Mr Verhofstadt, a prominent critic of Brexit who earlier this year featured in a behind-the-scenes documentary, Brexit: Behind Closed Doors, tweeted a picture of him being presented with the t-shirt, bearing the slogan B******* to Brexit, by MEPS Luisa Porritt and Catherine Bearder. He posted: “Great to be in Bournemouth to celebrate the success of the @LibDems, Britain’s pro-European party. “I picked up a new t – shirt too! ;-)”
One Twitter user replied: “You made a truly terrifying speech talking of Empire!
“Some call it ESSR, some call it a EU Federal Superstate, you call it Empire but whichever name you use the result is the same and is a horrific thought.
The UK will never submit to your ‘Empire’.”
Another added: “Great to celebrate the end of democracy and from now on rule by autocrats who know what is best for the ignorant citizens.
“Ignore the voters and shamelessly say b******** to them.”
A third said: “A fan of Lib Dem’s. Not a fan of those T-shirts.”
Another observed: “A bunch of middle class people donned in the flag of a trading bloc, honking like seals at a man calling for the EU to become a new Empire is the least liberal thing I’ve seen in years.”
Others trained their fire on the Liberal Democrats themselves, with one posting: “Now we really know what the LibDems want, be part of an EU Empire, not a surprise, with it’s totally anti-democratic Leader.
“Maybe there are some now thinking, well after listening to @guyverhofstadt is this the EU we want 2 be a part of.. folks think the UK has problems 😉
Speaking at the party’s annual conference yesterday, Mr Verhofstadt said: “In the world order of tomorrow, the world order of tomorrow is not a world order based on nation states or countries, it’s a world order that is based on Empires, China is not a nation, it’s a civilisation.
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“India, you know it better than I do, is not a nation, there are two thousands nations in India, there are twenty different languages that are used there, there are four big religions at the same time.”
Mr Verhofstadt continued: “It is the biggest democracy worldwide.
“The US is also an Empire, more than a nation, maybe tomorrow they will speak more Spanish than English, I don’t know what will happen.”
“And then finally, the Russian Federation, the world of tomorrow is a world of Empires, in which we Europeans and you British can only defend your interests, your way of life by doing it together in a European framework and a European Union.”
Last month Mr Verhofstadt weighed in on Boris Johnson’s plan to suspend Parliament.
He tweeted: “‘Taking back control’ has never looked so sinister.
“As a fellow parliamentarian, my solidarity with those fighting for their voices to be heard.
“Suppressing debate on profound choices is unlikely to help deliver a stable future EU-UK relationship.”
Mr Verhofstadt also found the time to take a swipe at Mr Johnson’s decision to invoke the Hulk as a metaphor for Brexit.
He said: “Even to Trumpian standards the Hulk comparison is infantile. Is the EU supposed to be scared by this?
“The British public impressed? Is this Boris Johnson whistling in the dark?”
Published at Sun, 15 Sep 2019 10:55:00 +0000