might record that most of these members leave straight after registration which is 7am! So they’ll turn up at 6.30am, stay for half an hour and go before the parliament session has started!!

    If you don’t believe view the video at and

    He can either use EU money to go across europe and spread the message of UKIP (the aim of which is to try to break up the EU) or he can make even more money sitting in a half empty parliament with some overpaid windbags. I think he’s got it right.

  • I could not agree more with Mr. Verhofstadt. Towards an European federation without Mr. Farage.

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