Farage's Belgium jibe met with World Cup warning for England

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Farage's Belgium jibe met with World Cup warning for England

Nigel Farage Farage's Belgium jibe met with World Cup warning for England

Former PM Guy Verhofstadt hits back after ex-Ukip leader says Belgium is not a nation

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Nigel Farage: 'Belgium is not a nation' â€" video

Politics and sport is rarely a comfortable mix. And that was the case for Nigel Farage after he belittled Belgium’s claim to be a nation state during a debate with the country’s prime minister, Charles Michel, in the European parliament.

Responding to a speech by Michel championing the European project, the former Ukip leader told MEPs: “Belgium is not a nation, it’s an artificial creation. The truth is there are two parts of Belgium, they speak different languages, they dislike each other intensely, there’s no national TV station, there’s no national newspaper â€" Belgium is not a nation.”

In response, Michel told MEPs: “Britain took his advice, and look how well that is going.”

Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament’s Brexit coordinator and a former Belgian prime minister, then came to Michel’s aid after the debate in Brussels, writing on Twitter: “Today, Nigel Farage said Belgium is not a real country. He’ll see how real Belgium is when we play England in the World Cup! But perhaps he’s still exploring German citizenship and will be rooting for ‘die Mannschaft’ [the German national team].”

Farage, whose estranged wife is German, recently disclosed that two of his four children have German passports.

Belgium are third in the Fifa world rankings; England are 13th. The teams are in the same qualifying group in this summer’s tournament in Russia and will play each other on 28 June.

In August 2016, Farage was spotted at the German embassy in London. When BuzzFeed called to ask what he was doing there, Farage said “none of your business” and hung up the phone.

At the end of the debate in the parliament, Jean-Claude Juncker, the European commission president, urged Michel to allow British officials working for the EU to stay in Belgium after Brexit.

“Brussels is a warm, welcoming environment and we’re very happy to be here,” Juncker said. “I’d also like the Belgian authorities to apply the same generosity when it comes to extending Belgian citizenship to the British officials here in Brussels â€" they deserve it.”

Michel was guarded in his reply, acknowledging there was “contradictory jurisprudence” on the subject in Belgium, but saying his government was considering it.

Topics
  • Nigel Farage
  • Belgium (World n ews)
  • World Cup 2018
  • Belgium (Football)
  • Europe
  • World Cup
  • news
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Source: Google News Belgium | Netizen 24 Belgium

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