11 new facts which mean we need a People’s Vote

by Hugo Dixon | 13.04.2018

Lots of facts have emerged since the referendum showing Brexit isn’t all it was cracked up to be. Here are 11 of the top ones.

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1. The Brexit talks are going badly because we need the EU more than it needs us. As a result, the government is making one climb-down after another in the Brexit talks.

2. The government has agreed to pay a divorce bill of at least £35 billion to leave the EU. That’s 100 times the £350 million a week extra for the NHS that the Leave campaign falsely promised.

3. We will have to follow EU rules in the transition without a vote on them. That’s because the government is so desperate to cushion the blow of Brexit that it has agreed to change almost nothing, except for giving up our voting rights, for nearly two years. That’s losing, not taking back control.

4. We will lose control in the long term too. The government has already proposed that we will become a rule-taker in areas like fighting crime and competition policy. It is likely to agree to become a rule-taker in other areas as the talks proceed. We will be turned into what Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Tory Brexiter, calls a “vassal state”.

5. It is going to be fiendishly hard to avoid border controls in Northern Ireland. This could imperil peace. The solution is likely to involve becoming a rule-taker in yet more areas and further loss of control.

6. Brexit is squeezing people’s pay – before we’ve even left. The pound plunged after the referendum, making it more expensive to buy goods from abroad. That, in turn, has pushed prices up in the shops. Inflation has shot up to 2.7% from 0.5% in the month of the referendum. Because wages have been growing more slowly, people are being paid less in real terms.

7. The UK has become the slowest growing member of the Group of 7 large industrialised nations. We were the fastest growing. Again, this has happened before we’ve even left.

8. Brexit is bad for the NHS. The number of nurses coming to work from the EU has plunged by 89% while the number leaving the NHS has risen by 67%. One in five EU doctors is considering leaving due to Brexit. The idea that we’ll get faster treatment in accident and emergency departments if we kick out foreigners is 100% wrong.

9. Trade deals with rest of world are off to a bad start. Without the EU’s clout behind us, we risk being bullied. America is clear any deal with us would be on its terms – including forcing us to take chlorine-washed chicken. Australia wants us to import hormone-treated beef. Japan is focused on finalising its own deal with the EU, not with us. So is India which, in any case, wants us to make it easier for its citizens to come here as part of any deal. We are also scrambling to copy the deals the EU already has with over 60 countries such as South Korea and South Africa.

10. The world is getting more dangerous and unstable. A former Russian spy was poisoned in Salisbury. America and China are starting a trade war. Donald Trump has sought to tear up both the Paris climate change deal and the Iran nuclear pact. He also used to say Nato was obsolete. And then there’s Syria. Do we really think we will be better able to fight for the national interest by burning our bridges with Europe?

11. Vote Leave may have cheated on spending rules during the referendum by funnelling cash through a puppet operation. Facebook has also said data on more than 1 million Brits was improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica, the controversial consultancy whose family of companies worked on the Leave side during the referendum. This raises the question: Was the information harvested from Brits’ Facebook profiles used to manipulate voters over Brexit?

Brexit is a big deal. It is going to affect us and our children for generations. When new facts emerge on something so important, the public has a right to look at things again. That’s why we need a People’s Vote on the deal.

Research by Luke Lythgoe

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    Edited by Luke Lythgoe

    4 Responses to “11 new facts which mean we need a People’s Vote”

    • What a stunning load of misleading and downright inaccurate nonsense this is. Facts? I think you need a dictionary.

      I’ve broken down your inaccuracies for you.

      Of your 11 ‘facts’, numbers 1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10 are opinions not facts.
      Number 1 – Are they going badly? Do we need them more? Most information points to a marked upturn in the progress of discussions. You should listen more. Do you have a quote from someone involved to state they are going badly? If so, share it. That’s Lie #1
      Number 2 refers to commitments to EU spend anyway. So they are not additional costs of leaving, they are monies committed until 2021, and pensions and other liabilities which we are rightly observing. By highlighting the amount, you merely demonstrate how expensive the EU is. So, there is no divorce bill. You are misleading people
      Number 3 is temporary arrangement. And yes, we wont have a vote on most aspects, but in the same time, we will be free to commence negotiations on other trade deals etc. Irrespective, again it’s a temporary situation based on pragmatism
      Number 4 is completely untrue. We will not lose control in the long term. It’s possible that we will not regain as much sovereignty as some want, as we will voluntarily choose to pool sovereignty in some areas – again, that is pragmatic and also a decision we will be taking. That’s Lie #2
      Number 5. One of the few areas where you are correct. It will be fiendishly difficult, but not insurmountable. You should work towards a peaceful solution, not agitate for violence, or insinuate that peace could be imperilled if Remainers don’t get their way. Grossly irresponsible.
      Number 6. Partly true. The £ fell more against the $ in the six months before the referendum than the six months after it. That contributed to inflation. Pay is increasing faster now than before the vote, which once inflation falls will benefit British workers. You are very selective with your data. Inflation may have been 0.5% at the referendum, but it was just shy of 5% a couple of years previously – while in the EU. If you want people to take a long term future view of economics, then it’s incumbent upon you, to look back into the past before June 23rd 2016 also.
      Number 7 – As above, very selective. At any given point, nations may be faster or slower growing than others. And the G7 is one (very small) grouping. You can assess our performance against the EU, against European nations, against the UN, against the G20. You don’t do so, because your interest is in talking the UK down. This data is temporary, and besides..to coin a remainer…”We haven’t even left yet!” There are also, many other economic indicators than a tiny snapshot of growth. What of unemployment, job creation, stock market performance, productivity, exports, manufacturing? Do they not fit your agenda? Incidentallty, latest quarterly growth rate for UK is 0.4%, for Italy it’s 0.3%, so your ‘fact’ is not even true anyway!
      Number 8 – Is it bad for the NHS? NHS spending is up since the vote. Nurses leaving is contributed to English language tests and improved economic performance across the EU. “Kick out foreigners?” That’s offensive. If you have to make things up, you’ve lost the argument already. No one ever proposed that. You should use more intelligent language.
      Number 9 – Are they off to a bad start? Do we risk being bullied? Without the EU, perhaps we are less likely to be bullied by the EU itself? The EU has a poor record in signing off trade deals promptly. Only yesterday Justin Trudeau spoke positively of a trade deal. I don’t think you are following events close enough.
      Number 10 – This is an opinion, but the world is unstable. But more so than in 2013? More so than in 2003? More so than 2001? More so than 1991? Do you have evidence to support this? Again, poor use of language. No one wants to burn bridges. Quite the opposite. While I respect your views to some extent, when you say things like this, you just wind up looking foolish.
      Number 11 – Who knows? How much did the UK governments use of tax payers money influence it? How much did Obamas intervention influence it? How much did the Remain campaigns mistruths on recessions and falling house prices influence it? We don’t know.

    • The whole of the brexit campaign is based on a matter of opinion. Trashing all we have (knowns) for an glorious future without.
      The whole world thinks we’re mad. A Chinese friend said to me we are a small country about to become smaller. How will we stand up to America? We’ll be gagging for a deal, any deal and we’ll be had over a barrel.

    • European s don’t like us it started with Degaulle after ww2 all he New was NON NON . they have screws us for years cars fish water electricity and many other things
      Now it’s payment to get out soon the better OUT OUT

    • Jim, the 11 new facts ARE facts.
      1. We’ve been granted 21 month extension: but Sir Ivan Rogers and Pascal Lamy predict up to ten years negotiating. A poor start: Ireland border and Citizens’ Rights outstanding from phase 1: a ‘marked upturn’ in progress?
      2. PM’s pledged approx £39bn: not entirely clear how this was calculated, but NAO will have to scrutinise before approval. How “expensive” is the EU? Red bus figure ignored our rebate. We get back CAP funding, plus support for poorer areas of UK. Social Fund amounts to £500m to UK annually. UK’s net contribution to EU budget: just half of one percent of GDP, a bargain.
      3. Yes, the article states ‘in the transition’ – clearly temporary.
      4. How much control UK loses depends on final deal, which may fall far short of present membership status. Norway: lengthy customs border checks. Switzerland likewise – and they have no bank passporting rights into EU.
      To name but two key UK industries: risk from potential loss of control: aviation (legal agreements to fly) and medicines (approvals for new drugs).
      5. Threat to Good Friday Agreement is real. NI police and Ireland Government agree dissident republicans could attack infrastructure. Remember IRA attacks on customs posts during the Troubles?
      6. Outside the Euro, UK has more control over tax and spend, currency etc; and therefore inflation. Brexit already making us poorer (Carney, Lagarde) unlike economic recovery elsewhere.
      7. See (6) expert predictions. Fall in Sterling post-referendum was verdict of global markets.
      8. More than 10,000 NHS staff from EU have left since referendum; and a 96% drop in number of EU nurses registering to work in UK. Even the head of NHS England, Simon Stevens, had to remind Vote Leave of their promise.
      9. At least the EU leverages excellent trade deals. Less than 8% of EU exports come to UK, but 44% of UK exports go to EU. We need the EU more than they need us. Why should UK go it alone?
      10. EU more than vast trade bloc: it’s closely aligned with NATO, as most EU members broadly share its defence and security policies. Again, why go it alone?