‘Frankly, we’ve not delivered on borders, we’ve not delivered on Brexit,’ he said
·Trending News Reporter
Tue, 16 May 2023 at 12:12 pm BST
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who once vowed to leave the country if Brexit turned out to be a disaster, has stated: “Brexit has failed.”
Speaking to Victoria Derbyshire on BBC’s Newsnight the right-wing commentator said Brexit had led to increased regulation of businesses and concluded the move had been a failure.
“I mean what Brexit has proved, I’m afraid, is that our politicians are about as useless as the commissioners in Brussels were,” he said after Derbyshire read him a poll showing one in five leave voters regretted their decision.
Asked whether the UK would have been better staying in the EU economically – given “the OBR forecasts a 4% hit to the economy over the medium term” – Farage responded: “I don’t think that for a moment.”
“But what I do think is we haven’t actually benefitted from Brexit economically, when we could have done,” he added. “What Brexit has proved, I’m afraid, is that our politicians are as useless as the commissioners in Brussels were.
“We have mismanaged this totally and if you look at simple things, simple things such as takeovers, such as corporation tax, we are driving business away from our country.
“Arguably, now we’re back in control, we’re regulating our own businesses even more than they were as EU members. Brexit has failed.”
“Frankly, we’ve not delivered on borders, we’ve not delivered on Brexit – the Tories have let us down very, very badly,” he added.
His comment prompted eagle-eyed social media users to point out Farage’s former pledge to leave the country if Brexit went wrong.
Speaking on his LBC show in 2017, Farage told a caller: “If Brexit is a disaster, I’ll go and live abroad.”
He said at the time: “It isn’t going to be a disaster. We’ve just managed to get ourselves in a lifeboat off the Titanic. The EU does not work.”
While the admission from a long-time Brexiteer that the UK’s departure from the EU has failed may raise eyebrows among some, the sentiment is shared by much of the general public – a recent poll showed 52% of people think Brexit was a mistake.
And recent analysis from the Office for Budget Responsibility predicts that the post-Brexit trade agreement with the EU will reduce long-run productivity by 4% compared with if the UK had remained in the EU, while it estimates imports and exports will be 15% lower in the long term than if the UK ad remained in the EU.
However, pro-Brexit figures argue that not enough time has passed to tell whether trade will bounce back or become stronger than it was pre-Brexit.
In 2022, the UK government touted its Brexit wins so far – including putting a crown stamp on pint glasses, having blue passports, taking back control of fishing waters, and making it tougher for EU criminals to enter the UK, among others.