From politician to pro wrestler: What are British MEPs planning after Brexit?

  • By ITV News Multimedia Producer Charlie Bayliss

As the UK prepares to leave the EU on January 31, more than 70 British MEPs will be out of a job.

So what will those MEPs do once they've been given the boot from Brussels?

While some weigh up their career options after more than 20 years as a European parliamentarian, Brexit gives Green MEP and former Lord Mayor of Sheffield Magid Magid the chance to finish his new book and explore a new career path as a pro wrestler.

“Many people don’t know, but I used to do MMA. I had the nickname ‘Magic Magid the Submission Magician’, so basically I’m thinking about looking into a career in professional wrestling,” Mr Magid told ITV News.

“I’ve had a couple conversations with a few organisations. Maybe I could merge politics and wrestling together.

"I'm going to get this week out the way, finish my book and then just lay down my plans for the rest of the year, but wrestling is something I'm considering seriously."

Fighting and politics have a long history together: whether it's Muhammad Ali taking a stand against the Vietnam war, pro-Trump UFC fighter Colby Covington donning a Make America Great Again hat, or boxer Dereck Chisora supporting the Brexit Party at the general election, the two disciplines have gone hand-in-hand.

Perhaps Magid, who wore a T-shirt emblazoned with "Donald Trump is a wasteman" on daytime television, could be the antithesis of Colby Covington, fighting for the values of the EU and the Greens?

Magid laughs, saying: "Nobody likes that guy. I don't think I'll be doing what Colby does, that's for sure.

Donald Trump's sons Eric and Donald Jr (left and right) watch on as Colby Covington wrestles Robbie Lawler to the ground. Credit: AP

"It's just a different adventure and something I've been thinking about. I’ve always been a WWE fan and there’s a thriving UK scene and I just thought that possibly it's something I could do.

"I won't be an elected politician, but saying that, I’ll always have my hands in politics and activism."

The 30-year-old has only been an MEP for seven months, but is grateful to have been given the opportunity to represent his home of Sheffield and the Yorkshire region in Brussels.

"There’s a lot Westminster could learn from Europe but I’m just trying to make the most of the last few days."

While Magid has his regrets over the UK's departure from the EU, for Lance Forman, it marks the start of a promising new future for Britain.

Lance Forman (second left) was one of four Brexit Party MEPs who stood down in December, urging the party to stand aside in seats to help the Conservatives win the General Election. Credit: PA

The businessman, who specialises in smoked salmon, has reduced the price of his products by 10 per cent to mark Brexit.

However, the Conservative MEP (he was elected as a Brexit Party candidate but switched allegiance) revealed some customers have turned their back on his company owing to his pro-Brexit views.

He said: “I suspect we’ve had a few people who have come on-board because they like my views. But I would hope that with all this stuff is that the country can come together and get on together.”

On what Brexit can do for Britain in the future, Mr Forman is cautiously optimistic about what the future holds.

“I don’t think it’ll have an immediate effect but I think this is a new start Britain. I think we will do very well and while trade deals are helpful, they are certainly not the be all and end all.”

He added: “I’m very excited and I think that there will be Brexit jealously amongst the other 27 EU nations and they’ll end up wanting to do to what we’re doing, and it’ll mark the end of my political career.”

Shaffaq Mohammed MEP during proceedings in Strasbourg. Credit: Shaffaq Mohammed MEP/ Twitter

Brexit may mark the end of Mr Forman's political career, but for Lib Dem MEP Shaffaq Mohammed, he'll be turning his attentions to frontline, local politics.

Where he'd typically spend four days a week away on EU business, Mr Mohammed will have more time to focus his role as a councillor and youth worker in his hometown of Sheffield.

“I’m not likely to be doing nothing,” Shaffaq said. “I’ve had very understanding colleagues... I’ve been multitasking recently.

“Because my life has got very busy with politics, I’ve had to reduce my hours [as a youth worker]. I used to be a manager but as I got more involved with politics, it’s hard to do both. For me, it’s an escape from politics.”

This last week serving as an MEP will be tinged with sadness for Mr Mohammed, with MEPs delivering the final Brexit vote to ratify the UK's departure on Wednesday.

"We are about to walk away from something that's very, very special," he said.

"We'll probably only realise what we've done once its too late. Europe is moving forward, it's going to be a force for good, not just here, but across the world.

"I'm sad to see my country turn its back on its closest neighbour. I really hope Boris Johnson and his colleagues have a long, hard look about the direction this country is taking."