In a shock U-turn former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has admitted he may have made the wrong decision campaigning for the UK to leave the EU.
In a speech to the European Parliament in Brussels, Farage said that the negative impacts of the coming split with Europe may outweigh the benefits.
Of particular concern to Farage is the likely €60 billion bill the UK may be hit with as it negotiates its withdrawal with the other 27 member states.
Michel Barnier, the EU commission’s chief Brexit negotiator, has indicated to colleagues that he will pursue Britain for an exit bill based on an expansive view of its liabilities under the EU budget.
Farage also said his pledge to spend £350 million extra a week on the NHS was a total fabrication; but one he thought necessary at the time to ensure the UK electorate voted to leave.
He also added that he regretted some of the tactics he used during the run up to the referendum. He cited the the “Breaking Point” posters launched by the unofficial Leave.EU campaign which depicted large queues of refugees attempting to get to Europe in particular.
He said: “I think it was morally the wrong thing to do. Using a picture of people who had fled from the war in Syria going to Slovakia had nothing to do with the United Kingdom.”
Pro-remain campaigners such as Lib Dem Nick Clegg have welcomed Farage’s admission, though many, for obvious reasons, said Frage has seen sense too late.
Tory insiders said that despite Farage’s U-turn, the government and 10 Downing Street are still planning on triggering Article 50 next month as planned.