Letter from the Editor

by Hugo Dixon | 10.02.2016

Welcome to InFacts. We are a journalistic enterprise making the fact-based case for Britain to remain in the EU. We are founded by a group of editors who believe it is in our interest to stay in the bloc despite its imperfections. We have editors from the left, right and centre of British politics, as well as what in the past would have been called eurosceptics – those who didn’t want the UK to join the euro.

We have all reached the conclusion that it is in Britain’s interests to stay in the EU fighting to make it better. My own view is that there is a strong economic case for remaining a member – and an even stronger geopolitical argument. If we remain, we can be one of the EU’s leaders. If we leave, we will lose influence in our back yard just as our neighbourhood is getting increasingly dangerous with Vladimir Putin flexing his muscles and the Middle East blowing up. There is a risk that our departure could trigger disintegration and instability in Europe. There’s also the opposite danger that some of the other EU countries would respond to Brexit by creating a superstate on our doorstep — something Britain has spent centuries trying to avoid. That would marginalise us.

In the months before the referendum, our editors will be arguing the case for the UK to remain in the EU from their particular standpoints. But an even bigger part of the InFacts mission will be to correct factual inaccuracies, debunk myths and point out twisted logic. There is a big risk that the referendum campaign will be marred by falsehood, exaggeration and non sequiturs.

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Of course, even if we could all agree on the facts, there would be room for differences of opinion about what is best for Britain. Emotions will ultimately be decisive. But feelings can be guided by facts; and equally emotions can distort what seems to be the case. As the late US senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan is reputed to have said: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” At InFacts, we will do our best to set the record straight.

Sometimes, we will write full-length rebuttal pieces. At other times, when we have already researched the issue or there is good external evidence, we will write a very short article and pop the person guilty of getting things wrong into our Sin Bin.

Most of our rebuttal is focused on those who want “out”, but we don’t shirk from directing fire at those who want “in” when they stray too. We want the Remain campaign to stick to the truth and will try to keep it honest.

You can help us by suggesting candidates for the Sin Bin, helping us get the facts straight and spreading the word about what we write. The more we publicise errors, the greater the chance that the perpetrators will correct them or think twice about repeating them. If you want to follow us regularly, you might like to sign up to our daily newsletter.

Hugo Dixon

Chairman and Editor-in-Chief

Hugo Dixon is the author of The In/Out Question: Why Britain should stay in the EU and fight to make it better. Available here for £5 (paperback), £2.50 (e-book)

Categories: Articles