Great Britain

Brexit Party MEP stuns Strasbourg Parliament as he explains how Brexit is EU's OWN fault

The Brexit Party MEP insisted the European Union contributed to securing the Brexit referendum for the British people with the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. The Treaty was the first body of European law to introduce a mechanism to grant member states the right to give up their membership of the bloc and leave – the so-called Article 50. Addressing colleagues in the European Parliament during the monthly Strasbourg plenary, Mr Bullock said: "If it hadn't been for the Lisbon Treaty, it is quite possible we would not have Brexit now.

"So perhaps we should be grateful you decided to expand your power, you started creating a superstate and you ignored nation-states, democracy and voters.

"Let us remember what Margaret Thatcher said in her Bruges Speech – that Europe shouldn't become an institutional device to be constantly modified according to some abstract intellectual concept."

While a key supporter of the European project in the early years of her leadership, Mrs Thatcher became increasingly critical of the growing powers of EU institutions and opposed Britain's adoption of the common currency through the Maastricht Treaty in 1992.

Mr Bullock continued: "That is what it has become – however, the Lisbon Treaty did contain Article 50, a means of leaving the EU.

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Brexit Party MEP Bullock thanked the EU for facilitating Britain quitting the bloc (Image: EPTV•GETTY)

Brexit Party Jonathan Bullock Lisbon Treaty EU withdrawal deadline latest news

The Brexit Party MEP suggested Britain would still be stuck in the EU without the Lisbon Treaty (Image: EPTV)

"Even that was a trap, designed to frustrate an exiting nation until it reversed its decision.

"But Britain has voted to be free of that, thanks to the pressure of Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party, which led to a reformed Conservative Party under Boris Johnson, we will be leaving the EU on January 31."

He added: "So, by all means, celebrate your Lisbon Treaty but we will be celebrating the regaining of our sovereignty, independence and democracy as a free country once again."

European leaders earlier this month marked the 10th anniversary of the Lisbon Treaty becoming effective. The anniversary coincided with the new leadership of the European executive institutions – Ursula von der Leyen for the Commission and Charles Micher for the Council – taking over from their predecessors. 

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Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel were inaugurated the day of the 10th Anniversary of the Lisbon Treaty (Image: GETTY)

Boris Johnson is set to put his proposed Brexit withdrawal deal back in front of MPs on Friday after a two-month delay in the run-up to the general election.

Mr Johnson is hoping to have the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) clear the Commons and the Lords by mid-January to allow the European Parliament to also have a vote on whether to accept the deal.

But arch-federalist MEP Guy Verhofstadt has warned the Parliament could seek to derail the January 31 withdrawal deadline.

Speaking ahead of Mr Bullock, the former Belgian Prime Minister said: "There is a consent to be given by this Parliament and I know that everybody says that this consent will be automatically because it’s like that.

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Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage campaigned for over 20 years for Britain to leave the EU (Image: GETTY)

Brexit news timeline Boris Johnson WAB vote latest

The Brexit withdrawal deal is to be put back to the vote as early as Friday (Image: EXPRESS.CO.UK)

"We have foreseen that the consent procedure will end in plenary on the 29th of January but in the meanwhile, there is a problem to be solved.

“I have received since the election in Britain hundreds and hundreds of letters and emails of British citizens living in Europe, panicking about their status.

“I have received hundreds of mails of EU citizens living in Britain, panicking about their status.“And I think we need to solve that first before we give our consent on this Brexit treaty.

“Never citizens, British or European, can be the victim of this - in my opinion - not very intelligent choice of Brexit.

“And I want to do an appeal to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to be generous in his victory and to give all the European citizens and the British citizens alike living on the continent the full rights as they have today.

“Automatically, to all of them, no ifs no buts, as he always says.”

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