Jean-Claude Juncker clashed with Ukip leader Nigel Farage as the president of the European Commission addressed the European Parliament over the UK's vote to split from the EU. Farage applauded Juncker, the former prime minister of Luxembourg, when he told MEPs that the parliament "must respect British democracy" in the wake of the 23 June referendum.
The intervention from the Eurosceptic firebrand, who has been an MEP for South East England since 1999, was denounced by Juncker. "That's the last time you are applauding here," the EU chief retorted. "And, to some extent, I'm really surprised you're here. You were fighting for the exit. The British people voted in favour of the exit. Why are you here?"
Juncker went onto to stress that he still considers outgoing UK PM David Cameron – who he is to meet on Tuesday (28 June) – to be a friend, along with the British people, despite the referendum result.
But the European Commission president did urge Cameron for further clarity on when the British government would trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which would start the UK's negotiations with Brussels to leave the EU.
"We cannot be embroiled in lasting uncertainty," Juncker declared. On a more personal front, the EU chief argued that he was not a "bureaucratic robot" and warned of "consequences" for UK after the referendum.
His speech was then followed by a debate in the European Parliament, which gave Farage the opportunity to reply. "When I first came here and said I wanted to leave EU, you all laughed at me, you're not laughing now," the Ukip declared. The Eurosceptic was later jeered by his fellow MEPs for claiming the Parliament was "in denial" over the referendum result.
Elsewhere, Chancellor George Osborne said the UK would be poorer because of the Brexit vote and warned of tax increases in the government's next budget, while a Labour leadership coup attempt against Jeremy Corbyn is expected to come to a head at 4pm BST when Labour MPs vote on a motion of no confidence against the left-winger.