Nigel Farage, the great architect and defender of Brexit for years, now recognizes that the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union has been a failure for the economy of his country. The far-right politician and former Brexit party leader and MEP blames conservative British politicians for failing to seize what he saw as an opportunity.
Seven damages for the United Kingdom in three years of Brexit
Farage is retired from politics and is now a commentator on GB News, a channel dedicated to conservative opinion, although he is still honorary president of the Reform UK party, the little that remains of the far-right party that achieved its main raison d’être in 2016: the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. Now Farage joins the majority of the population who believe that Brexit has been in practice harmful to his country.
This Monday, on a late-night BBC talk show, Farage was questioned about the bad economic data from the United Kingdom, which is the economy among the seven largest in the world that has recovered the worst from the pandemic and the one with the highest inflation. high amid a decline in relations with its main market, Europe, and a pressing shortage of workers in key sectors.
“We have not benefited from Brexit financially, which we could have done… I am afraid that what Brexit has proven is that our politicians are almost as useless as the commissioners in Brussels. We have mismanaged this, of course,” Farage said. According to him, the rise in corporate tax and new paperwork requirements in the UK “are driving companies” out of his country. “Now that we have regained control, we are regulating our own companies even more than they were when we were members of the EU,” he said. “Brexit has failed,” he added, without the presenter having directly asked him that question. Farage blames the torieswho have been in power for 13 years, and, according to him, have “failed” the country.
65% of the electorate believes that the Conservative government has managed Brexit and its consequences “badly” compared to 23% who think otherwise, according to the latest YouGov survey with data from April. And these are better figures for the Conservatives compared to those of a few months ago, probably due to the effect of the agreement in February on the Northern Ireland protocol, one of the points of friction since the United Kingdom’s departure from the community bloc.
The electorate has little hope that either party will manage the effects of Brexit well. The most common response for months to who would do better is “I don’t know”, according to polls who repeat the question.
The majority of the population now believes that it was “a mistake” to leave the European Union: 53% compared to 34%, according to the latest YouGov surveys. In June 2016, 52% voted in favor of leaving the European Union compared to 48% who supported staying.
Despite the fact that public opinion has changed, Brexit continues to be a debate that neither the Government nor the Labor opposition barely touches because of how polarizing it can be again and because of the few possibilities of reversing it completely.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who was one of the advocates of Brexit in his divided party in 2016, is now trying to make some compromises regarding the complete break that Boris Johnson’s government chose for the relationship between the EU and his country. For example, Sunak has abandoned the idea of automatically abolishing this year all laws stemming from EU law – the initial plan of the tories– and wants greater cooperation with its Union in investigation and defense.
Keir Starmer, the Labor leader, says he is considering a proposal to allow EU citizens who live and pay taxes in the UK to vote in a general election, but also says he will not raise a new referendum on Brexit.