Let me be clear, the UK has every right to step out of the EU. I think it is incredibly foolish, but they are a sovereign country, they are allowed to be as foolish as they want. Moreover, their decision to leave the EU has not been a reason for any European leader to declare that Britain’s government ought to be dissolved. Such a statement would be absolutely ludicrous, and if necessary the UK would have resorted to violence to protect its sovereignty. This would have been absolutely justified, because the will of British parliament, representing the British people (and technically the Queen), is supreme within the UK.
Meanwhile, Farage does not respect the sovereignty of European countries. The EU is a government too, to the 27 member states left, and declaring the intention to interfere in the domestic politics of the European Union to dissolve the union is a blatant infringement of Europe’s sovereignty. Mr. Farage does not want to cooperate on many issues with Europe, but in his view neither are European countries allowed to cooperate as they see fit. As an outsider he now wants to ‘bring the wrecking ball’ to my, and if you are a fellow European, our government. I cannot see this as but an autocratic move, by a very dangerous man.
Of course you can agree with Mr. Farage that the EU needs to be abolished. If you are a European citizen you have every right to try to achieve that goal through peaceful and democratic means. Crucial to my objection to Mr. Farage’s meddling in European politics is that Mr. Farage has made himself an outsider, yet still wants to influence European politics to the degree that he wants to abolish Europe’s government. That goes far beyond what can be considered normal in a relation between two allied governments.
Obviously Mr. Farage does not represent the British government and therefore does not affect the actual relations between Europe and the UK. Yet, Mr. Farage’s statement is essentially a potential declaration of war. When one government declares its intention to bring down another government, we call that a declaration of war. Whether this intention is pursued by peaceful means or violent means can only determine the response, but is secondary to the fact that it is a declaration of war. If Farage ever becomes the prime minister of the UK, or if any future PM of the UK would take his stance on Europe, and indeed follows through on this intention to dissolve the EU, this cannot be interpreted as but a direct threat to Europe’s government. Imagine that the German government declared its intention to bring down the Austrian, Czechoslovakian and the Polish government, that would surely be a reason for war? Or if the North-Korean government declared its intention to bring down the South Korean government, would that not lead to conflict? Or if Palestinians declared their intention to abolish the state of Israel, would that not be a reason for political strife?
Therefore, Europe would have every moral right to give a very strong response to defend its sovereignty in a scenario in which a UK prime minister would aim to abolish the EU. If Mr. Farage would not use violence to dissolve the EU, as seems very likely, the EU should of course respond proportionally, for instance by boycotting the UK, preventing Britons from entering the EU, freezing all UK bank accounts, limiting access of British firms to the EU, nationalizing British firms, etc. That is what governments do when other governments threaten to ‘take the wrecking ball’ to them. That is the lunacy that Mr. Farage wants to bring to Europe as prime-minister, apparently, although I doubt he really thought his statement through.
We have already seen a very negative reaction to Mr. Farage’s meddling in other countries’ politics. Norbert Hofer, the far-right presidential candidate in Austria’s recent election, made it very clear what he thought of Mr. Farage’s attempts to change the election outcome in Austria: “I would ask him not to interfere in Austria’s internal affairs. It doesn’t fill me with joy when someone meddles from outside.” He even called it a ‘crass misjudgment’. We should expect to see more such reactions, if Mr. Farage continues to interfere in other countries’ domestic affairs. The more important the position he will have at that time, the stronger the reaction should be.
So, Mr. Farage, I ask you, who do you think you are that you have the right to meddle in Europe’s domestic affairs? I remember your outcry when the UK voluntarily implemented legislation it had every opportunity to influence in Brussels. You did not want to have anything to do with Europe, and that is your right. Nobody in Europe wants to force the UK to stay in the Union, because the UK’s sovereignty is widely respected. Yet, now you think you have the right to influence European domestic affairs? Do not dare to touch Europe’s government and sovereignty, you have forsworn that right when you took the UK out of the Union. You do not have the right to tell other countries how to arrange their government. You do not have the right to threaten Europe’s government with a ‘wrecking ball’. You have already plunged the UK into chaos, as you had every right to do, but you do not have the right to plunge the rest of the continent into a similar constitutional quagmire. It is of course ironic to say this to the champion of British xenophobia, but Mr. Farage, go back to your country.
Bottom Line: The UK has every right to leave the EU, but it has no right to still interfere in Europe’s domestic affairs to abolish Europe’s government. Mr. Farage wants to dissolve Europe’s government, therefore he is a dangerous lunatic, and an enemy to Europe.