Nigel Farage today warned Brexit has still not been completed as his former party announced “the band is reforming”. At a press conference this morning, Reform UK – previously known as the Brexit Party – revealed 11 ex-Brexit Party MEPs would be joining its ranks.
Mr Farage, who is honorary president, said: “Brexit has not been completed, part of the UK has been hived off and is still being controlled by the European Commission.
“Vast swathes of industry that were looking forward to benefits, the fishing industry being one, have seen virtually nothing in their favour. Regulations have not been axed.
“And on the really big one, namely control of our borders, not only do we have what’s been happening in the English channel but legal net migration last year was running at half a million.
“So three and a half years on Brexit has not been completed.”
Reform leader Richard Tice announced “the band is reforming” with 11 former Brexit Party MEPs including Ann Widdecombe joining.
He said: “People should be under no illusion we mean business.”
Mr Tice continued: “Never before have we heard from so many people that they feel the country is broken.
“People are so concerned the main two parties are letting everybody down.
“I believe with the right leadership, if we do Brexit properly, if we save the union, we don’t leave Northern Ireland behind, then actually we can make the whole UK great again.
“But to do that there are some fundamental, major reforms that are needed.”
Mr Tice highlighted the economy, healthcare system, energy market and immigration policy as requiring major reforms.
He said the party is “building towards the general election whenever it comes” and would be standing 630 candidates in England, Scotland and Wales.
He added: “It’s a big job but we mean business.”
Former Conservative minister Ann Widdecombe said Rishi Sunak’s Windsor Framework Brexit deal was the “final straw” that led to her joining Reform.
She said: “I am moved by a desire to save the union. Because if you leave part of the UK under the rule of EU law then inevitably it will eventually come to the conclusion that it can’t serve two masters.
“And so the future of the union itself I think is imperilled by the Windsor Framework.”
She added: “It isn’t tinkering that we need, it is root and branch reform whereby Northern Ireland is reabsorbed 100 percent into the UK.”
Ex-Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib, who is also joining Reform, said he wants to “obliterate” the Tories.
He added: “I don’t want us just to be a stalking horse for the Tories, I want us to give them a kicking. If we get to 10 or 12 percent in the polls we will destroy them.”
A Reform UK spokesperson said: “Tories should be trembling in their boots.
“As massive splits threaten to come back to haunt the party as Sunak tries to bumble through his fake fixes on Channel migrants and the Northern Ireland Protocol, Reform UK, the fastest growing political party in the country, is ready to take them on and provide a home for millions of disaffected voters.
“The party welcomes back massive names from the Brexit Party ready to take on the establishment.”