Tory establishment Vote Leave’s Douglas Carswell plans to try to freeze out UKIP leader Nigel Farage from the post-Brexit cross-party negotiations, with Daniel Hannan stating that the official Leave campaign never promised British voters an end to uncontrolled immigration from the European Union (EU).
Just one day after the referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, Member of Parliament (MP) Douglas Carswell stated that UKIP leader and long-time Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage would not be invited to the cross-party committee which will negotiate Britain’s exit from the EU.
And later the same day Mr. Carswell’s colleague at Vote Leave, Daniel Hannan, stated that he only ever said that Britain would have ‘”some” control over the numbers of migrants entering the country upon leaving the EU, commenting: “Frankly, if people watching think that they have voted and there is now going to be zero immigration from the EU, they are going to be disappointed.”
Speaking to Sky on the morning of Friday 24 June, Mr. Carswell, who defected from the Conservative party to UKIP two years ago, was asked if his party’s leader would be engaged in the post-Brexit negotiations to which he responded:
“With great respect, Nigel Farage was never part of Vote Leave. The detailed thought we gave that now needs to happen has to come from the people who lead the official campaign.”
It was then on the 25th that that ‘great respect’ turned to derision when he tweeted in reaction to an article in The Telegraph: “Brexit is going to be a process. It will be overseen by serious people, with a serious plan. Gove, Hannan, Grayling.”
Brexit is going to be a process. It will be overseen by serious people, with a serious plan. Gove, Hannan, Grayling. https://t.co/wtmuXeBMzp
— Douglas Carswell MP (@DouglasCarswell) June 25, 2016
Mr. Farage, who is a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), intended to use his position as head of the UKIP group in the parliament to ensure he had input on the terms negotiated for Britain’s exit from the EU. However, senior Vote Leave sources on Friday told The Telegraph that Mr. Farage would not be invited to join the proposed cross-party committee.
The UKIP leader, without whom the referendum would never have taken place, and indeed never been won, responded: “I have tried for nearly a year to work with these people and fight on a common agenda and they don’t want to know.”
And on Newsnight Conservative MEP Mr. Hannan admitted that following negotiations, Britain would still allow free movement of what he termed “labour” from the EU. Mr. Hannan attempted to separate the concepts of “free movement of people” from “free movement of labour” in his envisaging of a post-Brexit “common market but without the political integration”.
He finally evoked the ire of host Evan Davis who interrupted him demanding clarification between the two, then implying that the official Leave campaign had mislead British voters on their pledge to end uncontrolled immigration from the EU:
“Your campaign has given voters the impression that we will not be able to get immigration down to the tens of thousands if we are in the EU. I think that gives most people the impression that we will get it down to the tens of thousands if we’re outside the EU… the public have been led to believe that what they voted for was an end to free movement.”
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) June 24, 2016
Mr. Hannan floundered: “Well, no. We want a measure of control…But I don’t think anyone has ever tried to put a number on it – that’s obviously going to depend on the state of the economy at the time.”
Vote Leave abandoned the economic case as their primary issue, after they conceded that immigration was the foremost concern pushing the British public into voting for Brexit — an argument that Mr. Farage has been making throughout the campaign.