Nigel Farage raged at Guy Verhofstadt after he accused the former Brexit Party leader of “colluding” with Russia during his interview on LBC. Mr Farage was astonished at the claim and defended himself by saying he has never been to Russia before turning the argument back onto the European Union. He said Europe was the one colluding with Putin because of its reliance on Russian oil and gas which continues to be pumped into the continent despite the Ukraine conflict.
Mr Verhofstadt appeared on Nick Ferrari’s breakfast show to discuss Europe’s stance on Ukraine.
He said: “There he was all the time defending Putin. I found it a shame. I’m thinking [back] to Winston Churchill who had… another opinion about the responsibilities of Britain than Farage colluding with Putin.”
But when Mr Ferrari challenged the MEP, he explained his reasoning.
He added: “So he was simply defending the positions of Russia and denying, in fact, Ukrainians and Belarus and Georgians and Moldavia to chose their own path to democracy.
“But he’s not an exception, you know. Every extreme right-wing politician in Europe has one or other link with Russia and with Putin.”
Speaking on his late-night GB News show, Mr Farage was outraged at the attack and also accused the EU of collusion.
He said: “I quite liked the fact that Verhofstadt was on British soil saying I colluded with Putin.
“I’ve never been to Russia, I’ve never met Vladimir Putin, let alone colluded with him and I thought that could have been a sueable offence, but Ferrari helped him dig himself out of the hole.
While sanctions have been placed on Russian businesses and oligarchs, Russian oil and gas continues to pump into Europe which heavily relies on the resource.
European leaders have stressed they need to wean themselves off Russian gas and have been looking for alternative energy sources.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has turned to Saudi Arabia to provide a supply of oil but has come under fire due to the country’s human rights record.
Mr Verhofstadt also discussed the future relationship between the UK and EU and wanted to see the country rejoin.
Mr Verhofstadt told LBC earlier that day: “Brexit could have been totally different if, at a certain moment, Labour and the Conservatives were ready to cooperate and to find a way out of Brexit.
“More in the sense of an association agreement, Norwegian style for example, then the cold Brexit we have now and I’m still continuing to think that in a world as we see today, with the aggression of Russia wouldn’t have been stronger today if UK was a part of the EU, that I’m pretty sure.
“Brexit was a loss for everybody, for Britain and also for the European Union.
“But okay, we never know what will happen in the future.”
He added: “There will be in my opinion, a generation of young politicians in the UK, we will say, oh, look, let’s work together let’s enter in European Union and let’s change the European Union for the better.
Mr Ferrari replied: “So part of renew Europe would be for the United Kingdom to renew its membership of the European Union?”
The MEP added: “Exactly, yeah, that’s, I can tell you I think that 90 percent of the European Parliament and the European politicians would like that.”