How to scare, or how to ignore risks
No-one could say that the campaign has not sparked passions on both sides of the table, however the Vote Leave campaign has sometimes clearly exaggerated.
A few examples:
- When Boris Johnson likened the European project to Hitler’s plan for a superstate:
“Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically. The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods.”
- The claim that EU enlargement is imminent and the inhabitants of these countries all then plan to flock to the UK:
“Albania is on course to join the European Union — alongside four other countries, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. The already unwieldy group of 28 is due to become a throng of 33… When Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey join the EU, another 88 million people will soon be eligible for NHS care and school places for their children. And what will even more immigration from the EU mean for access to housing across the UK? How many more homes will we need and how many more green acres will go? What will it mean for jobs and wages?”
Many elements of the Vote Leave campaign propagate untruths, some of which could be very damaging.
- It is astounding that the UK’s Northern Ireland Secretary can be so dismissive of the risks which Britain leaving the EU could imply for the peace process, including the issue of reinstating border controls between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, as this border would become an external border of the EU. All other external borders of the EU have border controls. For many the memories of the IRA terrorist attacks of the 1980s and 1990s are still very fresh, as are those of how difficult it was to reach the Good Friday Agreement.
Teresa Villiers says claims that Britain leaving the EU could destabilise the peace process in Northern Ireland are purely “scaremongering of the worst and most irresponsible kind”.
It is also remarkable how often the UK contribution to the EU budget has already been spent.
How to spend it © FT : )
- The number of times over that the ‘Brexit’ campaign intend to spend the money currently given to the EU budget:
Michael Gove, 19 April 2016:
It could be invested in new infrastructure, apprenticeships and science.
It could be deployed in our NHS, schools and social care.
It could pay for tax cuts, enterprise allowances and trade missions.
It could pay for 14 Astute Class submarines.
It could enhance this nation’s security, productivity, social solidarity and competitiveness.
- Vote Leave’s claim that the EU costs the UK 350 million pound, forgetting to take into account the UK’s rebate, one of Margaret Thatcher’s lasting legacies to the UK’s contribution to the EU!
For those who would like more information about the claims made by both sides in the referendum campaign https://fullfact.org has a lot of very useful information.