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Tensions high as EU leaders meet in Brussels to discuss Brexit

Farage

Stocks made a comeback on Wall Street on Tuesday. The Dow gained 248 points as anxiety over Britain’s divorce from Europe eased — at least on this side of the world.

The leaders of the 28 European Union nations met Tuesday in Brussels, and it did not go well.

David Cameron arrived at the Brussels meeting trying to make nice.

“We mustn’t be turning our backs on Europe,” he said. “These countries are our neighbors, our friends.”

But friendliness was not in the air in the European Parliament — nastiness was.

“Now, I know that virtually none of you have done a proper job in your lives,” said Nigel Farage, one of the key architects of the “leave” campaign.

Farage, once considered a wacky British isolationist on the right-wing fringe, had won the referendum battle and was telling those bothersome Europeans what he really thought of them.

EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker returned the favor.

“The British people voted for the exit. Why are you here?” he said.

Farage was there, at least partly, to gloat, and to be unrepentant.

So is Farage telling people he would rather they were poor and out of the EU, than in the EU and richer?

“I’m telling people the scary stories about financial markets are complete and utter rubbish. I say that because I used to work in them,” Farage told CBS News senior foreign correspondent Mark Phillips.

Except it is happening, despite Farage’s insistence otherwise. And now European leaders are trying stop the market volatility by ending the uncertainty markets hate.

If Britain is going to go, they say, it should go now and not wait for David Cameron’s successor to be chosen in the fall as the British want.

On Wednesday, the EU leaders, without Cameron, will discuss their negotiating strategy for Britain’s exit. And they’re talking tough.

A closed dinner for the leaders Tuesday night is being called David Cameron’s — and Britain’s — last supper.




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About the author

Sydney Chesterfield

Poet, Playwright, Philosopher, Humanitarian, mad lover of children and unflinching fighter for equality on all grounds viz. Women's rights, child rights, sine die.

Twitter: @syd_field