DUP MP Gregory Campbell has blasted the European Union as an 'expansionist empire' which has alienated many of its inhabitants and helped fuel national populist movements across the continent.
Mr. Campbell, in a contribution to the debate on the British Prime Minister, Theresa May's, withdrawal agreement, characterised Brexit as the UK striking for its freedom from Brussels.
"In the past two years, a narrative has developed within the Chamber and across the nation, and it is a completely and utterly false premise. The narrative is that the EU, as constituted, is a place of safety, security and certainty.
"Many people have portrayed the United Kingdom leaving the EU as a ship in a storm facing an unfortunate and untimely departure from a port or harbour," he said.
"That completely and utterly negates all that has been going on in the EU over the past couple of years and the seabed of that, whether it is national populism in Italy, Germany, Hungary, Sweden, France or Poland, or people’s sense of frustration, of isolation and of political establishments not listening or paying heed to what they say and want.
"That is what I detect in this country—a sense of frustration and alienation. Allowing an expansionist empire to keep us embodied as an annexe to the EU will not be a good future. It will not give our children and grandchildren a future to look forward to and aspire to."
The East Derry MP said the Prime Minister needed to go back to Brussels and demand a Brexit deal the people of the UK could accept.
"People in the United Kingdom will be not just aspiring to but demanding something above and beyond a good trade deal. They aspire to something greater, and that is an ultimate sense of freedom beyond the EU," he said.