Gove spouts 3 falsehoods as he weaponises migration

by Hugo Dixon | 11.11.2019

Vote Leave blackened the concept of “free movement” with fake news about Turkey in the referendum. The campaign infamously tapped into latent Islamophobia by saying that country was “scheduled” to join the EU in 2020. It was pure invention. We are now less than two months away from 2020 and there is no sign that Turkey will ever join the EU. But the lie was told – and people voted Leave in 2016.

Now Michael Gove, who co-chaired the Vote Leave campaign, is trying a repeat trick. In an article in today’s Times, he deliberately spreads alarm about “free movement” in an attempt to drive the public into voting Tory at the election.

This is a cynical ploy. The Sunday Times reported earlier this month that former Vote Leave activists, including Dominic Cummings who is now Boris Johnson’s top adviser, would “revisit some of their greatest hits from the referendum campaign, including ‘Turkey week’ in which they highlighted the potential for Turkish accession to the EU.”

Want more InFacts?

To receive regular updates from the InFacts team, fill in your details below.

    Subscribe me to your mailing list

    It looks as if “Turkey week” has started. In his Times article, Gove makes three false statements about free movement.

    “Britons are less safe”

    On the contrary. Doesn’t the former Vote Leave boss know that, if we stay in the EU, we will keep access to the European Arrest Warrant and other key crime-fighting tools? How will we combat the sort of people-trafficking that led 39 people to die in a refrigerated truck in Purfleet if we can’t use the law enforcement machinery that the EU has painstakingly put together in the last 20 years? Britons will be less safe if Brexit goes ahead.

    “Huge strain on the NHS”

    Nonsense. More than 65,000 NHS workers in the UK come from other EU countries. That includes 11,000 doctors, 20,000 nurses, and 9,000 technical staff. On top of that, there are 100,000 EU nationals who are social care staff. Doesn’t Gove realise that EU doctors and nurses are leaving the NHS in droves and fewer new ones are coming because of Brexit? Doesn’t he see that this is exacerbating already severe staff shortages – adding to the strain on the NHS?

    “Massive pressure on public services”

    If we stay in the EU, our businesses will benefit from access to a market that accounts for half our trade. They will be free to hire high quality talent. The economy will be £70 billion a year bigger in the medium term, according to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. That money can be used to fund high quality public services, including bobbies on the beat and nurses to take care of sick people. If we stay in the EU, we can ease the pressure on our public services. It’s Brexit that will make it worse.

    Oh, and remember that free movement cuts both ways. UK citizens are free to live, work and retire in 27 other countries. That’s a massive opportunity they will lose if we quit. It will be the younger generation who miss out most.

    Free movement is good for our country – not bad. After the Turkey lie, nobody should believe anything that Gove says about migration. Voters shouldn’t fall for his latest tricks.

    Edited by Quentin Peel

    Categories: Brexit, UK Politics

    5 Responses to “Gove spouts 3 falsehoods as he weaponises migration”

    • In the film ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ the great Robert Bolt put a remark made for our sorry world of broken politics into the mouth of the diplomat Mr Dryden (Claud Rains). Lawrence was denying that he knew of the plan to split the Arab lands between the British and the French (the Sykes-Picot Agreement
      0. Dryden retorted that Lawrence may not have ‘known’ but ‘you certainly suspected’. He, Dryden, merely told lies but Lawrence had told half lies – ‘and a man who tells lies, like me, merely hides the truth – but a man who tells half lies HAS FORGOTTEN WHERE HE PUT IT!’ And that sums up this mess totally!

    • Absolutely correct ,Hugo, about FOM and all the more so as the UK has never applied the rules laid down for the application of FOM which would have enabled the UK to avoid the obvious abuses of the system, that is, EU nationals staying for longer than 3 months in the UK if not employed and without personal health insurance.

    • Gove has forgotten nothing and knows very well that he’s lying. Ergo, he does that on purpose, little Englanders lap it up and vote Brexit All over again. Simple as that. Best thing for remain people to do is to find ways to reach the little Englanders and stop wasting time preaching to the already reformed.

    • I truly am at the point of despair. How can we fight these mendacious liars who have absolutely no conscience or sense of personal honour ? The remain camp continually bang the drum for sanity, but whose who should be listening seem to be totally deaf to common sense. The only thing we can do, I guess, is to give Bojo a bloody nose at the polls. There are conservative voters who abhor Boris and all his works and who might be tempted to vote for the LDems if only they could come up with similar policies to Labour and thus also steal some of the left-wing away from JC. Problem is that people are so heartily fed up with Brexit that they’ll vote for BJ just to get it done.


    • Apart from the EU medical staff leaving there will also be U.K. expats returning in increasing numbers as they require geriatric care.

      This must apply also in France, Italy, Greece, Cyprus as well as Spain but that’s the area I know.

      Away from the Costas there are significant numbers of retired Brits living off the difference between the proceeds of their UK house sale and the cost of their Spanish property.
      They can currently rely on the EHIC card for treatment locally. The U.K. reimburse the Spanish, although the Spanish lost out by omitting for a number of years to include inflation. Even at the correct figures the Spanish treatment is apparently substantially cheaper than providing it in the UK.

      When the EHIC ends entitlement to cover ends and to get NHS cover they’ll need to return to the UK where the care staff will already have upped stocks and gone home.

      So we’ll have more patients, fewer medical staff and treatment costing more anyway.

      A Triple whammy.

      But then Gove was the “Education” Minister who thought everyone could be above average.