NIGEL FARAGE sparked controversy last night after comparing Brexit to Ireland’s fight for independence from Britain during his appearance on The Late Late Show.
The UKIP founder was appearing alongside former Downing Street press secretary Alastair Campbell, Baroness Dee Doocey and economist Liam Halligan to discuss the impact of Brexit on Ireland.
Farage began by comparing Campbell’s suggestion that there should be a final vote on any Brexit deal to Ireland’s two referenda on the Lisbon Treaty.
'We wanted to be free'
“We saw this in Ireland, we saw the Irish people vote No to the Lisbon Treaty and be forced to vote again,” he said during the special broadcast live from London.
“All over Europe we’ve seen this. The European Union is the most anti-democratic structure that has ever been designed by man.
“They want to build a super-state with an army, they‘ve got their currency.
“What we did is we looked at it and said it’s not benefitting us in any way at all and we voted for one simple thing – independence.
“We wanted to be free to run our own country, run our own affairs, just as Ireland did 100 years ago.”
Following shocked gasps at what host Ryan Tubridy described as a ‘peculiar interpretation’, Farage added: “This is fascinating!
“Why would you fight against British control for 500 years and now be happy to be governed by a bunch of unelected old men in Brussels?”
Britain’s 800 years of involvement in Ireland culminated in the War of Independence and a civil war that combined, resulted in thousands of deaths.
As you can imagine, Farage comparing it to a democratic Brexit vote following Britain’s 43-year voluntary membership of the EU/EEC didn’t go down to well.
Are we all watching Nigel Farage on the Late Late Show?
The audience didn't respond too well to him comparing Brexit to Irish independence.
— Maria McCann (@journomaria) 12 October 2018
— Louise Noonan (@LouNoo) 12 October 2018
How dare you compare Brexit to Irish Independence? Britain voluntarily joined the EU & had a referendum to leave. Ireland was repeatedly attacked, invaded, forced into the Empire like much of the world & we fought & died to be free.Who died for Brexit? Who forced you into the EU?
— Marley (@AladdinSane1913) 13 October 2018
@Nigel_Farage#Irish #independence was fought for due to invasion, murder and cultural genocide, how does this compare to #Brexit?
The idea of the #UK joining the #EU was not forced upon you unlike the #British border in #Ireland
— OfficialPhteven (@OPhteven) 13 October 2018
How can @Nigel_Farage compare #Brexit as independence for the UK and put it in comparison with the Irish Independence. The big difference is that people died for Irish independence. #LateLateShowlondon #latelate
— Eoin O' Donoghue (@eoinodonoghuedj) 12 October 2018
Also. Nigel Farage does not understand how Irish independence was actually achieved. There was a lot of creative fudging - a lot of carryover of regulations and laws - and courts. Full 'independance' didn't happen until 1949 - 27 years after Irexit. Step by step. Not overnight.
— Dartz (@Dartz_IRL) 12 October 2018
Campbell too wasn’t holding back against the MEP for South East England.
Farage said predictions of reduced trade and job losses had not come to pass but blamed ‘hopeless’ Theresa May for not securing a deal.
However responding to Farage, a leading campaigner for Brexit, Campbell said: “Own your shit, Nigel. You delivered it and you don’t know how to make it happen.”
Earlier in the show Mrs Brown’s Boys creator Brendan O’Carroll also had a pop at Farage, the mention of whose name variously drew boos and cheers from the audience.
O’Carroll, one of 11 children, said several of his siblings had settled in Britain, something that wouldn’t have been possible if Farage had been in charge.
“I’ll tell you something, if it wasn’t for the envelopes that they sent home I’d have had no Christmas, I’d have had no Holy Communion clothes, they helped dress me,” he said.
“And I know you’ve Nigel Farage coming on later on but if he was there then, they wouldn’t be getting in.”
You can watch the special edition of The Late Late Show live from London in full on RTÉ Playeruntil November 11, 2018.