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Gove’s catalogue of errors

by Rachel Franklin | 03.06.2016

Blusterometer

Stretching the facts

Straying from the facts

Facts? What facts?

InFacts’ Blusterometer isn’t reserved exclusively for rating Boris Johnson’s blunders and Farage’s faulty facts. Michael Gove has been making misleading claims since the referendum campaign began. From the slightly sneaky to the woefully wrong, here’s a handy breakdown of where Gove is mistaken on the EU…

Economy

Fiction: “We can take back the £350 million we give to the EU every week”

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Fiction: We are “on the hook to pay more in 2020”

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Fiction: “Britain hasn’t been able to shape the single market in our interests”

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Fiction: If we vote to leave the EU Britain will stay in the “European Free Trade Zone” which stretches “from Iceland to Turkey”

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Fiction: EU “clear it wants more power over our taxes and our banks”

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Fiction: “It wouldn’t be in [European countries’] interests to erect trade barriers, because…. there is a trade deficit” with EU

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Fiction: Britain’s EU budget rebate is in danger

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Fiction: The government “cannot remove or reduce VAT”

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Industry

Fiction: “Rules like the EU clinical trials directive have slowed down the creation of new drugs to cure terrible diseases”

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Fiction: The government  is prevented by the EU from giving “support…(to) a steel plant through troubled times”

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Migration

Fiction: Net migration from the EU could be 5 million between now and 2030 if we stay in the union

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Fiction: “The ECJ can now control how all member states apply the crucial 1951 UN convention on asylum and refugees”

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Red tape

Fiction: Outside the EU, we “wouldn’t have all the regulations which cost our economy £600 million every week

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Fiction: EU employment laws are “excessive” and should have been devolved to national control.

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Fiction: “If we vote leave we can scrap the EU’s foolish rules on how Whitehall runs procurement processes, which add billions to the cost of government every year”

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Fiction: EU rules dictate … the maximum size of containers in which olive oil may be sold (five litres)

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Fiction: EU rules dictate … the distance houses have to be from heathland to prevent cats chasing birds (five kilometres)

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Security

Fiction: As EU members we have to accept that “anyone, even someone with a criminal record, can breeze into Britain”

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Fiction: ECJ stops UK deporting terrorists

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Fiction: The ECJ “can determine how our intelligence services monitor suspected terrorists”

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Fiction:  EU judges are dictating “what our spies can do and whether we can be kept safe”
 

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Fiction: “The European Court will decide whether we can deport Abu Hamza’s daughter-in-law”

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Sovereignty

Fiction: Cameron gave up Britain’s veto on further integration

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Fiction: “The other countries will know that until a deal which suits us is reached we still retain a veto over their plans. So that gives us all the cards.”

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Fiction: Britain voting to leave will be the beginning of…”the democratic liberation of a whole Continent.”

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Fiction: UK to pass emergency laws to “deal with” the European Court of Justice if we vote to quit the EU

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Fiction: “The ECJ has now informed us that our opt-out (from) “the Charter of Fundamental Rights] was worthless”

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Fiction: “The European Court … will decide the issue of whether convicted felons can vote and if so how far this right should be extended”

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Fiction: The Court “has even used the Charter to increase the price of insurance for women”

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Edited by Geert Linnebank

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2 Responses to “Gove’s catalogue of errors”

  • Conrad Brown 1) gross verses net figure of the cost of the EU. Everyone I have seen campaigning for leave is aware of the distinction between the 2 figures, and happy to explain it when questioned. Both figures are valid and mean different things.

    2) The EU budget will be set for the next period in 2020, history shows it is very likely to increase as it has at all such discussion except the last time, I seem to remember that despite the overall cut in the budget last time the British contribution still went up as our economy has outperformed the rest of the EU. Expect this is what Gove was referring too. Hardly can be claimed to be a lie.

    3) What constitutes Britains national interest is debatable, but there are numerous examples where EU policy seems to run contrary to it, and where we have been outvoted on it. There are a number of different ways of measuring us being on the losing side of proposals (depending on what you count as a proposal), though I have not seen a figure as low as 57 before. Seems to me to be disingenuous to suggest that Sara Hagemann is the only authority on this.

    4) “There is a “European Free Trade Zone” which stretches “from Iceland to Turkey”.” I completely agree this statement is false, Gove was wrong, there isn’t a free trade zone in any of Europe as the EU in anathema to free trade, hence all the tariffs it imposes. It is a customs union.

    5) It is bizarre to claim that the EU has not been pushing for more control over the city of London. who ever made this claim must have not been paying attention to the negotiations concerning responses to the great recession. There have been many attempts but the financial transactions tax is an obvious one.

    6) the statement that ““It wouldn’t be in [European countries’] interests to erect trade barriers, because…. there is a trade deficit” with EU” is a fiction is not backed up by the supporting evidence they give. it is merely an allegation that he didn’t answer the question asked, that doesn’t make what he said untrue.

    7) the rebate is clearly in danger, Tony blair gave some of it away, if it happened before it could happen again. Many other nations apply constant pressure to reduce the rebate in all negotiations on anything.

    8) it uses the statement “Britain is still free to cut the main VAT rate to as low as 15%” to claim that the statement “The government “cannot remove or reduce VAT” is a fiction, it looks to me like they are saying the same thing. We cant remove it, and we cant cut it below 15%. as fact checking goes this is farcical.

    I cant be bothered running through the rest of their supposed debunkings. This is very clearly biased and they are talking a very strange definition of what constitutes falsehood (and truth for that mater). I can only assume they didn’t expect any one to bother to read there sources.