Today, Brexit Party MEPs will head to the European Parliament for the last parliamentary session before Britain leaves the EU at the end of the month.
Over the past few months, since they were elected in May, Nigel Farage’s MEPs have wasted time by turning their backs on the EU anthem and repeatedly failing to turn up to votes. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Here is everything we’ve uncovered about the departing MEPs.
All the times they voted against progressive measures
When Brexit Party MEPs have used their votes in Parliament, they have consistently abstained on important progressive measures.
Their delegation has abstained on a resolution to stop hate speech against LGBTI people and one calling for international action against child abuse. Alongside Tory MEPs, they also abstained on a resolution condemning a proposed Polish anti-abortion law.
Meanwhile, in September, Farage’s MEPs abstained on a resolution calling for Iran to release imprisoned dual EU-Iranian nationals, including jailed Brit Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
They have also actively voted against certain measures, such as a resolution calling for action against foreign election meddling and Russian disinformation. They also voted against two climate change motions, one to declare an emergency and another to commit the EU to carbon neutrality by 2050.
Brexit Party MEP Nathan Gill has also tweeted in opposition to abortion rights and there was a major backlash when Brexit Party MEPs visited India with far-right figures. This shows that aside from Brexit, the party is a fierce opponent of socially progressive ideas.
All the times they used offensive rhetoric
In October, John Longworth made a comparison between Angela Merkel and Adolf Hitler. Meanwhile, Rupert Lowe boasted that he made a war jibe at Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier during a meeting, and Lucy Harris advised people to scream “surrender” at MPs who want to stop a no-deal Brexit.
Alexandra Phillips also called the Conservative Party “feudal overlords” while Chief Whip Brian Monteith compared Remain MPs with people who conspire with terrorists and Nazis, months before screaming “freedom” in a bizarre departing speech.
Unfortunately, the Nazi comparisons do not stop there. Lance Forman promoted a conspiracy video alleging that the first European Union president had a “Nazi background”. And in another instance of measured language, Martin Daubney called for tasers to be used against climate protestors.
All the times they spread fake news
As well as this, Brexit Party MEPs have spread blatantly misleading information during their time in Europe. In September, Alexandra Phillips posted a video claiming MEPs had not turned up to Parliament, when it was actually filmed after a vote, at a time when MEP’s didn’t have to be in the chamber.
Meanwhile, James Wells took to Russia Today to claim “there was no talk of a deal” during the EU referendum campaign, despite this being abjectly false.
All the f*ck ups
Given that they post on Twitter so often, it is perhaps unsurprising that Brexit Party MEPs have not been immune to major f*ck ups over the last few months.
In July, two MEPs shared a poll showing that people supported Remain more than any other Brexit option. Then, in October, Martin Daubney was quickly schooled on the cost of Brexit, after he complained about the police using resources during Extinction Rebellion protests.
The following month, Robert Rowland was left embarrassed after he questioned the economics qualifications of a Green Party MEP (she’s a professor of economics), while Lance Forman continued to count down to an October Brexit despite it being delayed until January.
They also launched a cringey TV show that lost 40% of its viewers within three episodes.
When a group of them abandoned the sinking ship
A week before the general election, four Brexit Party MEPs broke away from their party – sitting as independents and then last week joining the Tories instead.
Lance Forman, Annunziata Rees-Mogg, Lucy Harris and John Longworth were all enraged about the possibility of the Brexit Party splitting the Leave vote and accepted Boris Johnson’s deal.
Since then, Matthew Patten has also criticised Farage’s election strategy, showing that discontent in the party is still very much brewing.
Thanks for the memories, Brexit Party MEPs. You’ve been truly awful.