'We are OFF!': Brexit Party MEP Ann Widdecombe blasts 'oppressive' EU
'We are OFF!': Brexit Party MEP
'We are OFF!': Brexit Party MEP Ann Widdecombe blasts 'oppressive' EU in fiery maiden speech and compares Britain voting to Leave to 'slaves turning against their owners'
- Former Tory MP and now Brexit Party MEP compared the EU to 'feudal barons'
- She suggested the bloc was like an 'empire' and Britain was treated as its colony
- Ms Widdecombe took aim at 'undemocratic' way the EU chooses its leaders
Ann Widdecombe compared the European Union to slave owners and 'feudal barons' as she delivered a blistering debut speech in the European Parliament.
The former Tory MP and now MEP for The Brexit Party told her peers in Strasbourg that the direction of the EU, and the backlash against it, was the continuation of a 'pattern consistent throughout history'.
Ms Widdecombe suggested that Britain was effectively a colony of the EU's 'empire' as she told them: 'We are off!'
Her speech came as The Brexit Party's 29 MEPs continued to disrupt proceedings in the French city after they turned their back on the EU anthem during their first day in their new jobs on Tuesday.
Ms Widdecombe was one of a handful of star candidates unveiled by party leader Nigel Farage in the run up to the European Parliament elections in May.
She also used her first speech as an MEP to take aim at the way in which the EU chooses its leaders and to criticise Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's chief Brexit coordinator.
Anne Widdecombe launched a blistering attack on the EU today as she delivered her debut speech in the European Parliament
The MEP for the south west compared the EU to slave owners and 'feudal barons' in the no-holds-barred address
Mr Farage, pictured today in Strasbourg, has promised a 'turquoise takeover' if Britain does not leave the EU by Halloween
The leader of The Brexit Party, pictured today in the European Parliament, delivered one of the greatest shocks in UK political history after his new political party surged to victory in May as it secured 29 seats
The MEP for the south west of England said: 'It is a great honour to speak on behalf of the largest single party in this place.
'May I say that if I needed any convincing at all that the best thing for Britain is to leave here as soon as possible it was the way that those elections were conducted yesterday because if that is this place's idea of democracy then that is a serious betrayal of every country that is represented here because it is not democratic at all.
'That is just one of many reasons why Britain is right to be leaving this place, hopefully on Halloween.
'And it is right because there is a pattern consistent throughout history of oppressed people turning on the oppressors.
'Slaves against their owners, the peasantry against the feudal barons, colonies, Mr Verhofstadt, against their empires and that is why Britain is leaving.
'And it doesn't matter which language you use we are going and we are glad to be going.'
Ms Widdecombe said that in the space of just two days she had already witnessed the 'powers that be' deciding to reduce the permissible size of the mesh used in fishermen's nets 'thereby reducing their income by 40 per cent'.
She added: 'That is what you do here. That is why we are going... We are off!'
The Brexit Party's European adventure got off to a chaotic start on Tuesday as its MEPs arrived for the start of the new European Parliament session and immediately kicked off a row by turning their backs as the EU anthem was played.
The 29 politicians elected in May's shock election result deliberately turned away as Beethoven's Ode to Joy was played in the parliamentary building in Strasbourg.
It came as Mr Farage warned of a 'turquoise takeover' in the UK if Brexit did not happen by October 31.
Nigel Farage, pictured alongside fellow Brexit Party MEPs Ms Widdecombe and Richard Tice on Tuesday, will be hoping to be out of a job by the end of October - the UK's current deadline for leaving the EU
In a swipe at Tory leadership rivals Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt over their Brexit stances he told the Telegraph: 'I have to be honest with you, I don't believe a word they say.
'But I will give them this warning: If they don't deliver Brexit on that date they are toast and you will see a turquoise takeover.'
Both Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt have committed to delivering Brexit by Halloween but the latter has suggested he would agree to a slight delay if more time was needed to secure a deal.
The display from the group including Mr Farage, Ms Widdecombe and Annunziata Rees-Mogg against the live performance of the anthem led to a stern rebuke from outgoing parliamentary president Antonio Tajani.
The British MEPs arrived in Strasbourg, the temporary home of the European Parliament before it returns to Brussels, for what could be their shortest session as European politicians.
Once Brexit occurs they will immediately cease to represent the UK, and so could be out of a job by the end of October.