With Nigel Farage off the scene, will it be easier to reach a compromise with the EU on free movement?

Farage is gone – but his influence lives on (Source: Getty)

Rachel Cunliffe, deputy editor of CapX, says Yes.

Nigel Farage posed in front of a Brexit poster featuring a road of migrants with the caption “Breaking Point”, in what has become an iconic image of the campaign. He has blamed immigrants for everything from the strain on the NHS to traffic on the M4. And after his stunt in the European Parliament last week, where he insulted and belittled MEPs, no one in the European Union wants to work with him. With Farage away from the table, the new Prime Minister can get on with negotiating a deal on free movement that works for the majority of the British people, not just those who shout the loudest. That means security for the EU migrants already here, and for the 1.2m British nationals living elsewhere in the EU. The government will have more freedom to compromise on immigration in exchange for access to the Single Market, prioritising the economy over alarmist fears about border control. Let’s just hope that Farage sticks to his promise to stay away.

Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary, University of London, says No.

Nigel Farage has a fair claim to being the country’s most influential politician of the last decade. The pressure his party exerted on the Tories forced David Cameron into a referendum which he never wanted but now looks set to change the course of the UK’s economic, political, social and diplomatic history. Not bad for someone who never even managed to get elected to parliament. But his resignation as leader won’t make it any easier for whoever takes over as PM to persuade EU member states that we should retain full access to their market without granting their citizens access to ours. They don’t owe us a living, so why allow us to free ride? Meanwhile, back at home, does anyone seriously think Farage will happily fade into obscurity? He’s a populist attention-seeker who’ll doubtless carry on claiming we can have our cake and eat it. And anyway, his successor will be just as determined to hold the government’s feet to the fire on migration.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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