Bercow and Farage clashed on GB News
The former Commons Speaker said the leading Eurosceptic was talking “nonsense on stilts” after he tried to blame the Tories for the UK’s shambolic exit from the EU.
Appearing on GB News in the wake of a poll that showed nearly all constituencies now think Brexit was a mistake, Farage said the government had “made an absolute pig’s ear of the whole thing” since the 2016 referendum.
The ex-Ukip leader said: “It was a mistake to leave the European Union exit in the hands of something called the Conservative Party.
“They never believed in it from the start, they dragged their heels [and] we were put three years of total misery.”
But hitting back, Bercow said Farage was looking to “blame someone else” rather than admit Brexit was a failure.
He said: “With Nigel, instead of taking it on the chin and recognising that, in fact, to date, it has been a grotesque blunder and the biggest foreign policy mistake in the post war period.
“What Nigel wants to do, because he can’t abandon the religiosity of his lifelong support for Brexit, is to blame someone else.
“So it’s mysterious forces. It’s, if you like, a fifth or sixth estate, it’s those Machiavellian types working night and day to frustrate the will of the British people or the designs of Farage.
“I mean, really, it is nonsense on stilts, Nigel. And to be honest, I say to you in all politeness and condour, you can do a bit better than that. Why not start by admitting first that people are poorer, wages are down, foreign direct investment has slumped, sterling has taken a permanent 10 per cent hit.
“The economy has been hit to the tune of about £100billion a year.”
John Bercow schools Nigel Farage on the brexit disaster.
"To date brexit has been a grotesque blunder... but Nigel wants to blame someone else... it's nonsense on stilts... just admit people are poorer & wages are down... " pic.twitter.com/wBk0RbrZHu
— Haggis_UK 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 (@Haggis_UK) February 3, 2023
Farage said the point of Brexit was to be “a self-governing, democratic nation”.
He added: “My complaint is that the party that was given the job of carrying it out didn’t actually believe in it. We started off with a negotiation that was always going to give us a rubbish deal, and there’s so much more we can do.”
But Bercow pointed out that the prime minister who eventually delivered Brexit was Boris Johnson, who was the key figure in the Leave campaign.
“He wanted Brexit, he favoured Brexit, he championed Brexit,” Bercow said. “He wanted, in fact, a Brexit, not dissimilar to that which you support.
“And so if you argue the case, Nigel, as I know you would want candidly to do, fairly and honestly, look at Brexit under BoJo, not under May, Cameron or the secret Remainers or ‘remoaners’. And it has been a terrible failure.”