Three years to the day since Britain quit the EU, Brexiteer Ben Habib has highlighted his “greatest regret” – the decision to stand down more than 300 Brexit candidates poised to take on the Tories in the 2019 general election.
Britain formally severed ties with the bloc on January 31, 2020 – but the arguments have raged ever since and while property developer Mr Habib remains a staunch believer in the wisdom of the decision, he is less convinced about its execution.
He told Express.co.uk: “Do I regret Brexit? Absolutely not. We never got Brexit.
“The biggest regret I have is the Brexit Party standing down 317 candidates, who would otherwise have stood against Tory MPs, in the 2019 general election.
“By standing our candidates down, we gave Boris Johnson his thumping majority and cart blanche to deliver his ‘oven-ready’ deal. The Brexit Party MEPs all knew that deal to be lousy.”
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Mr Farage had trusted Mr Johnson’s manifesto pledges when it came to Brexit, Mr Habib said.
He added: “Like so many of his promises, they were observed in the breach.
“Johnson drove through his awful withdrawal agreement and compounded matters by then signing a terrible trade deal.”
Mr Habib continued: “The United Kingdom was partitioned with a border down the Irish Sea and the country hitched at the hip to the EU.
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However, Mrs May’s hopes of it being a seamless process were dashed when the Conservatives slumped in the snap general election she called later that year, depriving her of an overall majority.
She then failed three times to get her Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament, at which point she resigned and was replaced by Mr. Johnson as Tory leader and PM.
Campaigning on the slogan of “Get Brexit Done”, Mr Johnson then romped to a majority of 80 seats in the election of December 12, 2019.
Mr Farage’s announcement that he was standing down Brexit Party candidates in seats where the incumbent Tory had backed the decision to leave was seen as instrumental in Mr Johnson’s victory.
Express.co.uk has contacted Mr Johnson via his Parliamentary office for comment about Mr Habib’s remarks.