Speaking on his LBC show, the former Ukip leader said Michel Barnier’s threats to the UK during Tuesday’s Brexit debate in the European Parliament were a testament to the pressure the Union is under following the Italian election results.
Nigel Farage said: “They are not speaking from a position of strength, they are petrified of the Italian election results.
“And Barnier was saying today we have to do this because we have to preserve our Union and preserve our single market.
“I tell you what when people start using words like ‘preserve’, you know they are going it because they fear it might just disappear.”
Speaking to MEPs during the Brexit debate in Strasbourg on Tuesday, the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said: “You can’t have the status of a third country and at the same time ask for the advantages of the European Union.
“You can’t use the single market a-la-carte. It’s an integrated ecosystem and the four freedoms, including the freedom of movement, are indivisible.
“You can’t want to participate in our agencies without a legal commitment to applying the law of the Union and the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice.”
He added: “I listened attentively to Theresa May’s Mansion House speech which confirms the door is closing itself by confirming the red lines – leaving the single market, leaving the customs union.”
While addressing the European Parliament in French, he soon swapped to English to deliver this scathing criticism of Brexit.
Mr Barnier said: “We are open for business, it’s the UK that is closing doors.”
On March 4 more than 50 per cent of the Italian electorate voted in favour of the two major eurosceptic parties Five Star Movement (M5S) and the League.
The result sparked fears in Brussels of disruption in the Union as both M5S leader Luigi Di Maio and League leader Matteo Salvini focussed their electoral campaigns on fighting the bloc.
The Italian election did not produce a clear winner, but as it stands both Mr Salvini and Mr Di Maio are in the run to be Italy’s next Prime Minister if they can form a grand coalition with a third party to reach the number of seats needed to form a government.