Brexit has failed, says Nigel Farage
Brexit has failed, says Nigel Farage.
The former UKIP leader made the blunt admission as evidence grows over the economic harm to Britain of quitting the European Union.
Economists say it will leave millions of workers in the UK £1,300 worse off than if the UK had remained in the European trading bloc.
Mr Farage told the BBC’s Newsnight: “We have not actually benefited from Brexit economically, what we could have done.
“What Brexit has proved, I’m afraid, is that our politicians are about as useless as the commissioners in Brussels were.
“We have mismanaged this totally.
“Simple things, such as take-overs, coroporation tax, we are driving business away from our country.
“Arguably, now we are back in control, we are regulating our own businesses even more than they were as EU members.
“Brexit has failed.
“We have not delivered on borders, we have not delivered on Brexit, the Tories have let us down very, very badly.”
However, he still denied that the UK would have been economically better off staying in the EU.
Few if any leading Brexiteers have themselves accepted any blame for the harm being caused to Britain by splintering away from the EU.
Rishi Sunak is refusing to acknowledge any economic damage to the UK despite the growing weight of evidence.
The Government’s economic watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility, has said that the post-Brexit trading deal reached with the EU will reduce Britain’s long-run productivity by some four per cent, compared with if the UK had remained in the bloc.
It added that both exports and imports will be around 15 per cent lower in the long run than if Britain had stayed in the EU.
Britain’s economy is flatlining and shows no signs of any significant pick-up.
"But frankly, we have not delivered on borders, we have not delivered on Brexit, the Tories have let us down very badly."
Asked on Tuesday if Mr Sunak, who campaigned to leave the EU, agreed with Mr Farage's sentiments, the Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "No."
"I think the Prime Minister has talked about the benefits of Brexit on a number of occasions," he added.
"Just thinking about farming alone, we're talking about some of the benefits of moving away from a bureaucratic cap which skewed money towards the largest landowners, with 50 per cent going to the largest 10 per cent.
"We have a fairer system tailored to British farmers post-Brexit.
"On the issue of being able to use gene-editing technology to mimic the natural breeding process to help farmers to grow more nutritious, productive crops, those are just two examples in one sector of the benefits that the public and UK businesses enjoy."
The spokesman was speaking after Downing Street held a UK Farm To Fork summit with representatives from across the food supply chain on Tuesday.
In contrast, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who campaigned for Remain, has accepted some harm caused by Brexit but also says there are opportunities for Britain.
International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch has hailed a number of trade deals with other countries, but many economists say they are eclipsed by the lost business with the EU.
Former Environment Secretary George Eustice has criticised a trade deal being struck with Australia as being too favourable to Australia at the expense of the UK.
The Brexiteers’ claim that Leaving would allow the UK to take back control of its borders also rings hollow, with a record number of people having crossed the Channel in “small boats,” and legal migration also spiralling.
Former Brexit minister Jacob Rees-Mogg has also refused to accept the economic harm being caused to the UK.
But he attacked the Government's decision to scale back post-Brexit plans to scrap EU laws as "pathetically under-ambitious".
Ministers have defended the delay so EU laws can be ditched in an orderly way, rather than causing more chaos.
But former Cabinet minister Mr Rees-Mogg criticised the Prime Minister at a Right-wing conference in Westminster on Monday for breaking his promise to complete a "bonfire" of remaining EU-era laws by the end of the year.