The UKIP MEP says he will speak for Brexit voters, but opponents say it is “like sending an arsonist to put out a house fire”.

The EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has agreed to meet Nigel Farage, a move critics described as “like sending an arsonist to put out a house fire”.

The former UKIP chief is still an MEP and heads the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) political group in the European Parliament, which allows him access to the process.

Three months after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn presented Mr Barnier with an Arsenal shirt, Mr Farage wrote to Mr Barnier asking him for a meeting.

“As you appear to be conducting a series of meetings with UK political figures on the issue of Brexit, I wish to make a request,” he said.

Nigel Farage

“It seems that you are listening to a group of people who want to stop or delay Brexit.

“I will come to speak for the 17.4 million who did not vote for a transition deal or any further delays and whose resolve is getting stronger,” he concluded.

The EU’s negotiating team have now arranged a meeting in the European Commission’s headquarters in Brussels on Monday morning.

The former Prime Minister Tony Blair told Sky News that: “People like Nigel Farage are entitled to say what they think.”

But he added: “I’d like to be a fly on the wall in that meeting but yeah – why not, he’s perfectly entitled to see him.”

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair

The anti-Brexit pressure group Open Britain was more critical of the meeting.

Its executive director, James McGrory, said: “Sending Nigel Farage to Brussels to sort out Brexit is like sending an arsonist to put out a house fire.

“After years of poisoning our politics, telling outright lies about the EU and cosying up to Trump, he has already done enough damage to our country and our international standing.

“He has no answers to the costs and complexity of Brexit, other than to blithely say we should walk away with no deal, which would be an unmitigated disaster for our economy and our country.

“As it becomes clear that the Brexit that he and other leading Leave campaigners sold to the public is not deliverable, what is required is honesty and realism, neither of which are Nigel Farage’s forte.”

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