February 28, 2024

Brexit architect says Brexit is a failure – DW – 5/17/2023

British politician Nigel Farage, one of the biggest advocates of Brexit, has admitted that Brexit was a failure.

In an interview with the BBC’s Newsnight program on Monday night (15/05), the architect of Brexit said the country did not benefit economically from a divorce from the European bloc.

Commenting on a series of statements pointing to the negative economic impact of Brexit, Farage said: “What Brexit proves, I think, is that our politicians are as useless as the commissioners in Brussels. We managed it very badly.”

“Brexit failed,” added the politician, who also blamed Britain’s Conservative Party. “We have not delivered on our promises on Brexit and the Conservative Party has let us down badly.”

Asked if it would be better for the UK to remain in the EU and whether he regretted championing Brexit, Farage said he had “not thought about it for a moment”.

One of the country’s most popular Eurosceptics, he was the leader of the right-wing UK Independence Party (Ukip) and helped promote a Brexit referendum in 2016, after he campaigned voraciously for Yes.

Today, Farage is a commentator for the far-right British channel, GB News, and he is the honorary chair of the right-wing populist party Reform UK, which grew out of the Brexit Party he founded. In an interview with the BBC, he did not rule out returning to politics.

The prime minister reacts

After Farage’s speech, Conservative British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Tuesday dismissed that Brexit was a failure.

Asked if the prime minister agreed that Brexit had failed because politicians mishandled the divorce, Sunak’s spokesperson said: “No, the prime minister has already spoken about the benefits of Brexit on several occasions.”

Almost seven years after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European bloc, opinion polls show that the majority of the population regret leaving the European Union.

The British economy has struggled to recover after a triple crisis: the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the turmoil of the UK’s exit from the European Union.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) expects UK GDP growth to be the second worst after Russia among major economies.

The Office for Budget Responsibility, the government agency that independently reviews Britain’s public finances, has blamed Brexit for a dramatic slowdown in the intensity of UK trade.

ek (Reuters, ots)