Nigel Farage booed as he tells European Parliament other countries will leave the EU
Nigel Farage was booed and heckled in the European Parliament this morning as he told MEPs the UK would not be the first country to leave the EU.
The triumphant Ukip leader said last Thursday's result was a "seismic" change in British, European and global politics and showed that "little people" had had enough of "big politics".
He goaded pro-European parliamentarians, saying: "When I came here 17 years ago and I said that I wanted to lead a campaign to get Britain to leave the EU, you all laughed at me. Well I have to say, you’re not laughing now, are you?"
His speech was repeatedly interrupted by other MEPs shouting and booing, leading the president of the European Parliament to tell colleagues not to "imitate Ukip" in their behaviour.
Mr Farage claimed the British people's decision would not be the first time a European nation decided to go it alone.
"What the little people did, what the ordinary people did, what the people who have been oppressed over the last few years and see their living standards go down - they rejected the multinationals, they rejected the merchant banks, they rejected big politics and they said, actually, we want our country back, we want our fishing waters back, we want our borders back, we want to be an independent self-governing, normal nation and that is what we have done and that is what must happen," he said.
"And in doing so we now offer a beacon of hope to democrats across the rest of the European continent. I’ll make one prediction this morning - the UK will not be the last member state to leave the EU."
He was backed up by the leader of France's Front National, Marine Le Pen, who called the result "a cry of love of a people for their country".
"The propagandists for the EU, left, right or centre – put away those sulky faces, put away those angry looks and rejoice in the great emancipation of the peoples, this is the end to their contribution to the EU," she said.
Mr Farage also called for a swift agreement on the future UK-EU relationship, with a tariff-free trade deal - but he insisted that even without a deal the UK would be better off outside the bloc.
"If you were to decide to cut off your noses to spite your faces and reject any idea of a sensible trade deal the consequences would be far worse for you than it would be for us.
"Even no deal is better for the United Kingdom than the current rotten deal we’ve got, but if we were to ,move to a position where tariffs were reintroduced on products like motor cars then hundreds of thousands of German workers would risk losing their jobs."