EU opponent Farage resigns
Nigel Farage announced his resignation as Ukip leader on Monday, becoming the second figurehead of the British Eurosceptics, after Boris Johnson, to throw in the towel. Farage is shirking his responsibility, some commentators criticise. With this step the member of the European Parliament has prevented further chaos, others write approvingly.
We haven't heard the last of Farage
Farage's decision to resign has left many people in a state of bewilderment, the public radio broadcaster Český rozhlas writes:
“What could be going on in the head of the man who pushed the British towards their fatal decision in the referendum and then left politics immediately after his triumphant victory? He is shaking off all responsibility. He is leaving at the very time when he should be helping to decide what comes next. And now it will be easy from him to criticise those who are left with the difficult task of leading Britain. He doesn't want to resign his mandate as a member of the European Parliament - and we will no doubt be hearing more from him in the future. It's another paradox that the most vocal critics of the EU have no problems sitting in the institutions they most love to bash.”
Resignations will prevent further chaos
The criticism of the resignations of Johnson and Farage defies all logic, the taz complains:
“It is incomprehensible that certain EU campaigners are now expressing outrage at Nigel Farage's resignation. They are mistaking him for an important political figure. … There is a myth circulating [in Europe] that Johnson and Farage were afraid to take responsibility for the chaos they have caused. The opposite is true. By resigning the two are preventing the chaos that Brexit opponents are trying to invoke. The EU will have to get used to the fact that the British are getting their act together far quicker than it thought they would, that the UK is not drifting to the right and that the island won't witness political or economic collapse. This will come as a blow for the self-righteous EU propagandists who wanted to see the British severely punished for their will to leave. But for Europe it is a good thing.”
Soft Brexit increasingly likely
The Brexit camp has been left leaderless after Nigel Farage's resignation and all roads will end in frustration, Trouw believes:
“Without Johnson and Farage there is little chance of finding a solution that's acceptable to all 17 million Brexit voters. A 'soft Brexit' that seeks to limit the consequences of the separation is increasingly likely. ... People in London are speculating on whether [Cameron's potential successor] Theresa May can work out a compromise with German Chancellor Merkel. ... Farage warned yesterday of the dangers of a 'soft Brexit', saying that his party would benefit most from it. That is not unrealistic. The rift between the political establishment and the dissatisfied citizens - the little poor people, as Farage calls them - won't get any smaller with his departure.”
What will Ukip do now?
After Farage's resignation the question arises of what his party will do now, Tages-Anzeiger comments:
“Now that Ukip has fulfilled the agenda stated in its name and believes it has brought 'independence' to the United Kingdom, Farage's work is done. Of course to ensure that everything goes according to plan he plans to 'keep an eye on the Tories'. And he'll keep his seat in the European Parliament for the time being. Otherwise, however, he seems to be serious about resigning as leader of the party this time. But whether and how he will continue to be active in British politics is still the subject of speculation in London. Ukip, however, will have to ask itself what it stands for now: whether after achieving its goal the party still has a future in its present form - and if so, which. Without Nigel Farage.”