‘Just like Brexit!’ Bitter MEPs attack Farage and compare Capitol riot to Leave victory

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MEPs launched a furious tirade against Brexit and Nigel Farage yesterday, as they exploited the inauguration of Joe Biden in Washington to score cheap political points.The new US President was sworn in on Wednesday in a ceremony with only a small number of attendees in front of a heavily fortified US Capitol, where a mob of Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the building two weeks ago. 

The S&D’s leader Iratxe García Perez saw in Donald Trump’s legacy a call to fight inequalities on both sides of the Atlantic.

In a bid to condemn the Capitol protests, she compared the Trump era to the “tragic” decision of British people to leave the EU with the 2016 referendum.

She said: “On the 6th of January the United States democracy witnessed one of the darkest chapters of history.

“The storming of the Capitol is the shocking result of nationalist and populist rhetoric undermining the foundation of civil and peaceful coexistence in the US society.

“All democracies are fragile, including those that we believe to be rock solid.

“US democracy is strong and will overcome this crisis. President Biden and Vice President Harris will have to foster a mutual understanding and heal the divides of polarisation and division.

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“Xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, climate change negation, anti-vaccine sentiments, are just an example of the delirious ideas that underpin this right-wing ideology in western democracies.

“Let’s not forget that these ideologies as well as stoking fears have also let to inequality, tax evasion, deindustrialisation and unemployment.

“Meaning that millions of people in the United States have lost faith in democracy.

“It is high time we understand that to ignore the scale of inequalities is not merely an unacceptable and immoral injustice but also the source of the most tragic political events in the political world, ranging from Brexit to Trumpism.

“We are seeing a populist venom feeding our native ideas and the idea that human beings should not enjoy equal human rights.

“All of this shows that we must be strong in fighting this information and allow citizens to gain access to reliable information.”

Echoing her sentiment, the leder of the Green group, Ska Keller, lashed out against Hungary’s Viktor Orban, the Polish Government and Brexteers who led the campaign in the UK to abandon the Brussels bloc.

She blasted: “Imagine that the riots to overturn a free and fair election happened here at the European Parliament, or in the Parliament of one of the member states.

“Sounds unbelievable, far away? But do we really think in Europe we’re safe from the threats of populism and demagogs, from disinformation and attacks to overthrow the rule of law?

“Remember the Brexit campaign five years ago filled with blatant lies and false promises?

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“Think of the Polish Government’s unbelievable disregard for women’s ownership of their own bodies.

“Think of what we sometimes hear here in this chamber.

“And perhaps most emblematically don’t forget Viktor Orban’s systematic dismantling of Hungary’s rule of law, blaming every imaginable or unimaginable foreign fall, from George Soros to migrants to indeed the EU itself.

“Let’s keep all of this in mind when looking at the events across the Atlantic.

“Those events should inspire humbleness rather than fuel a false belief that we’re safe from all of this in the EU.”

Renew group leader Hilde Vautmans used even stronger words when she called on EU leaders to “kill the Trump fires in Europe”.

She said: “Biden’s inauguration is a victory for democracy. But even with Biden, it cannot be business as usual.

“First we need to redefine our transatlantic relationship by establishing a stronger and more integrated European pillar, especially in defence.

“And secondly we have to increase our fight against at least a dozen of mini-Trumps in Europe who try to poison democracy on this side of the pond.

“Farage, who manipulated Brexit with lies.

“Orban, who is every day trying to kill Hungary’s democracy.

“And then I don’t even want to talk about Salvini and Le Pen.

“People vote for these Pied Pipers of Hamelin because they feel insecure about their future so the best way to fight them is not to wait for Biden but to speed up European cooperation and integration.”

President Biden on Wednesday began signing executive actions, which among others, addressed climate change and initiated the process of the United States rejoining the Paris climate accord.

The decision was welcomed by the European Union.

The European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans wrote in a statement: “We are looking forward to having the United States again at our side in leading global efforts to combat the climate crisis.

“The climate crisis is the defining challenge of our time and it can only be tackled by combining all our forces. Climate action is our collective global responsibility.”

Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris deal.

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