Nigel Farage demands to be part of Britain's EU negotiations after Brexit Party win European elections
"We’ve got to get on with this!"
Nigel Farage has said he should have a place on Britain's European Union negotiations team after his Brexit Party secured the most public support in the European elections.
With the newly formed anti-EU party taking at least 29 seats in the European parliament and 31.6% of the public vote at the time of writing, Farage told reporters on Sunday night that he had a "mandate" to be part of future negotiations in Brussels.
"We’ve got a deadline for 31 October, that’s the date on which we’re supposed to leave the European Union," he said.
"That’s in five months’ time. What we’re saying is we’ve got a mandate now, we demand to be part of that negotiating team, to get this country ready to leave whatever the circumstances.
"Firstly we’re going to be in Brussels, secondly we’ve got some very high calibre businessmen and businesswomen used to putting deals together – we’ve got to get on with this!"
Farage's comments to the press came as he retained his seat as an MEP in the south east of England, albeit with the Brexit Party rather than his former party UKIP.
The region reflected the collapse of Labour and the Tories in the UK as a whole, with the Brexit Party securing four seats there, with the Lib Dems taking three, and Labour, the Conservatives and the Greens each now holding a single seat.
Speaking after the result was announced for the area, Farage said: "Never before in British politics has a new party, launched six weeks ago, topped the polls in a national election.
"The reason, of course, is very obvious: we voted to leave in a referendum, we were supposed to do so on March 29 and we haven’t. There’s a huge message here, the Labour and Conservative parties can learn a massive lesson tonight, though I don’t suppose they actually will."
Theresa May stepping down as prime minister means that if her new deal is not passed, which it is unlikely to be, then negotiations will be handled by whoever wins the coming future Conservative leadership contest.
At present Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Sajid Javid are among the frontrunners in the run-off, which sees the MPs reduced to two by the Conservatives in parliament, before being put to the wider Tory membership.