Brexiteers land in ‘Sin Dumpster’ after Great Debate

by Luke Lythgoe and Jack Schickler | 22.06.2016

In the final hours of the referendum campaign, the Leave camp’s inaccuracies are coming so thick and fast that InFacts has had to get a bigger Sin Bin to hold them all. We’ve thrown in a bunch of Leave sinners, several of whom spoke at the BBC’s Great Debate.

Andrea Leadsom: “The truth is 60% of our rules and regulations come from the European Union.”

Arguably, there is no “truth” to be had, because of the difficulty of measuring the figure. However, the House of Commons Library concluded that 13% of UK laws are EU-related.

Dog & Rabbit

Boris Johnson: “The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg is telling our home secretary that she may not deport … people who have been arrested for serious terrorist offences, such as Abu Hamza’s daughter-in-law.”

The ECJ has yet to rule on this case, in which the deportation of the woman is being questioned because she is the sole carer of her young child. The Telegraph misreported an opinion by one of the court’s advocates general with a front page splash: “Terrorist’s criminal daughter-in-law cannot be deported.” The press watchdog has since ruled the story “significantly misleading”.

Gisela Stuart: “You are going to pay – out of your taxes – one bailout after another.”

The UK does not have to bail out eurozone countries. It contributed to an EU loan for Greece in which non-eurozone members were guaranteed full compensation if Greece couldn’t repay. A law ensures the same arrangement in future, and Cameron’s renegotiation deal strengthened the UK’s position further.

Andrea Leadsom: “The pressure of uncontrolled migration – the Bank of England has said, with every 10% you’ve got a suppression of 2% on wages.”

Vote Leave has distorted the Bank of England’s research by muddling percent and percentage points. The impact of migration on wages is much lower than it makes out.

Boris Johnson: “The remain side cannot think of a single EU regulation they would get rid of – not even the Clinical Trials Directive that prevents vital pharmaceutical work from being carried out.”

The remain camp doesn’t need to scrap the Clinical Trials Directive. The EU has already recognised its deficiencies and is scheduled to replace it by the end of the year.

Diane James: “Nigel Farage has already apologised (for Ukip’s ‘Breaking Point’ poster).”

Farage has said nothing that could reasonably be described as an apology. In an interview with Robert Peston he argued he was the “victim” of hatred. When asked on the BBC’s Today programme (listen from 2:13:00) whether he acknowledged some would find the poster deeply offensive, he replied: “Even discussing immigration for some people is deeply offensive.”

Boris Johnson Sin Binned

Boris Johnson: “When the EU was given the task to sort out the tragedy in the Balkans … it was a disaster. About a million people died.”

Boris said he “remembered vividly” the Bosnian conflict. Not vividly enough to avoid overstating the casualties by a factor of 10.

Other Brexiteer errors around the debate

The fibs were not confined to the BBC debate. The many leave campaigners not involved wanted to get in the act too.

Daniel Hannan: £350 million figure is “not one that I’ve plucked out of the air.”

The Brexiteer MEP defended the Leave camp’s figure for the UK’s contribution to the EU budget on BBC radio this morning. In fact this number is false and misleading. Previously a major plank in Leave’s platform until it failed to withstand scrutiny, the figure went unmentioned last night.

Michael Gove: Footballer John Barnes thinks “we would be better off if we voted to leave.”

This simply is not true,” Barnes quickly clarified. He went on to compare anti-migrant sentiment towards Poles with that previously heard about “black people from Africa and the Caribbean”.

Michael Gove: Compared the consensus of economists against Brexit to the “100 German scientists in the pay of the government” who denounced Albert Einstein, who was Jewish.

In fact, the book was “100 authors against Einstein”, not 100 “scientists”, and was published in 1931, before the Nazis took power. As physicist Hubert Goenner notes in a 1993 paper, the work reflects not an “intraphysics dispute” but the reaction of the German “academically trained middle class”. In other words, a cautionary tale about amateurs trying to second-guess experts.

That Gove compares experts to “sort of Nazi propagandists” is “extraordinary”, the prime minister said this morning. Gove himself has since described the analogy as “clumsy” and “inappropriate”. Others will raise eyebrows at Gove’s apparent identification of himself with the physics genius. In any case, the idea that independent bodies such as the IMF and the Institute for Fiscal Studies have been corrupted by the British government does not stand up to scrutiny.

Priti Patel in the InFacts Sin Bin

Priti Patel: Demands on school class sizes “will only increase if the UK remains in the EU.”

The pro-Brexit employment minister, Priti Patel, is expected to cite Vote Leave research in a speech today, according to the Guardian. The research reportedly suggests migration could mean an “extra 261,000” school-age EU citizens in the UK by 2030; if the EU accepts the five countries waiting to join – Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey –  the figure could rise to 571,000. This would cost the taxpayer £29 billion, according to the Express.

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Quitting the EU is no way to fix the schools crisis, not least as EU migrants pay more in taxes than they use in public services. But the research has a number of other problems. In reality, the 122,000 aged between 5 and 18 who entered from the EU in the last 10 years represent just over 1% of the nearly 10 million schoolchildren in the UK. What’s more, many of them may have been here only temporarily. Turkey is not about to join the EU, while the Balkan nations on the list to join seem unlikely to double child immigration to the UK, given that they would increase the EU’s population by just 2.5%. Furthermore, most of the one in five primary school pupils who do not speak native English, as cited in the Guardian, are not European. The top three foreign languages spoken are Panjabi, Urdu and Bengali.

Edited by Alan Wheatley

3 Responses to “Brexiteers land in ‘Sin Dumpster’ after Great Debate”

  • You forgot to mention when that writer who’s in the Leave kindergarten, and whose name I fortunately don’t remember, said that London is the capital of the world.

  • My worry is that although they have been shown to be liars they appear to be getting away with it. I despair if the result is a vote to leave and these sewer rats get control.

  • let us remember why Greece is in debt, because it had a deregulation anything goes Conservative government for 16 years, It let its wealthy just not pay tax in the hope their wealth creation would not be stifled truth is they spent most of their creativity avoiding corporation tax as well,

    when the credit crunch occured in 2006 Greece went to ,as it were, renew its overdraft and it was the banks that had run out of money so Greece like most of the lower group had to Borrow money from the banking systems of the richer nations including our city of London at exorbitant punitory rates , These rates pushed Greece’s repayments beyond its capacity to pay, while the UK took in and failed to tax Greek money that was ‘escaping” to the uk.
    and required further loans at ever escalating rates,

    this could have been stopped at source by a British government willing to engage enough with Europe to end its NON Dom habit for just a couple of years ( or for good if I had my way) and it tax haven habit too

    non of this had to happen and you wonder why our banking system has lobbied so hard for it to continue?

    either way it’s difficult to blame the EU for the behaviour of our supranational bankers