Anna Soubry clashed with Brexit Party leader on BBC’s Question Time after she said Nigel Farage claimed the UK could “could leave the European Union, just like Norway had done” in the lead up to the EU referendum in 2016. Mr Farage instantly snapped back, insisting Norway had never joined the European Union. Speaking on this week’s show which took place in Northampton, Ms Soubry said: “Nigel Farage was criticising the return of a customs union and regulatory alignment.
“In 2015, he was arguing for exactly the same thing saying we could leave the European Union, just like Norway had done, which is still a member of the single market.”
Brexit Party leader Mr Farage stepped in pointing out “Norway never joined” the bloc.
He said: “What are you talking about?”
Mr Farage was criticised by the Change UK MP about the “lies he told” in the lead up to the historic Brexit vote, prompting a furious response.
The Brexit Party leader added: “I said no deal is better than a bad deal, Anna.
“I argued it all through the referendum, day after day after day.
“You clearly were not listening, you never do, do you?”
Some members of the Question Time audience cheered the quick response from the Brexit Party leader.
Norway is not a member state of the European Union but is associated with the bloc through its membership of the European Economic Area (EEA), and being a founder of the European Free Trade Association.
Twice Norway has considered joining the European Community and the European Union but rejected the move in referendums in 1972, and 1994.
Joining the EEA expands the European Union’s single market to Norway, and the country has also signed the Schengen Agreement with the EU, which allowing Norwegians to travel without a passport in the Schengen Area.
It comes as the British Government is still locked in Brexit negotiations with the Labour Party after the Prime Minister reached out to Jeremy Corbyn to help deliver Brexit last month.
On Thursday, Labour leader Mr Corbyn said the Government has so far failed to make a “big offer” in cross-party talks aimed at ending the Brexit deadlock, as he launched the party’s European Parliament election campaign.
Express.co.uk has contact Ms Soubry’s office for comment.