The British government’s inability to deliver on the potential benefits of Brexit has proven that politicians in the U.K. are “about as useless as the commissioners in Brussels,” conservative broadcaster Nigel Farage has claimed.
In an interview with BBC Newsnight on Monday evening, the former Brexit Party and UKIP leader berated the governing Conservative party for Britain’s sky-high immigration figures with net migration expected to reach between 700,000 and 1 million this year. He also lamented the fact the British government has failed to enact the right policies to make Brexit an economic success.
Farage accepted that the British government was now fully in control of Britain’s immigration policy following the country’s withdrawal from the European Union, but accused the government of ignoring its pledges to reduce migration by implementing an Australian points-style system for new arrivals.
“It was a nod and a wink to saying, ‘It’s going to be very tough to get to the U.K. You’ll have to have the right skills, speak the language, bring your own health insurance for at least 4 years.’ And they did promise in their 2019 manifesto to bring the numbers down. The numbers are exploding,” Farage explained.
He highlighted the 5.3 million economically inactive Brits of working age and claimed the country has “deskilled our people” through encouraging pointless university degrees and less focus on training programs. “We’ve produced over the last 20 years millions of graduates with social sciences degrees of economically no benefit to the country whatsoever,” he told interviewer Victoria Derbyshire.
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The conservative broadcaster called for the government to use the private sector to train people and give them tax incentives to do so.
“But what about the social cost of this? What about the political cost of this?” Farage asked in regard to Britain’s record level of mass immigration. “Be in no doubt, the only reason we won the referendum for the Leave side was because people believed that getting control of our borders would mean the numbers would be lower. That is implicit in what Boris Johnson went to the country with in 2019, so this is a breach of trust.
“But more significantly, and this is what nobody will discuss, is the damage these numbers are doing to our quality of life,” Farage continued. “All we ever hear is what the Bank of England says, whether GDP could be a little bit better than was predicted. We bow to the god of GDP and we forget what this is doing to our communities, our chances of say getting a house for our children,” he added.
When countered by the BBC journalist who claimed the government could easily build more houses and offer more school places, Farage replied: “No, no, no. I’m sorry, unless you know the numbers coming in, you cannot plan school places, you cannot plan house building. At the moment, this immigration system is totally out of control. It needs to have a cap of some kind.”
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On the broader point of Brexit, Farage accepted that the vision campaigned for in 2016 had become so distorted by the British establishment political parties that Brexit has “failed.”
“We haven’t actually benefited from Brexit economically as 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’ve mismanaged this totally. If you look at 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,” Farage explained.
When asked whether these failures could tempt the former party leader back to the frontline of British politics, Farage replied: “I wouldn’t rule it out. It’s not top of my bucket list but frankly, we’ve not delivered on borders, we’ve not delivered on Brexit. The Tories have let us down very, very badly.”
Polling conducted for The Telegraph newspaper last year revealed that a new political party led by Nigel Farage could attract around 28 percent of the public vote, with many Brits considering themselves politically homeless after being abandoned by the governing liberal Conservative party.