Anti-Brexitism is damaging the country

Introduction

Given the shameless way in which the government and civil service went about trying to stack the referendum campaign in favour of “remain”, it was perhaps too much to expect that those same politicians and civil servants would embrace the decision made by the British people to leave the EU – against their advice.

Sure enough, since June 2016, we have seen endless examples of how politicians and their officials have paid lip service to the historic referendum result, whilst trying to water down the decision they are supposed to implement. The capitulation to the EU’s two stage negotiating strategy – despite a staged approach being contrary to Article 50 of the EU Treaty – is one example. The clinging on to EU membership in all but name during a so-called “transition period” instead of leaving properly in March 2019 is another. Needless concessions on so-called “citizens rights”, money and the Irish border have weakened the UK negotiating position.

Meanwhile, an unholy coalition of sacked former ministers, Europhile journalists, crackpots, House of Lords cronies and pressure groups have been relentlessly pushing a negative view of Brexit and have agitated for the referendum result to be overturned. Their fake news and attempts to paint a picture of an unfolding Brexit disaster have been largely discredited by the continuing good economic performance of the UK. Indeed, in the face of economic facts which run so counter to the hysterical scaremongering of project fear, the antics of these misfits would be a source of amusement if it were not for the fact that what they are doing is so damaging the UK.

Anti-Brexitism

This is because their insidious “anti-Brexitism” is being exploited by the EU itself as part of its strategy to try and prevent Brexit from happening, or failing that, to emasculate the UK and keep it mired in subservience to Brussels even after we are supposed to have left.

Voice of Reason has observed before how these remoaner opponents of Brexit have become willing accomplices of the EU’s anti-UK policies – they are the EU’s “useful idiots”. The EU’s latest wheeze to use its useful idiots centres upon the customs union – in effect a protectionist block which the UK must escape from in order to properly leave the EU.

Customs union

The strategy of the EU appears to be as follows. On the diplomatic front they are using the synthetic issue of the Irish border and their puppet government in Dublin to place obstacles in the way of the May government. Meanwhile, the EU’s “useful idiots” in the House of Lords etc do their dirty work for them on the home front by watering down Brexit.

The harder these people make it for the Government to navigate to the exit door, the worse off we will eventually be. The tragedy is that it is increasingly obvious the UK is going to be fine economically after Brexit and that the only threat to that state of affairs is if we falter in achieving a true Brexit. In other words everything will be fine if only the Remoaners don’t screw everything up.

The more they undermine the Prime Minister and the government, the more power they give to our enemies in the EU. By contrast, if the necessary legislation is allowed to pass through Parliament unhindered and Britain presents a united, confident face to Europe, the stronger we will be in our negotiations and the better the eventual outcome will be.

Two years on from the referendum, there is no place for damaging anti-Brexitism in the UK. It is a threat to our country and must be defeated.

Beware the Brexit “transition” period

Introduction

In The Godfather III, mafia boss Michael Corleone finds his hopes of exiting the world of organised crime are in danger of being thwarted.

Just when I thought I was out; they pull me back in…” he laments.

Whilst we would not wish to push the gangster analogy too far (despite the EU’s behaviour), nor compare Corelone’s fate to that of the UK, there is a certain aptness to his phraseology when describing Brexit. Yes we are supposedly leaving the EU in March 2019 – despite the threats, blackmail and bullying from our erstwhile fellow EU gang members – but in reality we’re still at risk of being pulled back in.

May: scared to leave?

As we have previously observed, whilst repeatedly stating that “Brexit means Brexit”, Theresa May has often given the appearance of being fearful of actually leaving the EU. Hence, her government’s unhealthy fixation with the so-called “transition period”. It is as though she and her fellow remainer ministers and civil servants cannot quite pluck up the courage to walk out of that exit door.
They seem to want to hang around by the exit for as long as possible.

It is worth reminding ourselves that despite the UK voting to leave the EU in June 2016, it took until the following March 2017 to formally serve notice that we were going to do so. That should have meant finally leaving the Bloc by no later than the end of March 2019. But now, we are to “leave” but then immediately enter a transitional period until the end of 2020. This amounts to leaving in name only.

Throughout that “transition period” we will continue to pay huge sums to Brussels and must abide by whatever laws it decides to make. We must also bow down before the rulings of the European Court. Free movement of people (i.e. mass uncontrolled EU immigration) will continue unabated. Yet, despite all these “business as usual” features of EU membership, we will have even less say in how EU laws are made during the transition than than we have now. Such are the huge concessions given by May to the EU in her desperation to reach a deal.

It is true that we are allowed to make new trade deals with other countries during the “transition”. Also, the risk of a second referendum being called (let alone delivering the result the Remoaners want) appears to have receded. Nevertheless, the real worry for Brexiteers is that what is supposed to be a limited transition period to implement our exit deal becomes an endless suspended animation – the worst of all worlds.

We know that in order to secure the transition period and move to the next stage of negotiations, the Government agreed to go on paying budget contributions up to the end of the EU’s current 7 year funding period (to 31 December 2020). But that was a voluntary gesture and must remain conditional on our getting an acceptable final free trade deal. In other words, the EU must not be allowed to string out negotiations so that we have already paid all that money before we know what the final deal is.

We must watch the government like a hawk on this. Already there are calls in some quarters to extend the transition period still further. That would be totally unacceptable.

We want out of the EU. But just when we thought we were out, we must not allow the bullying EU gang to pull us back in.

Vote Leave funding row shows Remoaners’ utter desperation

Introduction

The increasing hysteria being whipped up in MSM by anti-Brexit forces over the last week about supposed irregularities in Vote Leave’s campaign funding is instructive. It demonstrates an increasingly obsessive search by Remoaner journalists and their political allies for a “silver bullet” that they believe will magically stop Brexit and overturn the historic decision made by the UK electorate in June 2016. But it also shows the Remoaners’ increasing desperation.

Despite Court challenges, endless attacks on the motivation and character of Leave voters, the faux outrage over the £350m slogan on a bus and the antics of Remoaner MPs and peers to impede Brexit legislation in Parliament, nothing has so far worked. Brexit negotiations may not have been handled well (to put it mildly), but there is still a prospect of the UK finally doing what the people voted for and leaving the EU at the end of 2020.

So the latest Remoaner wheeze is to allege that Vote Leave spent more money than the £7m it was allowed to during the referendum. That, say the Remoaners, shows that the whole Referendum result was a cheat. The implication is that the referendum result lacks legitimacy or perhaps that it should be re-run.

What utter, total nonsense.

Electoral Commission figures shatter Remoaner arguments

In their shock at how the British people have rejected their view of the EU, the obsessive, blinkered “remaniacs” appear increasingly to have lost all sense of reality. The idea that because a few hundred thousand pounds extra may have been indirectly spent by the Leave campaign, the whole referendum result should be voided is ludicrous.

According to the Electoral Commission a total of just over £27m was spent on campaigning in the Referendum. (Although this of course ignores the general pro-Remain stance of the Government and the huge sums of taxpayers money spent by David Cameron’s administration on supporting the Remain campaign).

But crucially, of that £27m, the majority – over £16m was spent by Remain. By contrast, the Leave campaign spent under £12m. So even if (which is far from clear) extra money was diverted to BeLeave or to another Leave group, the fact is that the Leave side’s expenditure was millions of pounds less than its Remain rivals.

The following table produced by the Electoral Commission shows the official breakdown:

fullsizeoutput_3bc5

As has been said, these totals ignore the £9m of public money spent on the Government’s infamous Remain propaganda leaflet. Also, they take no account of the huge publicity given to the pro-Remain cause on a daily basis by David Cameron and other senior political figures, plus further state-sponsored propaganda such as the Treasury’s now totally discredited Project Fear document of 23 May 2016.

In other words, the real figure spent on promoting Remain was well in excess of the official £16m and probably more like double that sum.

By contrast, the figures for Leave campaign spending were as follows:

fullsizeoutput_3bc6

Thus, there was already a huge gap between what was spent by Leave compared to Remain – even without the Government expenditure.

In the circumstances, the idea that somehow Vote Leave “cheated”, let alone that any money spent over and above the official total would have made any difference to the result, is plainly absurd.

Can the Remaniacs not see how risible their argument is? Evidently not.

Biased journalism

Indeed, one of the features of Brexit is the way in which a number of journalists and media figures, whose job is report impartially on events, have evidently allowed their own personal prejudices and opinions about Brexit to infect their work. The obsessive pursuit of the so-called Vote Leave funding scandal by remoaner journalists such as Carole Cadwalladr is a classic example. Nothing is allowed to get in the way of their narrative about Brexit – not even facts that are staring them in the face.

On Sunday’s Andrew Marr show, Tom Watson MP, the self-appointed “WitchFinder General” of the recent – discredited – campaign to smear senior conservative figures as child abusers was busy calling for the police to be brought in. (Anything to distract attention from the latest Corbyn anti-semitism row).

That the odious and shameless Watson should be jumping on this bandwagon tells you all you need to know about it. It’s also impossible not to be suspicious about the credence given to the “whistleblowers” at the centre of the row.

Watson should be careful what he wishes for. We already know – because David Cameron’s former adviser Craig Oliver admitted it – that the Remain camps co-operated with eachother. The suspicion that they didn’t exactly follow the spending rules remains.

Desperate Remoaners

Ultimately, this pathetic campaign against Leave may fascinate the likes of the Observer, the Guardian and their fellow Remoaners. But like the 17.4m of us who voted Leave, most people in Britain will surely see it for what it is – a sign of the utter desperation of anti-Brexit forces.

The Great Brexit giveaway

Introduction

The last few weeks have been both depressing and frustrating for Brexiteers. This is not because Brexit itself has suddenly become the wrong decision to have made. Nor is it because Britain is really suffering as a result of our vote to leave – despite what the Guardian, the BBC, Faisal Islam and James O’Brien may say. Indeed, barely a week goes by without the Remainers’ negative narrative being further discredited by inconvenient things called facts.

No, the reason for our rising concern has been the awful spectacle of Theresa May and her government making the most appalling hash of the Brexit talks with the EU. It seems that they have learned nothing from witnessing the EU’s tactics from the very start of the negotiations. Instead, like some desperate retailer on Black Friday, all we have seen them do is to give concession after concession to the bullies in Brussels. A kind of ghastly Brexit giveaway.

Meanwhile, Theresa May has became embroiled in a completely unnecessary Twitter spat with the US president over a few dumb retweets sent from his Titter account. At a time when playing our relationship with the US against the EU has never been more useful, it is an astonishingly inept way for a British government to behave.

Strong Negotiating position

Moreover, there is no need for the UK to give in to EU extortion and blackmail. Britain’s position is strong, not weak.

There are five factors which give Britain very powerful leverage in the negotiations with the EU.

1. Money

First, there is the money. It has long been obvious that the EU is terrified of the impact on its budget that a UK withdrawal will inevitably have. Part of the EU’s power over its Member States, is its ability to dispense financial largesse. Without the billions we have been contributing, Brussels’ power will be weakened and it will face having to make awkward requests for money from its remaining contributors such as Germany. We should not be making it easy for the EU by promising any money at this stage. That sword of damocles should be left hanging over them for the duration of any negotiation.

Further, there is no legal liability on the UK to pay anything after the end of March 2019 unless it wants to. It was a mistake to allow the EU to impose a two stage talks process demanding a deal on money first, before trade talks. But it is even more foolish to offer them money at the first stage as May has done – twice now. There must be no money on the table unless and until we see what (if anything) we will get for it. If they won’t talk to us without it then so be it. We walk.

2. Huge UK market

The second big negotiating card we have is that the UK is an immensely important marketplace for the EU’s goods worth over £300 billion a year. It is true (as Remoaners never cease to point out) that the UK represents a much smaller percentage of the EU’s trade than the other way around. But that is to overlook something more important. The UK is a hugely significant trading partner to a number of the EU’s most important countries (i.e. Germany, France, Holland and Italy). For example, we are Germany’s second most important market after the US and they make a massive surplus from selling to us. A failure to agree a trade deal will undoubtedly hurt Germany, France, the Netherlands and Italy very hard. It doesn’t matter for these purposes that we may only do a tiny amount of trade with Romania or the Czech Republic. The impact would be severe where it counts – in the very heart of where the EU’s power resides.

3. Singapore model

Thirdly, Brexit provides a huge opportunity for Britain to adopt a lower tax, lower regulatory environment than the EU’s protectionist, high tax-high regulation alternative. Whilst talk of making the UK a new “Singapore” is simplistic, there is no doubt that we can make life very difficult for the EU after we’ve left by reducing, for example, our corporation tax rate. Stupidly and inexplicably, the UK government has failed to play on the EU’s fears in this regard. Instead, Downing Street has gone out of its way to stress that it won’t depart from the European model. No doubt the EU will be hoping to shackle us to the protectionist model after we’ve left. We must resist this.

4. EU’s troubles

The fourth piece of negotiating leverage is the inherent instability of the EU itself. For all the talk of unity, there is precious little of that in reality. The former Eastern European nations will not co-operate with the EU on muslim migrants. The ClubMed states still have serious systemic debt and competitiveness issues. France too is desperately in need of economic reform. Germany is now struggling to form a working government. The latest Greek bailout package comes up for renewal in 2018. Italian elections in 2018 may produce a Euro-sceptic government. ECB money printing cannot go on forever. The list of the EU’s problems is endless and mounting.

5. Project Fear myths exploded

Fifthly and finally there is the absence of the fear factor. Brexitblog has long believed that the Leave majority in the referendum would have been much higher had people like Jeremy Hunt not been scared into voting to remain by Project Fear. But more than a year on, we know that almost all of the Project Fear scare stories have proved false. There’s nothing to be afraid of. (Even the City has now admitted that the real threat to Britain comes not from Brexit but from a Corbyn government).

So we can negotiate strong in the knowledge that we are doing fine “despite Brexit”. We have nothing to fear but fear itself.

What is May doing?

But has May exploited our strong negotiating position? Sadly, there is no sign that she has. Instead, she keeps folding a winning hand and the EU keeps successfully calling her bluff. Every single time.

As we have previously pointed out, the EU has no interest in giving the UK a helping hand or a fair deal if we leave. It will never voluntarily do so. Showering it with endless concessions and appearing too scared to walk away from the talks will never work. It can only prove disastrous. Equally, a continuing failure by May to advance any kind of positive or coherent vision for post-Brexit Britain is failing to reassure waverers at home (or EU negotiators abroad), that the UK is confident it has a strong hand to play.

But despite the calamitous start to the process, even now, it still isn’t too late to salvage the situation.

The way forward

In a letter to the Government today, Leave Means Leave has set out the demands we should be making of the EU as a price for continuing the talks. Brexitblog.info has argued in similar terms on these pages. We agree with them.

The bottom line is that we should be telling the EU that we expect significant forward progress in the negotiations and if none is forthcoming, we will walk. If that happens, they can kiss goodbye to any more money after we’ve gone and it will be open season on their exports to us which will will henceforth have to compete with tariff-free goods from other countries.

Theresa May cannot seriously think that doing a deal with the EU which is seen to be unfavourable to the UK will do anything for hers’ or the Tories’ chances of political survival. Yet evidently she and her cabinet continue to cling to the delusion that a rubbish deal is better than no deal. It isn’t.

She can still turn things round but only by focussing on the real enemy – the EU – and playing them at their own game. There is still a huge opportunity for her to harness anti-EU feeling in Britain to her political advantage. But she cannot keep missing that open goal at one end and scoring own goals (i.e. with Trump) at the other.

May’s desperation for a “deal” is putting Brexit at risk

Introduction

Theresa May is back in Brussels battling with EU leaders in an effort to put the Brexit negotiations back on track. But whose track is that?

The problem right from the start of these talks has been a twofold one.

First, there is the apparent lack of reality on the UK side about what the EU wants out of the Brexit process. Secondly, there is the political weakness of the Prime Minister, whose divided cabinet is riddled with Remainers and whose government can barely command a majority in the House of Commons.

All of this has led to Mrs May staking everything on being able to trumpet that she’s “done a deal” with the EU – no matter how much she may end up giving away in the process. Moreover this obsession with doing a deal is to look at Brexit through the wrong end of the telescope.

The important thing is that proper Brexit is delivered – not the appearance of Brexit.

Concessions

In recent weeks, we have seen evidence of increasing desperation on the part of Mrs May and her government. In Florence, May offered concessions on the EU budget by promising to pay an extra two years’ worth of EU budget contributions up to the end of the EU’s current long term funding cycle at the end of 2020. This was despite there being no legal obligation on the UK to do so. It also came in the face of the continuing obstructionism, intransigence and bullying that have become the hallmarks of EU negotiating tactics.

Today, we learn of an open letter being sent by Mrs May to EU nationals in the UK.

All of this smacks very much of a Prime Minister who feels she must keep making the first move, to keep the prospect of a deal in play – no matter how unreasonable and intransigent the EU has been.

What is so frustrating is that none of this is necessary. The UK’s position is far stronger than the Remainers and the EU would have us all believe. We can leave with no deal and start enjoying the immediate benefits of Brexit – free and back in control. As Roger Bootle and many others have argued, we have nothing to fear from such an outcome. The screams and scaremongering from Remainers about the perils of “no deal” is simply a repeat of Project Fear – and about as convincing.

EU still wants to punish Britain

When she triggered Article 50, the PM was warned by none other than the former Greek finance minister that allowing the EU to dictate the terms of the Article 50 negotiations would be a recipe for disaster. Yet she agreed to the EU’s demand that initial discussions be limited to just three issues – the Brexit bill, NI border and EU citizens’ rights. Only if sufficient “progress” was made on those issues, so the EU insisted, could talks move on to the far more important subject of trade.

In the event, this has all worked out exactly as the EU intended. The pressure has built on the UK to offer concessions on these matters because – correctly – EU leaders have assessed that May is weak and desperate to reach a deal. We can expect them to keep turning the screw now they think they have May where they want her.

The point is of course that the EU has no interest at all in giving a favourable deal to Britain. On the contrary, they want to put our head on a proverbial pole and make an example of us so as to deter any other Member States from following suit. If Britain is shown to have suffered by leaving the EU, the hope in Brussels is that they will still be able to use fear to keep the other countries in line. By contrast, if Britain were to thrive after it has left, the writing would be on the wall. Populist politicians in other EU states would soon be campaigning for their own countries to come out. The dream of “ever closer union” would be in tatters.

So when Theresa May keeps talking up the idea of a “special partnership” and David Davis talks about how “constructive” his talks with Mr Barnier have been, the reality is that they are pursuing something that is never going to be voluntarily on offer.

The EU will never – voluntarily – offer terms that are anything but lousy for Britain. Only if it is forced to make a pragmatic compromise will there be a semblance of a deal that we can and should accept.

EU objectives

No doubt some in Brussels harbour hopes that the more difficult they make things, the more chance there is that the government could fall and the UK will end up giving up on Brexit altogether. But if that doesn’t happen, the EU has two very obvious objectives.

First it wants to screw as much money out of the UK as it can in order that it can go on spending and won’t have to ask other states to make up for the huge gap in funding that would otherwise be left behind by a departing Britain.

Secondly, the EU will do what it can to tie the UK’s hands, post-Brexit. The aim of this will be to stop the UK reaping the full benefits of its new found freedom. Brussels will want to stop the UK undercutting the EU on taxes and regulation or doing deals with other countries – the very things that make Brexit – economically speaking – worth doing. Talk of a “transition period” epitomises this.

The way things are going, the UK is simply going to end up being dragged along by its nose and kept in permanent orbit around the EU. As Boris Johnson has rightly pointed out before he was shouted down by the Remainers – that would be the worst of all possible worlds.

So the key question is how do we force the EU into a position from where it has no choice but to offer us a reasonable deal, but one that still delivers on the essentials of Brexit?

Time to make a stand

Theresa May and her government (which is full of Remainers), too often gives the appearance of being scared of leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement. The desire to cling on in a transition period illustrates this.

What she needs to do is make clear to Brussels that the UK has gone as far as it can in relation to the three pre-conditions of NI, citizens rights and the “Brexit bill”. We cannot and will not agree to pay anything to the EU after we have left, except possibly as part of an overall deal. Agreeing payments now, as the EU is demanding, is impossible.

The message should be that if the EU still insists on our making such a commitment before it will talk about the future, we will have no choice but to withdraw from further talks and work on the assumption that we leave without a deal in March 2019. Full and serious preparations need to be made and publicised to prepare the country for “no deal”. This cannot be a bluff. It must be real.

Pressure on EU

If the UK adopts that stance, then the EU will be faced with an unpalatable situation.

First, as of March 2019, it will no longer be receiving any money from Britain. So it will have to immediately revise its financial budgeting for the remainder of the current financial framework period up to the end of 2020. That will be painful and difficult because no other states will want to pay more than they already do. The UK’s offer to pay another two years’ worth of contributions will suddenly look very attractive indeed.

Secondly, for EU exporters, the nightmare prospect is that the UK will free up trade with other countries and the tariff-free access EU exporters have enjoyed in the huge UK market will disappear. EU producers will face stiffer competition from US, Australian, Japanese and other goods without the tariff advantage they have previously enjoyed. The main European economies of Germany, France, Italy and Spain all run trade surpluses with the UK. They stand to lose much.

And this is the EU’s catch 22. It wants to punish Britain. But if it does, it will inevitably hurt the economies of its own member states in the process. Sure, Britain will suffer too, but the pain will also be felt in Europe. That will do nothing for the EU’s popularity as jobs are lost and livelihoods destroyed – all to keep the EU’s vanity project on track and to spite Britain.

Wiser heads are likely to prevail when faced with the unattractive consequences of a punishment approach to Britain. But they won’t be heard as long as the UK keeps giving in to bullying and making concessions.

Don’t do it May

May is under pressure from Remainers who have foolishly whipped themselves up in a frenzy about the supposed perils of a no deal exit. It is as though she sees a deal with the EU as almost an end in itself, her political salvation perhaps, rather than a means to an end. The danger is that if she keeps giving away more and more concessions, she and her Remain colleagues, together with the Remainer civil service, will end up tethering Britain to the EU in the worst possible way.

The Brexiteers were correct to demand that Mrs May walk away from talks.

The fear is that her desperation to “to a deal” could ruin Brexit. It must not be allowed to happen.

Even Jeremy Hunt has had EUnough

Introduction

As the Secretary of State for Health in a Conservative government, it’s fair to say that Jeremy Hunt has not always been the most popular of politicians. But even he must have had millions of voters nodding in agreement during his refreshingly frank interview on 3 October 2017 with Ian Dale on LBC..

Hunt admitted in the interview that he’d supported Remain in the EU referendum due to his concern about the short-term impact of a Leave vote on the British economy. But he’d been pleasantly surprised at how his worst fears had not been realised. He also expressed his impatience with the attitude of the EU in the Brexit negotiations, lamenting what he termed their “arrogance” in the face of the UK’s repeated gestures of goodwill.

What conclusions do we draw from Hunt’s comments?

Hunt’s answers to Dale’s questions are interesting in two respects.

First, they tend to confirm what this writer has long believed about a good many Remain voters: that many of them voted to Remain not out of any great enthusiasm for the supposed “benefits” of EU membership, but because, like Hunt, they had been scared into supporting the status quo by the relentless propaganda of Project Fear.

Thus, if during the referendum campaign, the government had been more honest and less intent upon dressing up unlikely worst case scenarios as presumed facts, the Leave majority would probably have been much higher than 52% of the vote.

The second interesting aspect of Hunt’s comments is that they suggest the EU’s continued obstructionism and intransigence in the Brexit talks is finally starting to convince even moderate Remainers that the Commission is not negotiating in good faith.

This is important because the more unreasonable the EU is and the more absurd its demands are (and they are absurd), the more likely it is that even those who would have favoured compromise in the negotiations are coming to realise that we may have to leave without a deal. In other words, just as the EU pushed the UK too far during David Cameron’s ill-fated attempt at “renegotiation” in 2016 leading to an eventual Brexit vote, so the EU could be making the same mistake again.

In our next post on Brexitblog, we will examine what the government can and should do to change the mindset of the current negotiations and wrestle back the initiative from the EU. Sadly, whether Theresa May is capable of following this advice remains to be seen…

Norgrove censures Boris. But who will hold HM Treasury to account for their disgraceful antics before the Referendum?

Introduction

On 15 September 2017, the Telegraph published a bold article by Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary in which he set out his vision of a positive future for Brexit Britain. This sent shockwaves through Westminster and prompted an immediate Remoaner backlash as anti-Brexit forces reacted in desperation to denigrate Johnson and spoil his positive, uplifting message.

That much was to be expected.

But the astonishing lengths to which the Remoaner establishment have gone to try and blunt Boris’s views has surprised even this cynical observer.

First, the BBC rushed out a rebuttal article penned by a hack under the unintentionally hilarious name Liz “Corbin”. In it, she castigated Johnson over his reference to the £350m a week for the NHS as being misleading. The real figure was only £252m she bleated.

Again, no surprise there. The BBC has long ago abandoned any pretence of impartiality when it comes to Brexit.

Official watchdog

The more extraordinary intervention was to come in the shape of Sir David Norgrove, Chairman of the UK Statistics Authority.

Sir David took the unprecedented step of publishing a letter he had written to the Foreign Secretary criticising him for using references to the now infamous £350m figure that had formed one of the slogans used by the Leave campaign during the referendum. The Remoaner MSM and politicians were quick to seize on Sir David’s intervention. However, it soon backfired on them as Boris and others hit back.

In his response to Sir David, Boris was unrepentant. He accused Sir David of wilfully distorting what he had said. Others promptly came out in support of Johnson. Even Michael Gove, the man who memorably ended Boris’s tory leadership challenge, sprung to his erstwhile friend’s defence.

Norgrove’s hypocrisy and poor judgment

Norgrove was clearly guilty of poor judgment in jumping in to criticise Johnson without properly reading the article in question. But more questionable still is his total silence on one of the greatest falsehoods ever committed by a UK government in living memory.

On 16 May 2016, just over a month before the referendum, HM Treasury published the results of a so-called analysis of the impact of Britain voting to leave the EU.

This paper sought to paint a terrifying picture of what Brexit Britain would look like. It was deliberately designed to scare the electorate against voting to leave. No doubt it succeeded in doing so for a great many people.

But what was said in that paper has proven to be completely untrue, so much so that one is entitled to question whether those compiling it could ever have seriously believed what they were saying.

Treasury falsehoods

In the document, the Treasury stated that following a leave vote, the UK would be plunged into a recession. In the most “optimistic” scenario, the prediction was that two years after a Leave vote, GDP would be 3.6% lower than following a vote to remain.

The second more “profound shock” scenario stated that GDP would be 6% lower following a Leave vote.

Meanwhile, the paper concluded that in scenario 1, unemployment would have increased by 500000 and in scenario 2 it would have gone up by a horrendous 800000!

The reality is so far removed from this “analysis” that it is impossible to see how the “experts” who came up with the figures could have done so.

Far from falling by between 3.6% – 6%, based on the 5 quarters since the referendum, GDP is likely to have increased by at least 3% in the two years following the vote. There has been no recession.

Far from unemployment rising by 500000-800000 according to official statistics, since the referendum it has fallen to the lowest levels on record. Meanwhile, the numbers of people employed in the UK have risen by more than a staggering 350,000 compared to before the referendum.

What is Norgrove doing about this?

While Norgrove and other Remoaners dance on a pinhead and ceaselessly bleat about the £350m a week slogan, the staggering scale of the falsehoods perpetrated by the Treasury in advance of the referendum go unpunished. Why?

Enquiry needed

It is high time that those who put together and published that disgraceful propaganda document were held to account. A public enquiry into why such biased and one-sided misinformation was circulated by the Cameron government is needed. The dangers of allowing governments to pressure supposedly impartial public servants into towing a partisan line were graphically demonstrated prior to the Iraq War – with calamitous results. The EU referendum has provided another example.

So, Sir David, if not your department, who will speak up for the millions of voters misled by taxpayer funded Treasury propaganda during the referendum? We deserve an answer.