The Singing Psychic looks at the songs she can hear this week, from what that gold lift was singing as it carried Donald Trump and Nigel Farage, (it is still traumatised), the passing of the UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill and Honey G’s continuation in X Factor.
This is the new weekly series where the Singing Psychic looks at the events of the week from politics to entertainment and reveals as only she can, the songs she can hear. It always finishes with the Song Of The Week Forecast for the coming week.
The Singing Psychic walks through a world of music: people’s hearts sing to her and even buildings themselves can’t help but sing their songs to her.
The Singing Psychic has ‘read’ the songs in her audiences’ hearts across Europe in 2016 including her award nominated sell-out Edinburgh Fringe run (Best Show, Funny Women), the Brit Awards Official After-Party at the O2, Cannes Film Festival, Prague Fringe Festival plus her 120 videos including her ‘Songs of Brexit’ webseries as seen on London Live TV and shown in full exclusively on Daily Motion.
Her award nominated Edinburgh Fringe 2016 will next be shown in London Sat 18th Feb 2017, 6.30pm at the Vaults Festival (Tickets go on sale Dec 6th)
Her Singing Psychic Game Show!
Come play psychic bingo and fun 70s team games with The Singing Psychic! With live audience readings, this fun-filled game show of prizes, song and spookily accurate, if slightly bonkers relationship advice will ’keep you laughing long after you have left (Younger Theatre ****)
Come with a friend but you will leave with many more. The next one is next Tuesday 29th November.
The Singing Psychic has ‘read’ the songs in her audiences’ hearts across Europe in 2016 including her award nominated sell-out Edinburgh Fringe run (Best Show, Funny Women), the Brit Awards Official After-Party at the O2, Cannes Film Festival, Prague Fringe Festival plus her 120 videos including her ‘Songs of Brexit’ webseries as seen on London Live TV. The game show is new – where 70s games and psychic readings make for a truly bonkers night out.
Singing Psychic Game Show Trailer https://youtu.be/dlCHEcH86xk
The Singing Psychic Monthly Game Show at the Phoenix! £5 ticket
Venue: Phoenix Artist Club, 1 Phoenix St, London WC2H 8BU
Tues Nov 29th, 7pm
Tues Jan 17th, 8.15pm
Wed 22nd Feb, 8.15pm
Wed 21st March, 8.15pm
Watch her videos on YouTube: The Singing Psychic
★★★★★ Completely bonkers in a good way (London Theatre 1) ★★★★ “A stunning 4 star performance” (Comedy Coroner) ★★★★ ‘Good vibes that will leave you laughing long after” Younger Theatre ★★★★Can work a crowd like no other (Grumpy Gay Critic) ★★★★ A gloriously entertaining night out (Female Arts) ★★★★ Certainly knows how to entertain (Three Weeks). No one sings those songs like you do (Jeff Beck)
The Singing Psychic online: www.SingingPsychic.TV
Twitter @MarysiaT @SingPsychic Facebook The Singing Psychic
Instagram The Singing Psychic
Created & performed by Marysia Trembecka
Londontown West End Remix to be released this summer
Produced by Andrew Hyde
@Marysia Trembecka/Andrew Hyde
She said Mr. President that you suggested she sue the EU, how would that have worked do you think?
What I would do is for those mistakes made by the EU that cost the UK a lot of money and a lot of harm, I would have put that on the table. Whether it’s in the form of litigation or in the form of a request, but they chose not to do that. I just think it’s very hard for the UK to get a good deal when you go into a negotiation that way. At the same time, I can’t blame the European Union because they had very little to lose. They were willing to give so little, it was always so tough. But I will say that we have the potential to be an incredible trade partner with UK. We’re doing relatively little compared to what we could be doing with UK, much, I think, much bigger than European Union.
This whole thing might finish by the end of October, Mr. President, and how quickly do you think we could get a trade within a year do you think?
We could work on it much faster, we could work on it very, very quickly. There’s tremendous potential trade with the United States. They wanted to do trade but they’ve never had a president like me that they [crosstalk 00:01:25]-
Are you thinking a matter of months or?
Yeah, I’d go all out, it would be a great, a great advantage for UK. One of the advantages of Brexit is the fact that now you can deal with the number one country by far, whether number one by far in terms of every metric, in terms of an economy. Well, if I were them, I wouldn’t pay $50 billion, it’s a big number. I wouldn’t pay $50 billion, that’s me, I’m only saying this from my standpoint, I would not pay. That’s a tremendous number.
Now some of these candidates are saying they’d walk away if they don’t get what they want, others are disagreeing. Presumably, you think the way to get a deal is to-
If they don’t get what they want, I’d walk away, yes, I would walk away. This is their decision, you’re just asking my opinion, I would not… If you don’t get the deal you want, if you don’t get a fair deal, then you walk away.
There’s a good chance he might become Prime Minister in the next year or so, Mr. President. This is a guy with a Marxist background who’s taken too with terrorists. Is he someone America can work with?
Well, I think then he’s probably making a mistake because I think he’d want to get along with the United States. We’re very, very good for the UK if you look at what we do for the UK in terms of many things including, obviously, the military. I would think that somebody in that position would want to and have to get along with the United States.
And presumably the intelligence sharing as well?
Intelligence as well.
Would you have some qualms about America sharing stuff with the government [crosstalk 00:03:06]-
I’d have to know him, I’d have to meet him. I don’t know him, but I would certainly, before I would answer that question, I’d have to get to know him a little bit.
Would you like to see Nigel Farage in there in the negotiating team, is that a good way to deal with it then?
Well, I like Nigel a lot. I got to know him when he liked my campaign and he actually came to a speech and I met him pretty much early on, a little bit earlier on. I think he’s a terrific person, really a terrific person, and he loves your country. He really loves your country, and based on what I hear, he did very well in this last election, is that right?
Yeah, no, I hear he’s done very well. I liked Nigel a lot and I think he’s got a lot to offer, he’s got a lot to offer. Obviously, a lot of people agree with me because I saw his numbers and they were very good from a couple of days ago.
Well, I predict a riot if she tries steer on, and I mean a riot inside her own party, inside the Parliament amongst her own members of Parliament. I think it was Trump just being nice, actually. To be honest, he played nice most of the time. I know people don’t want to hear this, but he actually did all right. His trousers didn’t fall down in front of the queen, he didn’t knock over the soup, and he was, generally speaking, on point. He was actually not as haltingly ineloquent as he very often is. There were fewer malapropisms. So I would think he could probably count the trip as a success so far.
He did make one major blunder in Manila, I don’t know if you quite got the importance of it. He claims not to have heard of Michael Gove, who’s one of Mrs. May’s successors, who’s running for the job of Prime Minister. Now, he claimed in public at the press conference that he didn’t know him. But the very same Michael Gove spent hours with him in the Oval Office interviewing him for the London Times, with Rupert Murdoch in attendance. So that’s a bit of an embarrassment for Mr. Gove, if not for Mr. Trump.
But he did say something about the putative trade deal. Of course, that deal has to be agreed by those sides. He said that everything had to be on the table. But he also said that the deal would double, maybe triple, trade between Britain and the United States. Well, only a fool would not want that. You’ve got quite a big surplus on your side.
$5 billion or so.
Yes, it’s $5.4 billion.
[crosstalk 00:01:58] So, I mean-
The U.K. is America’s seventh largest trading partner. It’s $5.4 billion, you know, based on the rest of the world, isn’t that huge of a gap. We’re sending more to you than we’ve received. So if there is the hard Brexit, like Trump is hoping for, what sort of deal would you want to see, George?
Well, I mean, I’m not, myself, a great advocate of what they call free trade. If you put free in something, in front of something, it doesn’t necessarily make it good.
There’s always a catch, isn’t there?
You know, the Free Syrian Army. There is here, I mean, the word free motherhood, apple pie, it’s tossed around a lot. But as long as we have the kind of economic system we have, I want free trade with everybody. And that includes the United States. And I’d love the United States to be buying more of our things. And that could only be a good thing.
And so the trade deal negotiations will, if they founder at all, founder on the idea, as I mentioned to you yesterday, that our vital public services can be privatized and sold off to U.S. companies. No one will ever accept that. That would become the front line of the next British general election, and anybody advocating it would not win that election.
You know, George, I want to touch on a bit of breaking news here. Just moments ago, Reuters reported that Nigel Farage is currently meeting with President Trump right now at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in London. We know that they’re old friends. What do you think is the goal of this meeting?
Well, Farage is a big player now in British politics. He’ll probably win another sensational election victory on Thursday of this week. He already leads the biggest party in the whole of the European Parliament, and, easily, the biggest British party in the European Parliamentary elections. In the national opinion polls, even though, often, his party’s not actually proffered as an option, he’s in second place and some cases, in first place. So Trump would be a fool not to meet him. And contrary to appearances often, I don’t think Trump actually is a fool.
You know, yes, contrary to popular belief. Also, Jeremy Corbyn reached out to the president as well. He asked for a meeting. Trump told the press that he declined. Why do you suspect he did that?
Well, Jeremy Corbyn, to please the crowds, that probably was just amongst there, has been hurling insults at the President of the United States. Most of which I agree with. But it’s probably not politic or wise for the leader of Her Majesty’s opposition and the man that wants to be Prime Minister in a few weeks or months to be doing so. And so Trump obviously took the decision that, he’s not going to meet me privately when he refused to meet me publicly, and has instead been calling me every name under the sun. As have his subalterns. Obviously, there’s a balance to be struck here.
You’re an opposition left wing leader, and Donald Trump is a right wing government leader-
… from the United States. My own view, I’m not sure Corbyn got the balance exactly right.
Congratulations on the battle that your party fought, but I’d imagine that as close as it was there must be a tinge of disappointment that you didn’t quite get over the line.
Well, I said all the way through, we’d give it our best shot. We’d run it close and boy, we ran it close. I said we’d come a good second. We have a very good second. It’s difficult.
We’re eight weeks old today. We didn’t really have any data and we didn’t quite persuade enough conservative voters here that we were the only ones that could beat the Labor Party. That’s the message now in many seats that if you want to stop Labor, you’re going to have to vote for the Brexit Party, not for the Conservatives.
But listen, we’ve had a great campaign. We’re very pleased with our score.
The Labor candidate outgoing was seriously disgraced. It was a very, very heavy voting Brexit constituency. You did so well in the EU elections. People are going to be saying, “Well, EU elections, that was a protest vote.” They can’t actually make the difference when it comes to an electing MP.”
Well, as I say, we’re currently polling 26% of the National Opinion Poll, six points above everybody else.
One of the difficulties is in by-elections you’re up against big professional party machines. We’re very new. We started off with zero data. Labor had been knocking on doors here for months, years even, collecting households that are going to vote for them or might vote for them.
Look, we’re very, very new. We’ve got a lot more development to do, but this is a big strong, positive start being no doubt about that.
You’re six points ahead in the opinion polls, according to this YouGov Poll. Would you be ready were a general election to be called, Nigel? Could you have candidates in all the fairest constituencies to try and take advantage of that?
Well, if it was next week, no, obviously. But we have got two and half thousand people that have applied to be general election candidates. We’re going through those at the moment.
There is a big date coming up. The 31st of October is the new date we’re supposed to leave the European Union. All I can say is this. If we don’t leave the European Union on that date with a clean Brexit that frees us, delivers the result of the referendum, then this party will go on even stronger than it’s done in its first eight weeks.
One of the messages that I think the Conservatives are trying to keep going out there is that actually your position is helping Jeremy Corbyn because it’s splitting the anti-Labor vote. Certainly they would say that, “Actually come back to us, stay with us, otherwise your Prime Minister is going to be Jeremy Corbyn.” In this by-election, that’s what happened, didn’t it? The votes got split. Labor went through.
No, no, no. No, quite the other way around. This was a two horse race between the Labor and the Brexit Party and that was clear for the last couple of weeks. Had just a few more Conservatives realized that if they wanted to stop Labor the only way to do it was to back the Brexit Party, then we would have actually got over the line.
Look, Mrs. May told us 108 times we’re leaving on March the 29th. We didn’t. We now have a series of leadership candidates telling us we’re going to leave on the 31st of October. I don’t believe a word any of them say anymore.
It’s a very, very big if. It’s going to take somebody of courage and conviction to take this country out of the European Union on the 31st of October. At the moment, I don’t see anyone that’s going to do it. In many ways, I hope I’m wrong because I want us to leave the European Union. I want that referendum to be delivered upon, but there’s a long way to go.
Lots of times I’ve met the President that you don’t know about because it’s been in public. I’m a friend of his. It’s as simple as that. I never discuss private conversations, but all I will say is firstly, he is a true believer that Brexit is the right thing for this country to do.
Secondly, when it comes to a trade deal between the USA and the UK, what I was really struck by, not so much by him, but other people I met from the administration is how advanced their work is. They are ready with their side of the negotiation. Also, worried that our government appears to have done almost nothing.
These things around British politics now are not just about trust. They’re about the competence of people that are doing the job, too.
President Trump hasn’t been hugely supportive of Theresa Mays approach, has he, to put it mildly. But this week he was rather nice about her.
Well, Theresa May, as you say, is standing down as Prime Minister today and whatever she’s done politically on a human level, she’s had a pretty rough time and I thought the President was very nice to her.
Sometimes, in politics, something or someone we think we know can reinvent, can become something brand new.
How are you doing?
Look beyond the old pinstripe suit, the obligatory pint in hand, because behind the trappings of the familiar, there is something stirring in British politics. Something we’ve never seen before.
This is the story of an old face fronting a new party with a fresh language and a radical message.
They’ve got another thing coming. This country needs the Brexit Party and the Brexit Party needs you. Thank you.
Please, welcome to the stage Nigel Farage.
An assault on everything we’ve known in British political life and how its custodians have allowed him to do it.
The no’s to the left; 432.
From May’s first Commons defeat in January, day by day, Westminster, our political institutions, and our main parties became gripped and tainted by ever greater indecision.
As the public’s frustration grew it became obvious to me that a new force remain or leave could use the now inevitable European elections to break through. One man had already been working on it for some time.
Please, welcome to the stage, Nigel Farage.
Without anyone noticing, Nigel Farage spent the dying months of 2018 quietly building up a network, an organization set up by his friend and now Brexit Party chairman, multimillionaire, Richard Tice. Leave means leave. Collecting names, supporters experimenting with social media strategy and grassroots organizing.
That embryonic organization became the Brexit Party. I’ve been following them from their first rally to the last, talked to its leaders, and witnessed the genesis of a fourth which in only six weeks of campaigning, is changing the contours of British politics.
When I arrived in Birmingham, I was struck most by the comparisons the amateurish leave means leave. This was an organization much changed. The branding, the logo, the professionalism of it all had transformed. And that’s before we even reached the message itself.
No mention of immigration. None of the familiar tropes of health and safety or bendy bananas. Instead, again and again, like a laser beam, that this country this once great country has been shamed by those who govern us.
That treaty that Mrs. May wants to get signed through the House of Commons is such a shameful document it could only ever have been signed by somebody who had been defeated in war. It is a travesty.
Of course. With 48 hours notice.
I know. I know.
I think the argument that we are one of the oldest functioning democracies in the world that has seen democracy introduced by our career politicians over the last couple of years is a very powerful argument. The Westminster commentariat and political set perhaps underestimate the underlying level of support I’ve genuinely got out there across the country.
This queue’s very slightly faster than Brexit.
Totally betrayed. Absolutely betrayed.
And what does that feel like, betrayal? What does it feel like? If there’s one word you can say, how’s it feel?
It hurts you.
It feels sick in your stomach.
Nigel came around, fighting back, and he’s given us our British problems. He’s put it back. That’s what it’s all about. [inaudible 00:03:56]. We need it.
2000 signs and there were about a 1000 people there today and you know, you could just feel it in the room, it was electric. And it isn’t just about Brexit, it’s about- it’s a whole transformation of politics and if Nigel Farage’s enemies, allow him to effectively become the change candidate, not just for Brexit but for politics generally, honestly, they won’t hear the last of him, he’ll be unstoppable, unstoppable. And this is just the start. This is four days in.
A top story: a disappointing night for both main parties in the local elections.
The conservatives have lost over 900 seats so far and the prime minister admits her party took a beating.
All good. Testing one two three four five six seven eight nine. All good. Marvelous.
In many walks of life, be it business, be it culture, be it a little campaigning, America’s always a few years ahead of us. And I have spent a fair bit of time in America, I’ve learned one or two things.
Just the politics needs to be a bit less drab, a bit less dull. It needs to be lively, fun, energy, and that’s what we’re trying to do here.
Well as far as we in the Brexit party are concerned…
This is like a weird thing now is that you’ve got people like Ann Widdecombe, huge lines standing in adoration, applause run loud, loved by the crowd. People are like Ann Widdecombe and Nigel Farage now, [inaudible 00:05:35] the kind of heroes of the English, Northern regional midland working class. That’s like what politicians [crosstalk 00:05:40] that’s what happens to politics. It’s just really weird. It’s just weird. It’s a cultural turn.
Those patronizing nincompoops say during their dinner parties “Oh poor things, they didn’t know what they were voting for.” That was what we were voting for! For Britain to become a sovereign state!
What’s wrong with a good old-fashioned British compromise, something that would bring two sides together?
Vote for compromise, we voted to leave!
What if it could be shown, just bare with me, what if it could be shown that we would definitely lose jobs and if we came out with a hard Brexit?
We’d get over it? We’d get over it?
So it’d be worth it anyway, whatever. Yes?
What do you think of Jeremy Corbyn?
How would you feel if Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn put a deal together in the next few weeks?
The usual political stitch-up?
There’s not one person in this audience, who would want us to be a victim of this complete surrender. It’s a document you’d sign if you’re surrendering a war!
Let me ask you Donovan!
Donovan Sky News. Sky News. Boo.
Why shame on me? What have I done to you?
Well you’re a reporter aren’t you?
I am a reporter yes. But what do we say that’s fake?
Well most of it.
I’ve never been to a Donald Trump rally. But I reckon it’s probably not a million miles away from that. Just the anger, the bitterness. And I just think the idea that if Corbyn had made put a deal together that that anger in a bit this is going to go away. It’s for the birds. It’s for the birds.
Might not come back in effect May but it should be gone. But Corbyn, be a nightmare, whoever takes over from there be a nightmare. It’s just not going to go away. That anger’s not going to subside. No way.
The Brexit party out of nowhere has overtaken the tourism polls. But they think Labor voters hold Jeremy Corbyn and his party just as culpable for the paralysis in Westminster, and their vote is soft.
Do you think he understands people like you, places like Pontefract better than the Labor party for example?
Well [inaudible 00:08:13] monkeys. They don’t care. The things happening and they’re not bothered.
Well of course Yvette Copper has been one of the leading remainders in Parliament, a woman with leading [crosstalk 00:08:26]
Oh she’s just a traitor.
A waste of tax
A traitor to…
Yes to us
To us! To everybody in this area, we were all Labor. We were all Labor.
Is this a message from your mom to pass on to Nigel?
What saying what? “Mr. Farage, gutted that I can’t come today but I’ll be voting for you 100 percent. Wishing you every success.” Kiss kiss.
“Pass onto Nigel.”
There’s a kiss kiss for you [crosstalk 00:08:51]
No that’s for Nigel.
She has put quoted there pass onto Nigel [crosstalk 00:08:56]
And I also tell my brother today that Nigel Farage is here “What time, I love that guy.”
Because they both love him?
Oh yes. Massive fans.
Lets not be afraid of our flag! Lets not be afraid of our identity! Lets be proud!
In this campaign, Farage has set the tones. He has equated himself and his cause with country. His vision is to believe in Brexit is to believe in Britain, and so the purer the Brexit, the purer your love for Britain. That we are as powerful, if not more powerful than the EU. And if that’s your view, than any compromise with them is, by definition, betrayal.
Who do you think holds the cards?
It is almost a dictatorship.
We hold the cards.
We hold the cards?
We hold the cards, we definitely hold the cards.
The EU doesn’t. Even though they’ve got a 15 trillion dollar economy, we’ve got two trillion dollar economy.
There’s just all I know.
We beat Germany twice, we’ll beat them again.
So at the end of the day, another 650 people, on top of the rally they were at, they have Farage’s got rally after rally after rally right up until election day. He’s putting the hard yards in. I think it’s fair to say more than any other party. And I just can’t believe it, really, in the sense that, Farage says to me, he said it then wouldn’t say it on camera but, he said to me he can’t believe his luck, he can’t believe his luck because the two main party leaders, Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn have just left the battle field open, for and they’ve did that for two weeks and the result that space, that space that normally at any national election the main party leaders would fill, he filled. And now, there’s probably no stopping him.
So I had planned in hopes to be in Wolverhampton for another rally today, but Theresa May is sort of like, well inconvenienced things by a little bit by announcing she’s not going to be around in a couple of months so I had to stay here.
But fortunately, I can be there without actually, well, being there, because they have a pretty stellar, unusually stellar, social media presence.
The Brexit party needs you! Thank you!
Good evening prime minister. Wonder where we’re going, who knows.
Every party rally screamed to thousands of people on Facebook and twitter. As the campaign has progressed the numbers have swelled. Supporters interact and coordinate activity.
I could imagine Mr. Churchill walking down the halls of Westminster with his cane and cigar smoke, coming into this room, standing for the Brexit party, and then saying, “What are you doing to my party? [inaudible 00:11:17]” and then whack them around the head.
Britain is a nation of sleeping lions, best not to wake them up. Well guess what, we woke up.
Can we do it? Can we win?
As the campaign climaxes, Farage dominates. Its closing days he is struck with a milkshake. He is still loathed by many. Far from brushing off the incident with the milkshake, he furiously accuses Romaines of the radicalization of politics.
I think we could all agree that politics has become coarser in recent years. But I put it to you. Look, do you not think that maybe you are partly responsible for that coarsening. I mean just a few things that you’ve said in recent=. You said that if you didn’t get the sort of Brexit you want, [inaudible 00:11:57], pick up a [crosstalk 00:11:59]
That was a metaphor joke.
No, okay. Let me just…
Excuse me. Said during a comedy evening.
Okay. You described the British negotiating team as the enemy within. You said many times in this campaign that May’s deal could only have been signed a nation defeated in war. You consistently evoke the language of war, of appeasement, treachery, anyone who doesn’t agree with you.
I’ve never used the word treachery, betrayal I’ve said.
Sure, okay betrayal. But I’ve been at many of your rallies as you know, and very often when you mention people like Jeremy Corbyn or Theresa May or [inaudible 00:12:24] or whoever it is. You mention their names, you get the crowd to boo, okay fair enough, quite pantso but fair enough, and then people shout out things like traitor, now you never turn around to them and say, “No excuse me Sir/Madam, they’re not traitors, they’re citizens, they’re patriots, I just disagree with them.”
I’m sorry, I’m sorry, history teaches us something here. If you tell people they are superior, or their views are superior, to another group of people, bad things happen.
Wait a minute.
The only way, the only way that civilized democracy functions is if the loser consents to the result. And what you’ve had here, since the referendum, are some very senior public figures who do not accept the will of the people, and that has radicalized a group.
Everything that has been charged against you in this campaign, is that you know it’s not that easy to leave. You know full well.
Let me finish for a minute and then respond. You know full well that we’ve been in this organization 45 years, it has permeated every aspect of our lives, we are in one single economic area with the European Union. The reason that it’s not easy to leave is because you were right, that it was a very powerful dominant force in our life. And other people, like Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn or whoever, they have got to try and take us out with care because it was so dominant. And then you come along and say, “No, it’s easy.” I think you know it’s not easy. [crosstalk 00:13:36]
We have now got, we have not got. We have now got a deadline of the 31st of October. All right? That date will build up in the minds of the British people in the same way the 29th of March did. We have got many, many months now to build on the work that was already done, to be fair, the European Union had done even more work on the WTO of Brexit than we’d done. This is not a difficult thing to do, but, to do it, you have to believe in it. And what is clear, is that Mrs. May never believed it.
This is by far the most ambitious thing I’ve ever done. We are attempting a peaceful, political, revolution in this country. It is needed! It is needed! It is needed!
I don’t know what’s going to happen after these elections but it doesn’t really matter whether he wins [crosstalk 00:14:30]. Because he’s already won. He’s already won because he’s made the conservative party more like himself. More like him. More like [crosstalk 00:14:36] which is exactly like what he’s done before. There’s no way it’s a conservative party, now it’s never going to embrace anything other than no deal, it’s abandoned May’s deal, it’s going to be new [crosstalk 00:14:46] party. And it’s going to be much more like him, and neither is Theresa May.
Nigel! Nigel! Nigel!
This thing which is new about the Brexit party isn’t its euro skepticism. Instead, it is its attitude to politics. It represent a full on assault on every British political institution. The parties, the media, the courts, parliamentary democracy itself. A system in which people have lost trust, and without that this party could not exist. We thought the referendum was Britain’s great populist revolt, it may have been but mere prologue.
British Prime Minister Theresa May announced she will be resigning June 7th in an emotional address. Watch.
It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have been able to deliver Brexit. Such a consensus can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise. Life depends on compromise.
Joining me now is Fox News contributor and Mr. Brexit himself, Nigel Farage. Thanks for joining us, Nigel.
Your thoughts on Theresa May’s address this morning. She started crying at the end.
On a human level, obviously, it was a very difficult thing to watch, painful, but politically she misread the mood of the country. She misread the mood of her own party. She tried to deliver a Brexit bill that was a half in, half out Brexit bill. We voted to leave. We wanted a clear, decisive let’s get out from European Union rules. She tried to keep us too close, and in the end I’m afraid her obstinacy was her undoing.
Will conservative MP Boris Johnson be the next Prime Minister? There are more than a dozen MPs thought to be considering a run. What do you think? Who would you prefer?
Let’s see. On Sunday night, we get the result of yesterday’s European election, so everybody in the UK voted yesterday. The conservative party are due to get for the polls less than 10% of the vote. The Brexit Party, which I founded six weeks ago because I had to reenter the fray is due to top the polls at 35%, so whoever the conservatives choose, whether it’s Boris Johnson or not, without my support, they’re not going to win the next election, so let’s see.
Who do you prefer?
Anybody. It could be Boris, anybody that says we are leaving the EU properly, so we’re free to do trade deals with America or anybody else. Boris at the moment is the front runner. Let’s wait and see what his platform is.
Okay. President Trump and the First Lady will be visiting Britain in June. Now are you planning on meeting with them because there’s lots of talk, but the President wants you to attend the State banquet in his honor.
It’s a difficult question because this invitation comes from the Queen. This is an official statement that President Trump is coming on, so if the President would like me to come, that’s great. I’m not going to push it too hard because I would never, ever want to do anything that insulted the Queen. Let’s be clear. I know President Trump well. He’s a friend of mine. He wants Brexit, so that we can get away from the unelected European Commission and get Britain and America back closer again, so yeah, I hope to see him.
Yeah, do trade deals just like Norway does with 150 other countries.
That’s the model, but there’s been a lot of pushback about the President’s visit. How will the British people react to the President and the First Lady’s trip there?
There’s a load anti-Trump media, but the truth of it is Trump’s reputation in the UK is much more popular than it was when he last came to our country. I think, to be honest with you, he’s coming above all to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the day on which America and the UK and Canada between them liberated Europe, defeated Nazism, brought democracy back. I think Trump is in for a very good visit.
You know, here’s the thing. British people in private have said they appreciate a strong leader like President Trump whether you disagree or agree with his policies. They appreciate that he loves his country. What is your take on that?
Absolutely. We’ve had Mrs. May with a series of promises. She never delivered. Donald Trump, like him or not, was elected, and as he’s said every other week, he’s kept more promises than he actually made. Trump is a true democrat. Love him or hate him, he’s doing a great job. The one thing I know for certain is we’ve got an American president who loves the United Kingdom, respects our history. I think, with Brexit, our two countries have a great future together.
You meant democrat in the lower case D version of the word, right, Nigel?
He believes in democracy.
He doesn’t believe in socialism, absolutely.
Nigel Farage, you’re terrific. Come back soon. Mr. Brexit himself, Nigel Farage.
-London. We’ve managed in five and a half weeks not just to frighten the establishment, oh no, they’re not frightened, they’re absolutely terrified. But perhaps most important of all, what we’ve managed to do in those five and a half weeks since we launched in that factory in Coventry, is we’ve managed to give millions and millions of people in this country who were frustrated, upset, angry, on the point of saying they may never engage with the democratic process again, so sick to death were they of the shenanigans in Westminster.
You know what we’ve given them in the Brexit party? We’ve given them hope, optimism and belief in this country and in the democratic process.
What I think, this is now about far more than leaving the European Union. This is now about a bigger, more fundamental question of democracy.
If we win big on Thursday, we will kill off any prospect of Parliament forcing a second referendum upon us because they know they would lose. If we vote for the Brexit party, and we win on Thursday, we demand given that democratic mandate that people out of this team, people who’ve got competence, people who’ve been in business, people who do deals for a living unlike the career politicians on our front benches. We demand that we are part of that negotiating team to make sure that we do leave the European Union on the 31st of October. We must be part of that process.
If we win well, if we win big on Thursday, there are a couple of really nice little bonuses that’ll be attached. The first is, we will quickly get rid of the worst, most duplicitous, and I still disagree with [Anne Whittacker 00:02:53]. She’s not the worst Prime Minister since Anthony Eden. She’s the worst Prime Minister in the history of our nation. She’ll be gone.
It is an incredible results, a big shakeup for the major political parties here, but there are those who are calling it a protest vote. Where do you go from here with the Brexit party?
It’s not a protest vote, this is people voting to say we voted to leave in a referendum. We were promised it would be implemented. The two parties, Labour and Conservatives absolutely told us at the last general election they would implement our will, they haven’t done so. And you know when people woke up on March the 30th this year and realized we hadn’t left the European Union, that’s when in large numbers they became ready to vote for a different party. The Brexit party is only six weeks old. Think about it in that context. This is one hell of an achievement and I would say this, looking ahead, the next date we’re supposed to leave on is the 31st of October and that date will become a bigger and bigger factor in people’s minds as these next five months go by. If we don’t leave on the 31st of October, then the Brexit Party will go on to a general election and stun everybody there too.
What will happen if Boris Johnson wins the leadership race for the Tories and pushes through his agenda, which he said would be to leave with no deal. If that’s what it comes to on the 31st of October, that’ll shoot your fox, won’t it?
Well, I’m very happy to help any Conservative leader who is genuine about us leaving on the 31st of October and to that end, you know I volunteer now, Brexit party MEPs, some of whom have run big businesses, are used to negotiations, have done deals for a living. We would like right now to be part of the negotiating team to… We’re going to be there in Brussels anyway. Use us, give us some responsibility and let’s make sure this country is absolutely prepared to leave with a clean break Brexit at the end of October. As far as Boris and others are concerned. What my difficulty is, you know, whether we talk about Boris Johnson or Michael Gove or Dominic Raab all of them in the end voted for Mrs May’s new European treaty, which would have been Brexit in name only and the difficulty the Conservatives have is this isn’t just about changing leader. It’s about reestablishing trust.
You can’t tell the British people 108 times that we’re leaving on March the 29th as Mrs. May did, and then not deliver. The next leader says the same thing. Who’s going to believe them?
Can I ask you a personal question Mr Farage? A lot of our viewers watching this now will be divided about you, as the country is divided about Brexit, some will love you and they’ll be toasting you to the ceiling with cups of coffee and tea. Others will be snarling at your image on the screen, but what nobody can deny is that you almost single handedly have transformed the face of British politics. How does that make you feel?
Well, I’m pleased to have done so. I mean, look, I was a businessman. I’m not a career politician. And remember I’d resigned. I’d stepped down after we won the referendum, believing that my role was completed.
But I am absolutely passionate politically about one thing. I believe this is a great country. I believe we should be a self governing independent democratic nation and we should reach out to a world much bigger than Europe. The Commonwealth, America, many other places that effectively we’ve turned our backs on. And we’re allowing ourselves to be ruled by arrogant bullies like Mr Juncker, and Mr Barnier. I want us to be free and independent and I’ve got back into the fray because frankly I think the Labour and Conservative parties have portrayed the people of this country and I will not stop until we achieve that goal.
Anna Soubry of the Change party, who obviously were nearly wiped out last night was on this program a short time ago, putting on a very brave performance. I described it as dancing and tap dancing in the ashes. But one of the things she said was that the Brexit party hadn’t done all that well last night. What do you say to that?
Well, our parties were formed at roughly the same time. Hers few weeks ahead of mine. Compare the results and ask yourself a question who were the victors last night? It’s pretty clear that in terms of numbers of seats, in terms of percentage of the vote, it was the Brexit Party that won. And if Anna can’t acknowledge that then I’m sorry.
Well, I just want to say although there if you add up all the pro remain parties, they did gain a bigger percentage, 35.8% versus the Brexit Party at 31.6%.
Actually pro remain parties altogether did win a bigger percentage.
This is absolute tosh. If you want to look at it that way-
It’s a fact.
Well it’s not a fact all right, add up the Brexit party vote, add up-
Let me finish. Add up the Ukip vote. Add to that the Conservative vote who still are a party that says we’re going to leave, and you will find that leave beat remain. In fact what you’;; find overall is that right now the country is 52/48 in favor of leaving. We’re supposed to be a democracy. We were promised this would be implemented and I’m really tired of all these remainers constantly moaning about every single election which they lose.
So just to be clear, you’re saying that if you add up all of these figures in the way that Charlotte was describing, and if you include the Conservative vote on your side of the argument, you would win a referendum if it were to take place tomorrow?
Yes, but this wasn’t a referendum. It was a multi party election. There were three parties out there campaigning for remain, with three of their own spending budgets. They massively outspent. They had massively more publicity than the Brexit party. The fact is the Brexit party won last night, and let me tell you if Brexit, if a clean break Brexit is not delivered on October the 31st this is just the beginning of a new political movement that doesn’t just want to take us out of the European Union. We want to change politics for good. We want to transform the political landscape in this county.
Fair enough. But how would you translate this win into a general election? Because at the moment you say you’re passionate for one thing, you stand for one thing. What are your policies beyond that one thing? Because at the moment there don’t seem to be any within the Brexit Party.
Full scale political reform in our country. Many of us feel that our political system is corrupt. It doesn’t work, it’s broken. The two parties have nothing but themselves. There are absurdities like the House of Lords. So a lot that needs changing. Huge help for the 5.4 million men and women out there running their own businesses, acting as sole traders, bigger help for the regions, many of which have been rather ignored as we pursue vanity projects like HS2, you’ll hear lots of that, but of course, the next test of all of this will come next week with the Peterborough by-election and we’re going to give that our very best shot.
Well that sounded rather like a manifesto, a word which you say you do hate using. Another personal question, you’ve been knocking off the booze a through this campaign, will you have a beer to celebrate?
I can confidently predict that the wheels will fall off today in great style.
Very well deserved. Nigel Farage, thanks very much for joining us this morning.
Thanks for joining us, and a busy night and a busy day ahead of you, I’m sure.
Change British politics for good. The brand new Brexit Party is trying to do just that with one simple message and one very familiar name. Waiting in the wings to take the crowd and Britain’s political landscape by storm. Nigel Farage, a self-declared man of the people, who speaks for the millions allegedly ignored by Westminster.
Nigel! Nigel! Nigel! Nigel!
Three years of being told we didn’t know what we voted for! How dare you!
The Brexit Party is about much more than just delivering Brexit.
How are we? How are we?
It promises to smash the two-party system and reconnect British democracy to the ordinary voter. The message is clear, but what about the money? Who’s actually been paying for Nigel Farage?
You’ve said in an interview previously that you’ve received one big donation.
Who was that from?
No, no, no. Oh, yes. I’m really going to tell you his name, aren’t I?
Well, why not?
Because then you would all hound him.
One donor pledging 200,000 pounds has now been disclosed, but the rest we won’t know until the end of July. Could one of them be Arron Banks, the insurance tycoon, Farage’s first big backer and still his biggest backer to date?
Arron Banks has expressed interest in funding the party.
No? But do you think he would be interested?
No. That’s four times.
At any point?
Thank you. No. That’s five times.
Why so flustered and why so many nos? Is it because big money doesn’t fit into the DNA of the Brexit Party?
Do I get one?
Of course you do.
A rapidly swelling army of 100,000 supporters in less than a month, each pledging small donations. Is it because Banks himself is under investigation at the National Crime Agency for the 8 million pounds he gave to Leave.EU during the referendum? He’s always denied any wrongdoing. After the Brexit referendum, Nigel Farage famously declared job done.
We got our country back!
He carried on as a European member of parliament, but quit the leadership of UKIP.
I now feel that I’ve done my bit, and so I feel it’s right that I should now stand aside as leader of UKIP.
In fact, Farage is now set on building a whole new political empire with the help of an old friend. Now, we’ve seen evidence that suggests that in the year after Nigel Farage quit the leadership of UKIP, Arron Banks, through his companies, financed much of his political operation and his lavish lifestyle to the tune of around half a million pounds. Almost immediately, Banks and his team at Leave.EU put Farage up here in a house in splendid Chelsea. They paid for business class flights, many of them to the United States, and they threw in a bodyguard who also doubled up as a driver.
Now, what does a driver need? A driver needs a car, so Banks also provided one of those. Thank you very much, to ferry Farage around the country. The car at the time would have been worth around 32,000 pounds, and emails show that Farage’s four-man security detail cost 20,000 pounds a month. Banks agreed to pay 5000 pounds of this for the driver. And that was just the start. Within a month of Farage stepping down as UKIP leader, he set up in his own bachelor pad. Not just any old bedsit, though.
Banks rents him his quaint, 4 million pound property in the heart of Chelsea. Now, rentals don’t come cheap in this neighborhood, and we’ve seen estimates that Arron Banks paid up to 13,000 pounds a month for this pad. He also paid almost 2,500 pounds for council tax and other bills and 3000 pounds for security cameras. He also threw in a curtain. A shower curtain. So what else does an anti-establishment politician need? How about an office in the heart of Westminster? During the referendum, this was UKIP’s base.
When they moved out, Arron Banks offered to keep Farage’s office here, complete with smoking terrace. Banks’ team offered to pay 1,500 pounds a month. Here’s the big question. Having won the referendum and with Nigel Farage very much being out of the public eye, why would Arron Banks finance all this? Was he just trying to help an old friend, or was he perhaps trying to turn brand Farage into a global phenomenon? Just two weeks after the referendum, Banks’ team booked Farage on a business class flight to Cleveland, Ohio. The venue of the Republican convention.
When Trump got the nomination, Nigel and Arron were there.
Put America first!
All in all, Banks spent hundreds of thousands of pounds so that Farage could huddle with the new power in Washington. Much of it organized by Banks’ fixer there, a lobbyist called Gerry Gunster. Best way to build brand Farage? (singing) Throw a party. Well, a luncheon. On the sidelines of the convention, Farage hosted this event extolling the virtues of Brexit. Banks paid the lobbyist 41,000 pounds to host so-called political thought leaders, media and elected officials. He also paid 11,000 pounds for this man, anchorman Tucker Carlson. Household name, especially in Fox News households.
It was contempt for the voters who made that decision.
Yes, we were all stupid, old, ignorant. Didn’t realize the consequences of what we’d done.
The plan appeared to be working. Farage was mingling with the great and the good, including Senator Bob Corker, Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee and John Bolton, former US Ambassador to the UN, now Trump’s national security advisor.
Come here. Come here, Nigel. Come here.
And to cap it all …
You know, they go around calling me Mr. Brexit.
Donald Trump plucks Nigel out of the crowd.
What a job he’s done. Now, if I don’t get there, he’s still going to be number one. If I get there, I may supersede him.
I think you will. I think you will.
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Nigel Farage.
Nigel Farage is given the honor of appearing on stage with Trump. The only foreign politician to do so. Trump’s very own bestie from Britain.
We made June the 23rd our independence day when we smashed the establishment!
After the speech, he leaves the arena. Behind him, his loyal benefactor, Arron Banks. So, apart from the now famous ride in Trump’s golden elevator, what else did Farage and Banks hope to get out of it? One email gives a hint. Just one day before that famous meeting, a plan was hatched to cash in on brand Nigel. Washington strategist and Banks ally Gerry Gunster proposed a political powerhouse to provide strategy, lobbying, creative services, and paid advocacy to companies, organizations, and individuals. With staff that are closely aligned with the new US administration and with UK political leaders. As for the money. Profits would be divided 50/50 between Gunster and Banks, with a separate agreement with Nigel Farage.
I, Donald John Trump do solemnly swear.
Congratulations, Mr. President.
Trump is finally in the Oval Office, and Farage and Banks are back in town throwing even more money at project Nigel. This time 100,000 pounds for an inauguration party. It’s not clear what that money actually achieved in the end, but three years after the glamor and promise of Washington, Nigel Farage has gone from DC to MT. Merthyr Tydfil. By the way, he is still an elected MEP on a salary of 100,000 euros a year, plus expenses. None of the gifts that we uncovered have been declared to the EU parliament. Tonight, it told us that spending linked to political activity should be disclosed. If he was a Westminster MP, he would have to declare all of them. Nigel, how are you?
Can I just ask you a quick question?
You can try.
You pride yourself on being an ordinary man in touch with the people, but are you in fact a kept man?
I’m fighting a European election campaign. You can bore on with whatever you want to bore on.
It’s a legitimate question about the money that you were paid by Arron Banks between 2016 and 2017 funding your lifestyle and your political operation to the tune of almost half a million pounds a year.
Three or four times that, I’d have thought.
So 13,000 pounds for the house in Chelsea paid for by Arron Banks? True or not true?
Is there a European election next week?
Yeah. We’ll ask about that in a minute.
But let’s talk about the money for a second.
No, not really.
5,000 pounds for the bodyguard and driver a month? 13,000 pounds for the house in Chelsea a month? You said in 2017 that you were skint. That there was no money in politics, but there clearly was quite a lot of money in it for you, wasn’t there? Yes or no? Why don’t you want to talk about these things? I mean, none of this is illegal, but this is important. You’re running for public office. It’s a matter of transparency.
It certainly is. We’ve got a democratic election next Thursday which is all about democracy, and you won’t even talk about it.
You rail against the elite, the metropolitan elite in London.
I do. I rail against people like you. You’re quite right.
And yet, you’re living a lifestyle of the elite, or you were.
Well, I was.
Financed by very rich friends.
Terrible, isn’t it?
No comment on this?
None at all.
Nigel, who’s paying for all this now? Is it Arron Banks still paying for some of it?
Excuse me. Excuse me.
Who’s paying for all of this now, Nigel? While we waited for him to reappear, we counted at least five bodyguards. That’s about 25,000 pounds a month in personal security. Nigel, one more time just for the record. Who’s paying for this operation now, for all your bodyguards?
Arguably no politician has done more to change or challenge Westminster politics than Nigel Farage. He was after all, the driving force behind the original Brexit referendum and now he’s back with a vengeance, parking his tanks on Tory and Labour turf. Railing against the corrupt Westminster bubble and the metropolitan elite here in London. Cloth cap on head, pint very much in hand. Perhaps that’s why he’s so coy about the fact that his richest friend has been bankrolling so much of his lifestyle and his political operation.
We won’t actually know who exactly has been funding the Brexit Party until July, by which time British politics may have been transformed. Nigel Farage, with his presidential style, his branded politics and his funding has become a very American politician. But when it comes to explaining the money behind him, he’s less swagger and more stagger. Now, we asked the Brexit Party to come on the program tonight, but they declined. Arron banks told us, “Channel Four’s attempt to smear myself and Nigel comes at a time when the Brexit Party is riding high in the polls, so it should come as no surprise to anyone.”
When we had a president, we’d see a giant global political figure, the man that would be the political leader for 500 million people, the man that would represent all of us on the world stage, the man whose job was so important that of course you’re paid more than President Obama. Well, I’m afraid what we got was you. And I’m sorry, but after that performance earlier that you gave, and I don’t want to be rude, but you know really, you have the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low grade bank clerk. And the question that I want to ask, the question that I want to ask, that we’re all going to ask is who are you? I’d never heard of you. Nobody in Europe had ever heard of you. I would like to ask you, President, who voted for you and what mechanism? Oh, I know democracy is not popular with you. And what mechanisms-
Mr. President. Mr. President.
… do the peoples of Europe have to remove you? Is this European democracy? Well, I sense though, that you’re competent and capable and dangerous. And I have no doubt that it’s your intention to be the quiet assassin of European democracy and of the European nation states. You appear to have a loathing for the very concept of the existence of nation states. Perhaps that’s because you come from Belgium, which of course is pretty much a non-country. But since you took over, we’ve seen Greece reduced to nothing more than a protectorate. Sir, you have no legitimacy in this job at all. And I can say with confidence that I can speak on behalf of the majority of the British people in saying, we don’t know you, we don’t want you, and the sooner you will put out to grass, the better.
Well, as you said, Mr. President, you wouldn’t like to be rude and I prefer to to to go ahead with the statement. Mr. President [inaudible 00:02:11] if you could. Yeah.
Mr. Farage, would you agree we should apply article nine of the treaty? You can leave Europe by using that and then you’ll be happy.
Yeah. Okay, thank you. Madam, Mr… sorry. What is?
Point of order, please. It’s possible, yeah, of course.
[inaudible 00:00:02:46], the President.
I’m very disappointed with you President Buzek. It is not acceptable that in this parliament, a group chairman not only criticize the president of the council, but calls him a wet rag. And I expect you President, to call this person to order. It’s not right that this man should be able to trample over the dignity of this house. And chose it though, it’s not just a case of allowing the UK to leave the E.U. It’d be better for Mr. Farage to resign if the European Union and the European Parliament are such bad things in his eyes.
Thank you, President. Just as I have said to President Farage previously two months ago, and today I repeat this, these type of addresses, which are character assassinations of individuals, are inadmissible in the European Parliament. And I spoke to Mr. Farage about it and I drew his attention to it. Mr. Schultz, I’d like to say that this is how I work and that’s my way of going about it.
This is personal statement? The floor is yours.
You may not like what I say, but just consider your behavior. You after the Irish people in a referendum voted no, said that our group had opened, by supporting the no vote, that we’d opened the door to fascism. You said that we had behaved as a group in the parliament like Hitler and the Nazis in the Reichstag. We’ve been called by Danny Comb, bend it, mentally weak. It can’t be one way.
This is not personal statement. Mr. President Farage, it is not personal statement. I am very sorry. It was not personal statement. We must keep order and all the regulations of our parliament.
I’m delighted to have this opportunity to take part in a debate with you, not only to report on the informal meeting of the heads of state and of government of two weeks ago. It was after all, an informal meeting with no formal conclusions to report. But also to take this opportunity to meet with you early in my mandate. Had I waited until the first formal opportunity to report on a European Council that taking place at the end of March, I would not have come before this parliament before the end of April, some five months after my designation as President of the European Council. Let me therefore take this opportunity to lay out how I see my role and function. I shall spend a few minutes on this so as not to have to return to this on future occasions.
There is of course always been a presidency of the European Council, not the same thing as the President of Europe, as some media put it. So what has changed? Three small things, but which will together over time have the potential to make a significant difference. First is the element of continuity. Past president changed every six months, that is after every second or third meeting. There was little opportunity to develop a longterm strategy. Our partners in third countries, were bemused as having to meet a different head of government every time they had the summit with the European Union. Greater continuity is fundamental to building relationships and carrying out a serious task.
Second is the full time nature of the job. Previous presidents had to simultaneously manage their own national government. These meant that, at best, they could only deal halftime with European affairs. By creating a full time post dedicated to the running of the European Council and it’s followup, including external representation, the European Council now has a better chance to play its role within the European institutional system.
Third, there is the fact that heads of state and of government now choose who they want, who to hold this position rather than it happening haphazardly from an arbitrary rotation system. I hope this too all goes well for the support that the President can count on. These three changes are all pragmatic improvements to the previous institutional architecture. But taken together with the fact that the European Council now becomes an institution in its own right, they give the European Council a better chance of fulfilling it’s task under the treaties of, I quote, defining the general political directions and priorities of the union. Some commentators have seen a great deal more in this role, others have seen less. On the one hand, some considered the presidency of the European Council to be a sort of Président in the manner of an executive head of state as in, for instance, France. On the other hand see it as the mere chairmanship of the meeting of the heads of government. In reality it is neither.
It is certainly not a président, endowed with the executive powers in his own right. The incumbent must express the views of the collectivity of the heads of state and of government. On the other hand, the role is not merely one of being a chairman, giving the floor to one or another member of the European Council to speak during its meetings, the task of preparing and then following up its meetings and representing the union externally. For instance, along with the President of the Commission at the G20 summit, and his role as a bridge between the national capitals and the institutions, clearly go beyond the task of merely chairing meetings. The role of Parliament President is to enhance a shared sense of direction, nothing more, nothing less. Where are we going? How to deal with our neighbors? Who are our main strategic partners in the world? Where do we want to be in 10 or 20 years time? These are vital issues.
As regards my relationship with the European Parliament, the treaty is quite brief on this. It simply requires that I report to you after meetings of the European Council. That means a minimum of four times a year, though in most years that is more likely to be five or six, and may in the future rise to 10. It will not be long before many of you will be fed up with the sight of me.
I will continue to multiply other usual contacts with members of Parliament such as meetings I’ve begun with leaders of groups and the monthly meeting I have with the President of the Parliament. My role indeed should not be confused with that of the President of the Commission. Mr. Barroso chairs an executive that is elected by and is accountable to the European Parliament. It submits legislative and budgetary proposals to you. I do not so. The Commission President has an intimate day to day contact with the European Parliament, not least in working on those legislative and budgetary proposals. My task is rather to ensure that the heads of state and of government can collectively agree on overall strategy for European Union, both as regards its internal development and in terms of its external relations.
At the weekly meeting with President Barroso, we are both acutely aware of the need to avoid any conflicts of competence or misunderstandings as to who is responsible for what. Public opinion and third countries may well find it difficult to grasp the difference between the President of the Commission and the President of the European Council. I am very confident that we are on the right track. In this context, it is also important to remember that I am President of the European Council and not of the Council of Ministers. These are now separate institutions. The ordinary council, which is the other branch of the legislature with the European Parliament, would still be chaired by a presidency that continues to rotate every six months among the member states. Only in the configuration of foreign affairs, where it coordinates executive power, does it have it permanent president in the form of Catherine Ashton, Vice President of the Commission and High Representative for foreign policy.
I pause at this point to pay tribute to the work being done by Catherine Ashton. In facing up to multiple challenges in the field of foreign affairs and security, and in preparing the external action service, she deserves our support. It will be my privilege to work closely with her in external representing the union.
Let me just say a few words about the European Council itself. The first formal meeting under my chairmanship will take place at the end of next month. We did, however, have a useful informal gathering of heads of state and of government earlier this month in the Bibliothèque Solvay, just a few hundred meters from here. Whether it was because of the more intimate surroundings of the library or the physical proximity of the parliament, our discussions were fruitful. As I said, I cannot report any formal conclusions to you from an informal meeting. At most, I can share with you my own personal conclusions from the discussions, which I have set out in a letter to the members of the European Council and which I know has been circulated within the parliament.
My aim with this informal counsel was mainly to prepare our future deliberations on the issue of how to improve Europe’s economic performance as we exit the immediate economic crisis. This involves looking at our targets and ambitions, and we had a very useful paper from Commission President Barroso on this. But also, how to improve of governance of these issues. How we go managing our integrated European economy, the world’s largest market, in order to improve our economic performance in one of the central questions facing the European Union. Our initial exchange of view on this involved looking at how we set targets, how we follow them up, how we evaluate results. It is in large part about coordinating the exercise of national competencies, whilst making full use of the European Union competencies and instruments available. It is therefore a task for which the European Council is imminently suited.
In the Solvay meeting, all members of the European Council agree that we need a better but more focused economic coordination in the Union, both for macro economic policy, certainly in the Euro area, and for micro economic policy. A lot of this is very technical, but let’s just take the idea of bringing down the number of common economic objectives to concentrate on just four or five. These objectives should be quantifiable and divisible in national set objectives. It makes no sense to have scoreboards on say, 65 different data. Moreover, all members of the European Council who are willing to take more responsibility in a common European strategy for growth and jobs. Such personal evolvement is indispensable. We need to go from paper recommendation to real life commitment. I was glad to find such a level of ambition around the table. Whether you want to call it better coordination, better governance, or even a governor economic, the key is the common commitment to success.
We also had a quick discussion on how to better implement Europe’s actions in the reconstruction of Haiti. We’ll want to take this discussion further with an eye to better implementing Article 214 of the treaty on the coordination of humanitarian aid. A discussion on how Europe should respond strategically to the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change will be pursued at the next European Council. Unexpectedly, of course, there was a discussion on the situation in Greece. I took it upon myself, to ensure that this was handled in the European Union’s institutional framework, and not outside it. And that the agreement reached met with the approval of all 27 heads of state and of government, as well as the Presidents of the Commission and President of the European Central Bank.
This degree of consensus was a message about Greece acceptance of its responsibility to cut it’s deficit in a credible way and of our solidarity with it if needed. I very much look forward to hearing your views on all these matters, not least on how we can face all the challenges facing our union. Mr. President, dear colleagues, I can assure you that I have one overriding goal for the coming years, to ensure that our union is on track to be strong enough internally to maintain our own social model, and externally to defend our interests and project our values. I think that all European institutions can and must work together for those goals. Thank you.