LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s departure from the European Union has not been a failure, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson said on Tuesday, rebuffing criticism from prominent eurosceptic politician Nigel Farage of how Brexit had been carried out.
Asked if Sunak agreed with comments by Farage that Brexit had failed because politicians had mismanaged the exit from the EU, Sunak’s spokesperson said: “No. The prime minister has talked about the benefits of Brexit on a number of occasions.”
Farage was a leading figure in the 2016 referendum campaign for Brexit, and has criticised how the Conservative government has handled its implementation in the years since.
“We haven’t actually benefited from Brexit economically. We’ve mismanaged this totally,” Farage told the BBC, adding that takeover and corporation tax were driving businesses away.
“Arguably, now we’re back in control, we’re regulating our own businesses even more than they were as EU members. Brexit has failed.”
Asked if the prime minister had sympathy with the concerns of business who were struggling to deal with government red tape, the spokesperson said Sunak wanted to “ensure that the UK remains a business-friendly country to invest in.”
“We recognise that, post-Brexit, we have the opportunity to flex regulations to match what the business want.”
(Reporting by Andrew MacAskill, writing by Alistair Smout; editing by William James)