As Britain heads toward Brexit it’s hardly surprising that people are confused. Anyone watching the last two BBC Question Time programmes would have seen those on the Remain side, not only arguing with the Leave side but also between themselves. There is no doubt that politics and lies about Brexit have dominated the news since the referendum.
Sometimes white lies are considered acceptable in our daily lives so as not to hurt another’s feelings. However, when political lies are used to manipulate the way people think they become dangerous and cause division.
How do we recognise lies about Brexit?
It isn’t easy because until Brexit actually happens we have no way of knowing if it is going to be a rerun of Apocalypse Now or not. But there are some lies that can be worked out using logic. Here are some examples:
Many politicians say that Operation Stack will be operated on a scale never seen before when we leave the European Union. This is a procedure used by Kent Police when there is congestion of traffic build up coming out of the Port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel. This operation has been implemented several times since 1988 when there have been strikes, inclement weather and other forms of industrial action. To learn more about this procedure click on Operation Stack.
The reason Operation Stack is likely to be implemented more after Brexit, we are told, is because there will be more stringent checks on trucks arriving with goods. Conversely other politicians tell us that if we leave the EU we will have no medicines, food and other essential products.
Here’s the question – if we won’t have any of the above mentioned goods then why will there be congestion of traffic? Clearly someone is lying about one thing or the other.
Trading on WTO terms
Many politicians say that leaving the EU without a deal would cause so many problems that it is unthinkable. Other politicians state that trading on World Trade Organisation terms will be simple causing very few, if any, problems. Those with an opposing view assert that it won’t be easy to revert back to trading on WTO rules.
In a recent interview on LBC radio a spokesperson for the World Trade Organisation stated that trading on WTO rules would only cause minor problems that were easily resolvable.
There is a raft of information on the internet as to why trading on WTO terms is very bad, with as many articles contradicting this. Therefore the public is being misled in one way or another.
So who is telling the truth? If the politicians who should know about these things are contradicting each other, what chance do ordinary members of the public have of working out who is being honest or not. Perhaps they should all take lie detector tests. Short of this, it may be an idea to ask the WTO direct.
No deal is better than a bad deal
In addition the Prime Minister stated in the early days after the referendum that “No deal is better than a bad deal”. She has repeated this many times over the last two and a half years. The deal that Theresa May has negotiated with the EU seems to have achieved unity among both Remainers and Leavers. It is very unpopular with politicians on all sides of the political spectrum who were due to vote on it last week. The vote has been deferred until 14th January next year much to the chagrin of those politicians.
The Prime Minister says that her deal delivers on the result of the referendum in that freedom of movement will cease, immigration will reduce and Britain will leave the Customs Union and Single Market.
However, opposition politicians wanted to see the full legal advice given to the government by the Attorney General related to the deal. This resulted in the government being held in Contempt of Parliament for the first time in history, since ministers refused to publish it. When it was published it became clear that the Prime Minister hadn’t been wholly truthful. The deal effectively could keep the UK in a Customs Union indefinitely due to the Irish backstop arrangement. Indeed the SNP leadership branded the Prime Minister “a liar” in the House of Commons. This prompted angry outrage in the House with the speaker asking Ian Blackford MP to rephrase his words.
Politics and lies about Brexit
We may be forgiven for concluding that the politics and lies about Brexit on all sides of the political spectrum have sought to mislead people. The general consensus of opinion is that members of the public are suffering from Brexit fatigue. This topic has dominated political debate for more than two and a half years and generally there is a feeling that we should just get on with it.
Are you confused? Have the politics and lies about Brexit caused you to change your mind about the way you voted?