“We believe that Britain can now go forward into a future, rejoicing.”
Brexit Party MEPs have left the European Union’s parliament for the last time, carrying the Union Jack “home”.
Speaking outside of the European Parliament building in Brussels on Friday, veteran Brexiteer, former Conservative MP, and Brexit Party MEP Ann Widdecombe said: “Today we celebrate our independence: our ability to control our own laws, our own trade deals, our own borders.
“We believe that Britain can now go forward into a future, rejoicing. For the MEPs leaving here today, our duty is done, our harvest is home, and now we’re off!”
Ms Widdecombe led the group off parliamentary grounds holding a Brexit Express banner, accompanied by a bagpiper, with MEP Jonathan Bullock bearing the Union Jack. Mr Bullock carried the flag to a waiting car, and held it unfurled out of the window.
(While there may be debate over the media’s widespread reference to the Union “Jack”, with some maintaining that that is only correct when the flag is flown on the masthead of ships, and in all other circumstances, it is the Union flag. However, the charity the Flag Institute says that that is a relatively recent distinction and that historically, the Union flag had been called the Union Jack in non-naval situations. Parliamentary record Hansard reports the Earl of Crewe saying in the House of Lords in 1908, for example, that “the Union Jack should be regarded as the National flag, and it undoubtedly may be flown on land by all His Majesty’s subjects”.)
Female MEP called Alexandra Phillips, outgoing MEP for South East England, told euronews: “It’s been a hard battle these past six months — longer than six months — I’ve fought for Brexit for three years.”