Farage says Liz Truss is ‘betraying Brexit’ with immigration plan

Brexit 'needs to be fully completed' says Farage

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Nigel Farage has criticised Liz Truss’s plan to boost the economy by allowing more skilled workers into the country, claiming it was a “complete betrayal of what Brexit voters wanted”. The former Brexit campaigner now a TV presenter said earlier that Liz Truss was “doing the bidding of the big money” by providing “cheap labour” from abroad.

The Prime Minister has insisted she is “unapologetic” in “focusing relentlessly on economic growth”.

But she and her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng have faced a raft of criticism from all sides since the announcement of a new set of economic measures last week, which evoked a sharp, pessimistic reaction from the markets.

During his speech to the House of Commons, Mr Kwarteng hinted at further reform packages to come, including on the planning system, childcare and immigration.

In the coming weeks, Ms Truss is expected to expand the Government’s occupation list in order to help businesses fill vacancies by making it easier to recruit overseas workers.

Labour shortages remain an issue across a number of key sectors, including health and social care, and is said to be the main current concern of employers.

Businesses have been frustrated the visa system for skilled work has not been responsive enough to shortages they have experienced.

Downing Street has not denied the plans to reform the visa system, and a spokesperson said the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, would provide further detail.

A recent Government report warned such shortages were badly affecting the food and farming sector, often forcing farmers to cull healthy pigs and leave fruit rotting in the fields.

A Number 10 source said: “We need to put measures in place so that we have the right skills that the economy, including the rural economy, needs to stimulate growth.

“That will involve increasing numbers in some areas and decreasing in others. As the Prime Minister has made clear, we also want to see people who are economically inactive get back into work.”

While any relaxation of immigration rules may resolve the short-term labour shortages, such a move is likely to anger Brexit voters, who saw leaving the EU as an opportunity to grow the domestic labour market instead of relying on foreign workers.

In a video posted on Twitter this morning, Mr Farage said: “I said I would give Liz Truss every chance as Prime Minister; indeed, I have.

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“Her economic package with Kwasi Kwarteng, ok, the markets may not like it, but at least it’s something conservative for the first time in decades.”

He claimed that wealthy and influential men had chosen Ms Truss to be the next PM as they believed “she’d be very easy to manipulate”.

Mr Farage argued that the expected immigration plan “tells you she’s doing the bidding of the big money, because what they want is cheap labour”.

He added: “Don’t worry about the Brexit promises. Don’t worry about the fact that millions won’t vote for you at the next election. She’s done her bit by the big money.

“I see this as a complete betrayal of what Brexit voters wanted.”

But Ms Truss has not shied away from the focus on getting the economy growing again – even if that means implementing unpopular policies.

According to the Financial Times, the review of immigration rules may also endorse loosening the need for foreign workers to speak English in some sectors.

Asked about the idea that immigration rules might be relaxed, Mr Kwarteng told the BBC on Sunday: “It’s not about relaxing rules.

“The whole point about the Brexit debate if we want to go down there was we need to control immigration in a way that works for the UK.”

He added: “The Home Secretary will make a statement in the next few weeks. But we have to grow this economy.”

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