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Factchecking my Brexit Factcheck

June 30, 2018 4:15 PM
By Robert Douglas in Congleton Chronicle

Dear Sir,

Invariably I agree with all the facts detailed in the Factchecks you add to the bottom of letters that you publish but I regret that I have to question some elements of the Factcheck added to the end of my letter in last week's Congleton Chronicle.

Firstly, in your Factcheck you stated that Mr Farage said the U.K. would be worse off than the U.K. would have been if it remained in the E.U. only if it left with no deal.

However, I feel I should point out that earlier this month Mr Farage was speaking to I.T.V. News Political Editor, Robert Peston, for his new online series, Now What ? In that programme Mr Farage said that our Prime Minister had boxed herself into a position now where we will be, for the foreseeable future after March 29th 2019, actually in a worse position than we were before we voted to leave. Mr Peston then asked Mr Farage to clarify whether he thought this "half in, half out" position "is worse than being in the E.U." and Mr Farage replied "of course".

Secondly, in your Factcheck you stated that no one doubted that Brexit would be bad for the economy. However, there is no doubt that a significant proportion of voters were misled by and voted leave because of the "infamous" falsehood on the side of the red bus (actually it was a coach) claiming that by voting leave the country would be better off by £ 350 million per week.

Ipsos Mori conducted a poll during the referendum and found that 47% of the British public believed Vote Leave's claim that the U.K. was paying £ 350 million a week to the E.U. despite the repeated criticism of this untrue figure by the U.K. Statistics Authority.

Furthermore at the beginning of 2017, Dominic Cummings, the Campaign Director of Vote Leave, admitted in an article for the Spectator that Vote Leave would not have won the referendum if it had not been for the claim to send the "infamous" £ 350 million per week to the N.H.S. instead of the E.U.

It is shameful that last week our Prime Minister should stoop to continue with the falsehood about a Brexit dividend funding the N.H.S.

How times have changed. Only 7% of people in a poll conducted by Sky said the Prime Minister had been very honest when she made that statement and a reporter from Channel 4 who visited Romford, where 70% of its voters voted leave in the E.U. referendum, struggled to find anyone who believed in a brexit dividend.

The Brexiteer politicians, like Boris Johnson and Liam Fox, appear not to understand the implications of Just In Time (J.I.T.) manufacturing and the necessity for the U.K. to be in the Single Market and in the Customs Union. Today Airbus has lost patience because the loss of J.I.T. will cost it billions with catastrophic consequences and Airbus warned the Government that they are being obliged to consider moving their production out of the U.K. with the loss of 14,000 jobs resulting in the loss of tax revenues of £ 1.7 billion. There would be additional losses in tax revenues because the loss of Airbus would also cause the loss of a further 110,000 jobs in the 5,000 supporting suppliers. Airbus have stated clearly that this is not Project Fear but the Dawning of Reality.

B.M.W. which employs 8,000 staff has issued a similar warning and the C.B.I. has warned that there is a growing number of businesses making similar plans.

Furthermore a former leader of London's financial district believes that the U.K. is unlikely to get generous access to the E.U. financial market after Brexit resulting in a loss of about 75,000 jobs and £ 10 billion pounds in tax revenue.

Also the British Summer Fruits trade body warns of the potential devastating impact of Brexit on its members.

However, our cavalier and totally irresponsible Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, has just been reported using abusive language but basically stating that he has no cares whatsoever about the damaging implications of Brexit on our business sector. Of course, our Foreign Secretary can afford not to work but the country desperate needs businesses to thrive in order to at least maintain our current standard of living.

Just how bad does the economic damage have to be from Brexit before the people of this country are given the opportunity to have a decision on the actual terms of Brexit now that the so called Project Fear mocked by the Brexiteer politicians during the referendum is now clearly Project Reality.

In this week's survey conducted by Survation (the most accurate pollster of the 2017 General Election) 48% of those polled want a second referendum compared to 25% who did not - this equates to about two thirds of those who expressed an opinion wanting a second referendum. This staggering margin of almost two to one demonstrates that it is the so called "will of the people" to be given the opportunity to decide on the actual terms of Brexit.

If a referendum on the actual terms of Brexit is not held and Brexit results in the economic catastrophe I expect, future generations will rightly punish those political parties responsible for such a catastrophe for decades at the ballot box and rightly so.

Yours faithfully,

Robert Douglas,

2 Hollycroft,

Congleton CW12 4SH