Brexiteers Have Every Right to Feel Betrayed by Conservatives Three Years On: Farage

Three years to the day after the United Kingdom mostly left the European Union, Britons who voted to leave are right to feel betrayed by the mismanagement of the Conservative Party which has pointedly refused to deliver on the promise and potential of Brexit.

Thousands of Brexiteers gathered in Parliament Square on January 31st 2020 for an unofficial — the British government had declined to actually hold a celebratory event — welcoming of the end of the United Kingdom’s time as a member of the European Union. Welcoming the crowds was Brexit leader Nigel Farage, who today reflected on both the “euphoria” of the day and the disappointment now, three years later, at a Conservative party in power that never wanted Brexit and has done nothing for it since.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 31: Nigel Farage gestures to fans through his car sunroof as he exits the Leave Means Leave Brexit Celebration on January 31, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. At 11.00pm on Friday 31st January the UK and Northern Ireland will exit the European Union, 188 weeks after the referendum on June 23rd, 2016. (Photo by Ollie Millington/Getty Images)

The United Kingdom is free to be self-governing and make its own decisions, Mr Farage, noting with some sardonic humour that the government was using that freedom to make bad ones. A clear acid test for Brexit being delivered, Mr Farage said both in a message to supporters and when speaking on GB news today, was how border control was developing.

While clearly there are many reasons why individual Britons may have objected to the European Union and felt motivated to vote to leave, it is widely considered that many were motivated by concern over Britain’s inability to control its own borders and that a vote to go was also a vote to “take back control”. While the United Kingdom does now have some more control — although it remains bound by the European Court of Human Rights, which the government could have elected to leave at the same time as the European Union but did not — there has been no improvement in the immigration situation whatsoever.

Reflecting on the appalling open-borders situation the United Kingdom remains in despite the British public unfailingly voting for parties or causes that speak the language of border control for over a decade, Mr Farage spoke to camera on Tuesday and said:

…the reason we got the Brexit result in the first place was control of our borders. We’d seen immigration, population rises, pressures on wages, school places, housing, GP appointments, on a level people had never before conceived.

Last year, net migration was 500,000, legal immigration 1.2 million, and 45,000 crossed the English Channel… with Brexit, the message was we could stop this happening to our country and it hasn’t. I think it’s fair to say three years on for those millions of people who voted primarily to get back control of our borders, to get immigration numbers down. What this Conservative government delivered is nothing short of a betrayal.

The failure to take back control of borders, to fix the economy, to sign trade deals in the Brexit era is not a fault of Brexit, Mr Farage said, but rather a failure of the Conservative Party which was against Brexit when the referendum was fought, and never truly had its heart in making Brexit work afterwards. Speaking to GB News, Mr Farage remarked of this:

Some would tell you that’s because the government was preoccupied with Covid. I think the truth of it is the Conservative Party that fought against it all the way and then landed us with a very bad deal… I don’t think they ever really believed in it.

In the end they grabbed at it for electoral opportunity… The real hope was what Brexit would give us is a new kind of politics, and the truth is in London nothing has changed at all. And I think those disconnects on policy between London and the rest, they’re still there today, on immigration, net zero, and many things.

Nevertheless, Brexit was not an end in itself — rather a first step — and Mr Farage appears to be setting his sights on destroying the Conservative Party which had to be dragged kicking and screaming to deliver Brexit and has worked well to neuter it since. On what the future holds, the Brexit leader remarked: “by leaving the EU, we’d regain our birthright to mismanage our own country, and I can tell you the Conservatives are doing that incredibly well.

“It’s up to us now! We can vote for governments that do things well or do things badly. As members of the EU, there was very little we could do to change law that was put upon us by a majority of EU states. We’re in charge of our own future and we ought to make rather a better job of it.”


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