Theresa May must stop "dithering" over the UK's split from the EU, Nigel Farage demanded on Wednesday morning (14 December). The former Ukip leader made the attack as he addressed the European Parliament.

The Eurosceptic firebrand argued that May should have triggered Article 50, the mechanism to split from the EU, immediately after succeeding David Cameron and entering Number10.

Farage claimed such a move would have adverted the legal battles at the High Court and Supreme Court, which is expected to rule in January 2017.

"Theresa May should stop dithering on Brexit. It's been six months since we voted for our liberation," he told fellow MEPs. "Once we trigger Article 50, it may become so unworkable that we simply have to say we are going."

Citing the "Brexit deliverance, Trump triumph and Italian rebellion," a reference to country's constitutional referendum result which saw Matteo Renzi quit as prime minister, Farage predicted "bigger shocks" for the EU in 2017.

The comments come just a day before May travels to Brussels to attend the EU Council. The Conservative premier has been excluded from an informal dinner of the other 27 EU leaders. May's spokeswoman said the move is "reasonable" since the other nations will discuss Brexit negotiations.

The prime minister has promised to trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017, while the European Commission's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said he expects talks to be completed by October 2018 and a deal ratified by the end of March 2019.

Ukip wants May to reject the Article 50 mechanism and split from the EU by repealing the European Communities Act of 1972.

Gerard Batten MEP, the party's Brexit spokesman, said: "May's strategy is to delay and delay the whole process in order to fudge it and to try and foist on us a 'Norwegian or Swiss' type EU model whereby we continue to pay money to the EU, obey a large percentage of its laws, and have open borders."