Farage Blasts ‘Delusional’ Eurocrat for Claiming EU Is Beating U.S. and China in Olympics

IZU, JAPAN - AUGUST 04: (L-R) Gold medalists Jonathan Milan, Francesco Lamon, Filippo Ganna and Simone Consonni of Team Italy, pose for a photograph on the media press conference after the Men's team pursuit finals of the track cycling on day twelve of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu …
Tim de Waele/Getty Images

Brexit leader Nigel Farage has mocked Guy Verhofstadt for suggesting the European Union should be at the top of the Olympics table after adding together the medals of the 27 individual countries that make up the bloc.

Mr Verhofstadt, the former prime minister of Belgium and a leading Member of the European Parliament (MEP), declared Olympic victory on Thursday, saying: “Fun fact: EU combined has more gold medals than U.S. or China. I’d love to see the EU flag next to the national [flag] on athletes’ clothes.

“Our identity is layered we’re proud Italians, Latvians, Germans, Slovenians… and Europeans. Our sports should reflect that!”

According to the official Olympic medal table, as at time of reporting, China topped the board for golds, followed by the United States. Despite claims from Verhofstadt that the EU is “at the top”, in reality the highest-scoring EU member state in the Olympics is Germany — in seventh place.

The highest achiever in the continent of Europe is, of course, Brexit Britain, in fourth place.

“Poor old Verhofstadt. He still thinks that a United States of Europe can happen. He’s deluded,” Mr Farage remarked.

Conservative MP David Jones, the deputy chairman of the European Research Group (ERG), said: “To be fair to Guy Verhofstadt, he has never made any secret of the fact that he wants the EU to develop into a single superstate.

“His tweet merely confirms that. It also confirms that the UK was entirely right to leave an organisation in which zealots such as Mr Verhofstadt have such influence.”

Verhofstadt, the former Brexit coordinator for the European Parliament, had said in the past that the European Union should become an “empire”, as well as proposing a “United States of Europe”.

Strongly opposed to Brexit, the Belgian politician went as far as campaigning with the British Liberal Democrat party to overturn the vote to leave the European Union in 2019.

“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 in European union,” Verhofstadt said at the Liberal Democrat party conference in September 2019.

Whether the International Olympic Committee (IOC) would allow a European Union team to have quite as many athletes participating is a matter others on social media observed, including former Conservative MP and UKIP and Brexit Party representative Mark Reckless, who asked: “Is he saying the EU should also be limited to three competitors per event?”

“The EU is not a country – not yet anyway. If it were, the Olympics would be the poorer for it, with a much smaller field of competitors,” former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib told the Daily Express.

The IOC had rejected, however, the EU’s request for Slovenia, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, to carry the EU flag at Friday’s ceremony.

“[A]n Olympic team can only use one flag, one emblem and one anthem adopted by its National Olympic Committee and approved by the IOC Executive Board,” an IOC spokesman said, according to The Telegraph.

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