British Civil Service Is `Rogue Element' in Brexit, Farage Says

(Bloomberg) -- Nigel Farage, the former leader of the U.K. Independence Party that spearheaded the campaign for Brexit, said Britain has “an enemy within” that is working against a successful split.

“There is a rogue element in these negotiations -- a group of people who do not wish to see a solution, who have put up an immovable brick wall to stop us from breaking free,” Farage told lawmakers at the European Parliament on Wednesday in Strasbourg, France. “And I regret to say it actually isn’t your chief negotiator, M. Barnier; it is actually the British civil service, Olly Robbins’ team,” he said.

“They signed up years ago to the European dream,” Farage said. “They’ve been happy to take their orders from Brussels. They are now out to sabotage Brexit. They are indeed the enemy within.”

His comments come as U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May faces another showdown with members of her own Conservative Party on Wednesday over her plan to keep Britain tied to European Union rules for longer. At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, senior pro-Brexit ministers objected to a proposal to let the U.K. stay inside the EU’s tariff regime indefinitely, according to people familiar with the matter.

The turmoil has heightened speculation that a challenge to May’s leadership may be close, something Farage would welcome.

“Unless the Conservative Party comes to its senses and gets rid of a leader who clearly is being led by the nose,” then “we will head towards a humiliating sell-out, we will head towards the United Kingdom being trapped in EU rules for many, many years to come,” Farage said.

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