The EU turns everything it takes control over into a disaster and should stop interfering in national affairs
If one thing is clear, it's that Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group co-chair Nigel Farage is not a fan of the EU. During the upcoming parliamentary year, he wants Brussels to focus on, "removing itself from the affairs of the nation states of Europe. Every large project that the EU has taken control over, be it the euro, the common fisheries policy or Frontex, has proven to be a disaster".
"The EU should realise how unpopular it is becoming with large segments of the population of Europe. If it had any sense, it would re-adjust its goals accordingly. But we know that followers of 'The Project' don't have a sense of reality or of history. All they have is an ideology from which they won't deviate. That is their loss and our gain."
He believes the EU agency in charge of coordinating member states' external border guards "is either unwilling or incapable of preventing large numbers of people entering into the EU. This is placing the whole Schengen arrangement under immense pressure."
"The citizens of Italy, Germany and Hungary in particular have growing concerns over the numbers of migrants that their countries can absorb without a detrimental effect on their culture, security, national infrastructure and economy. The large influx of migrants entering into the UK through Calais, for instance, is also causing friction in Great Britain."
It will come as a surprise to no one that the British MEP is "thrilled" that the UK will soon be holding a referendum on its EU membership.
"A referendum is the only way this issue can be settled properly”, he says. "I want it to be open, free and fair, with the British people deciding this issue for themselves, without the power-hungry bureaucrats in Brussels interfering by funneling huge tranches of money into media outlets in a bid to buy the result."
"I am glad to hear that the term 'Brexit' has been accepted into the Oxford English Dictionary - even linguistically, we are gaining both traction and legitimacy. As an ominous harbinger of things to come, it also contains the word 'Grexit'. Europhiles beware."
According to Farage, "the Greek political class should have demanded a rejection of the euro and the economic disaster it helped bring about, and instead taken back their own currency. This would have helped Greece to default, devalue and start again with a new drachma, encouraging exports and revitalising its tourist industry."
He accuses the EU and the European Central Bank of having "acted like an economic punishment squad, oblivious to the democratic, social and economic harm that the euro was doing to the Greek people. They should be ashamed."
The EFDD co-chair tells this magazine that "the group will concentrate its focus on opposing the transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP) and pushing for more transparency and democracy across the EU. This is obviously quite contrary to the wishes of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and his team."
Farage adds that, "there must be an honest reassessment of the damage that EU energy policy is doing to heavy industry across the continent, and a closer look at the security issues posed by so many migrants coming across the Mediterranean."
However, he does admit that, "as a team, Juncker and Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans are much more intelligent and have a greater sense of humour than their predecessors."
"I believe they are less ambitious in what they want to achieve because they know they don't have public support for the EU integrationist project."