Whether we like it or not Nigel Farage has joined Nicola Sturgeon in filling the vacuum that is Westminster politics after last week’s EU referendum.
His nasty, rude, ill-mannered rant in the European parliament yesterday looks like an astute move to ensure there are no concessions on offer in negotiations following the triggering Article 50.
Farage wants out to mean out — no Brexit-lite deals for access to the free trade area which would also mean freedom of movement. Yesterday he did his best to alienate his fellow MEPs who will have a final say on any deal on offer. Who would want a deal with a county where Farage has emerged as a significant leader?
But he probably did not mean to advance the chances of a break-up of the United Kingdom. The standing ovation for Scottish MEP Alyn Smith can only improve the climate for talks in Brussels today between the Nicola Sturgeon and the parliament president Martin Shulz.