A fiery debate between British MEP Nigel Farage and SNP MP Ian Blackford prompted BBC radio host Mishal Husain to step in, after Blackford accused Farage of being "narrow-minded". The two were debating on Brexit on BBC Radio 4 Tuesday morning when Blackford lashed out at Farage.
"We have really got to make a strong economic case as to how we prosper as a consequence of this, how we are enriched by migration," Blackford lamented. "Frankly, we have to take on the narrow-mindedness that we get from the likes of Mr. Nigel Farage."
"Can we just be clear about this? These accusations of narrow-mindedness," Farage asked. "A very clear, solid, large majority of the British people, and that includes Scottish voters, want immigration reduced, and many of them want it reduced substantially."
However, the SNP parliamentary leader protested, stating "That is simply not true."
Increasingly flustered, the BBC host told Blackford "Just let Nigel Farage speak."
"We ran a policy for 50 years after World War Two of net migration running at about 30,000 people a year," Farage continued. "Since 2001 it has been running at nearer 300,000 people a year."
After the BBC host accused Farage of making immigration "more inflammatory issue that it needed to be", Farage retaliated, saying "Where were the old people? Where were the disabled people. These were not refugees in any classic sense. These were people taking advantage of weak European rules."
"And the real point here is, politicians can pose all they like," chided Farage. "Out there in the real world people see that immigration has changed their lives in terms of their jobs, their wages, their ability to get houses, to get GP appointments."
"It has reduced the quality of life of people in this country and Brexit was a clear instruction that says ‘let's get a grip and let's reduce the numbers. That is what people want."
Social media was immediately triggered by the interview, with many MPs, listeners, and regular Brits issuing a flurry of vitriol at both Farage and the BBC. Many accused the BBC of allowing Farage excessive radio time, appearing 32 times on BBC's Question Time radio program.
"If anyone thinks that Nigel Farage isn't like a xenophobic Zippy, this should change your mind, Londoner Damon Evans commented, referencing Rainbow's most famous muppet who always loves to be the center of attention. "Think I'll call Nigel ‘Xippy' from now on."
— Damon Evans (@damocrat) September 18, 2018
Green party Candidate for Sheffield Central Natalie Bennett bemoaned, "I switch on the radio to hear Nigel Farage. Again. How about inviting on a range of MEPs, people who actually take part in the work of the parliament and their communities?"
— Natalie Bennett (@natalieben) September 18, 2018
"Nigel Farage on #r4today once again spouting his usual crap about immigration causing problems in the NHS & housing," a visibly angry Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy said.
"12.5% of NHS staff are non-British. 28% of building workers in London are from other EU countries. Stop exploiting foreign nationals to excuse government failure."
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) September 18, 2018
— Tom Murtha (@tomemurtha) September 18, 2018
— Peter Smith (@Redpeter99) September 18, 2018
"You overlook the irrelevance of MEPs in the largely undemocratic EU scam," Brexiteer and cancer survivor Greg Lance-Watkins stated. "Farage was elected several times to get Britain out and his electorate seem very happy with him returning him for almost 20 years to do the job they want done."
You overlook the irrelevance of #MEPs in the largely undemocratic #EU scam. #Farage was elected several times to get #Britain_Out & his electorate seem very happy with him returning him for almost 20yrs to do the job they want done — That is #Democracy #Peoples_Vote was 4 #BreXit— Greg_Lance-Watkins (@Greg_LW) September 18, 2018
"I’m fed up being called racist just because I don’t like what this country is turning in to," one mum tweeted in rage. "I don’t want anything to do with the #EU! Feed me porridge for the next umpteen years! Put me in a workhouse! Just Stop telling me I must see my country run in to the ground!"
I’m fed up being called racist just because I don’t like what this country is turning in to! I don’t want anything to do with the #EU! Feed me porridge for the next umpteen years! Put me in a workhouse! Just Stop telling me I must see my country run in to the ground! #lbc #farage— politically homeless (@06c7b62d100d4f2) September 10, 2018
Another rushed to Farage's defense, with one Welshman tweeting his support to Farage's earlier appearance on Good Morning Britain.
— GOMS (@rant4wales) September 17, 2018