Nigel Farage Criticizes French Work Ethic as He Unveils Reform UK’s New Immigration Policy

Nigel Farage Criticizes French Work Ethic as He Unveils Reform UK’s New Immigration Policy

Nigel Farage, former UKIP leader and current honorary president of Reform UK, recently took aim at the UK’s productivity levels, expressing disbelief that they have fallen below those of France.

Speaking at a press conference in London, Farage described it as “unimaginable” that the UK, once a leader in productivity, now lags behind its cross-Channel neighbor.

His comments came as he helped launch Reform UK’s new immigration policy, highlighting his ongoing concern about the state of the British economy and the impact of immigration.

Launch of New Immigration Policy

At the press conference, Farage, alongside Reform UK leader Richard Tice, unveiled a new policy aimed at curbing the employment of foreign workers in Britain.

This “employer immigration tax” would require UK businesses to pay a higher rate of national insurance for hiring non-British workers. Farage praised this policy as “bold” and “innovative,” arguing that it would address what he termed Britain’s “addiction to cheap foreign labour.”

The Impact of Immigration on the Economy

Farage used the platform to challenge prevailing economic beliefs about immigration. He argued that while gross domestic product (GDP) might increase with a larger population, the more critical measure—GDP per capita—was actually declining.

According to Farage, this decline indicates that the average British family is getting poorer, a situation he attributes directly to mass immigration.

He dismissed the notion that immigration is inherently beneficial for the economy, suggesting instead that it contributes to lower productivity and declining living standards for British citizens.

Comparison with French Work Ethic

In his speech, Farage drew a direct comparison between the UK and France, expressing skepticism about the French work ethic. He stated, “I find it very, very difficult to believe that our productivity is now below that of France.”

This comparison was based on research from the House of Commons Library, which used data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to show that the UK ranked fourth among G7 countries for GDP per hour worked in 2022.

Despite being ahead of Italy, Canada, and Japan, the UK trailed the US, Germany, and notably, France.

Historical Context of UK Productivity

Farage’s remarks also touched on the historical context of UK productivity. Historically, UK labor productivity grew by approximately 2% per year. However, since the 2008/2009 recession, this growth has slowed significantly.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic further complicated the measurement of productivity, but the trend of sluggish growth appears to have persisted. Farage argued that these issues were exacerbated by high levels of immigration, which he claimed strained public resources and depressed wages.

The Upcoming General Election

Farage urged voters to make the upcoming general election on 4 July an “immigration election.” He called on the public to consider the impact of immigration on their lives and the economy, advocating for a shift towards policies that prioritize British workers.

Farage’s comments suggest that Reform UK will focus heavily on immigration in its campaign, positioning it as a key issue for voters concerned about economic stability and national identity.


The press conference marked a significant moment for Reform UK as it gears up for the general election. Farage’s critique of UK productivity and his call for a new approach to immigration policy highlight the party’s commitment to addressing what it sees as fundamental issues facing the country.

As the election approaches, it remains to be seen how these policies will resonate with voters and what impact they will have on the broader political landscape.

Farage’s bold stance and the proposed employer immigration tax are set to be central to the party’s campaign strategy, reflecting its emphasis on economic reform and national sovereignty.