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Your cut-out-and-keep list of top 19 Brexiteer promises

by Sam Ashworth-Hayes | 31.08.2016

Leave campaigners promised voters a Brexit wonderland, and were rewarded with victory on polling day. In turn, three of their number – Boris Johnson, David Davis, and Liam Fox – have been charged with making a success of Brexit. This will surely involve following through on their campaign’s 19 biggest promises, listed below.

(1) More money for the NHS

Vote Leave’s battle bus said: “We send the EU £350 million a week. Let’s fund our NHS instead”

“Instead of sending £350 million per week to Brussels, we will spend it on our priorities like the NHS and education.” – Vote Leave briefing

“After we Vote Leave on 23 June, the Government should use some of the billions saved from leaving the EU to give at least a £100 million per week cash transfusion to the NHS.” – Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, and Gisela Stuart

(2) More money for farmers

“The UK government will continue to give farmers and the environment as much support – or perhaps even more – as they get now.” – George Eustice, Minister for Farming, Food and Marine Environment

(3) More money for scientists

“If we Vote Leave, we will be able to increase funding to science and still save billions” –Vote Leave

(4) More money in your pocket

“Wages will be higher for working people outside the EU… because pay will no longer be undercut by uncontrolled migration.” – Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, and Gisela Stuart

(5) And scrapping VAT on fuel bills and tampons

“In 1993, VAT on household energy bills was imposed… When we Vote Leave, we will be able to scrap this unfair and damaging tax.” – Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, and Gisela Stuart

‘After we Vote Leave… We will need a carefully managed negotiation process and some major legislative changes before 2020, including taking real steps… to abolish VAT on fuel and tampons” – Chris Grayling

(6) No EU beneficiaries left worse-off

“There is more than enough money to ensure that those who now get funding from the EU – including universities, scientists, family farmers, regional funds, cultural organisations and others – will continue to do so… We will continue to fund EU programmes in the UK until 2020” – Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, and Priti Patel (amongst other signatories)

(7) And no short-term economic disruption

“After we Vote Leave, there won’t be a sudden change that disrupts the economy.” – Boris Johnson, Gisela Stuart and Michael Gove

(8) We’ll get brand new trade deals all over the world

“We would immediately be able to start negotiating new trade deals… which could enter into force immediately after the UK leaves the EU” – Chris Grayling

(9) There’ll be no damage to trade with the EU

“There is a European free trade zone from Iceland to the Russian border and we will be part of it… Britain will have access to the Single Market after we vote leave… The idea that our trade will suffer because we stop imposing terrible rules such as the Clinical Trial Directive is silly.” Vote Leave

(10) Or our cooperation with the EU

“We will negotiate a UK-EU Treaty that enables us 1) to continue cooperating in many areas just as now (e.g. maritime surveillance), 2) to deepen cooperation in some areas (e.g. scientific collaborations and counter-terrorism)” – Vote Leave

(11) Guaranteed in a treaty which we’ll sort out before 2020

“It will be possible to negotiate a new settlement with the EU, including a UK-EU free trade deal, by the next general election in May 2020”Vote Leave

(12) Which won’t have any obligation to follow EU laws

“The supremacy of EU law and the jurisdiction of the European Court over the UK will come to an end” Vote Leave

(13) We’ll cut immigration

“I wouldn’t set a time limit for it but the ambition would be to bring it down to tens of thousands.” – Michael Gove

(14) With a new system in place by 2020

“By the next general election, we will create a genuine Australian-style points based immigration system.” – Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, Priti Patel and Gisela Stuart

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(15) That doesn’t favour EU citizens

“Those seeking entry for work or study should be admitted on the basis of their skills without discrimination on the ground of nationality.” – Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, Priti Patel and Gisela Stuart

“[We will introduce a bill to] end the automatic right of all EU citizens to enter the UK by the next election” – Vote Leave

(16) But which gives Irish citizens total free access

“The right of Irish citizens to enter, reside and work in the UK is already enshrined in our law. This will be entirely unaffected by a vote to leave on 23 June.” – Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, Priti Patel and Gisela Stuart

(17) And stronger border controls

“There is one absolutely clear-cut dividend from leaving the EU. That is our ability to regain control of our borders, including far stronger powers over who we can deport, and proper preventative checks at the border.” – Dominic Raab

(18) But no controls on the Northern Irish land border with the EU

“There will be no change to the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.” – Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, Priti Patel and Gisela Stuart

(19) And the union with Scotland will be stronger than ever

“If we vote to leave then I think the union will be stronger…  I think when we vote to leave it will be clear that having voted to leave one union the last thing people in Scotland wanted to do is to break up another.” – Michael Gove

Corrected 31/08/2016: Vote Leave’s battle bus promised £350m a week to the NHS, not the EU.

Edited by Hugo Dixon

Tags: , Categories: Post-Brexit

10 Responses to “Your cut-out-and-keep list of top 19 Brexiteer promises”

  • “Vote Leave’s battle bus said: “We send the EU £350 million a week. Let’s fund the EU instead””
    Erm…no it didn’t.

  • You people are mad. The ‘Leave’ campaign was just that – a campaign. It was not a political party with the ability to deliver and everyone knew that. Who are you trying to hold to account here ? The Prime Minister – who supported remain? Nigel Farage ? Michael Gove ? Lord Lawson? So what are you going to do if ‘they’ don’t deliver ? Write a strongly worded letter to The Guardian? You really are completely batty.

  • Think your jumping the gun here it will be a few years before we’ve actually left!!! There’s two sides to every story, what about all the things they IN campaign said would happen with in days of voting to leave??????? I seem to remember that the SUN came up the next day !! .
    THE FACTS :: WE VOTED TO LEAVE GET OVER IT !! if you feel you can’t your FREE to leave and live in elsewere ! BECAUSE OF THE SACRIFICE OUR FAMILIES MADE OVER MANY YEARS AND TWO WORLD WARS .
    Now let’s all pulled together and make a success of all the opportunities that getting out will bring the Country.

  • After my initial shock, horror and despondency at the referendum result, I thought the Government should do its best to honour the result but, especially as it was so close, seek compromises that would make most leavers and most remainers fairly happy.

    The more I think about it, the more I think that would be impossible.

    I now think the Government should go all out to honour all the promises and forecasts that the leave campaigners made, especially the three key ones:

    tariff-free access to the EU market;
    no financial contributions to the EU and
    total UK control of immigration.

    If the three Brexit ministers believe what they and their colleagues said, they should be able to achieve all those targets.

    If, despite doing their best, they cannot achieve them all, they should call another referendum to choose between remaining in the EU and accepting whatever terms they have managed to achieve.

    This would depend on the rest of the EU allowing us to withdraw our Article 50 notice and they might not do that, but I think there is a reasonable chance they would.

    • While it would certainly be a positive outcome if your three points could be accomplished, they are unfortunately mutually exclusive. They ignore the 4 freedoms on which the EU is based; we cannot have one without accepting the others. These freedoms are the constitutional basis of the EU, and it has been made very clear by EU ministers over the past couple of months that they are non-negotiable, and logic says that they cannot be. An exemption cannot be made for us (yet more of the UK’s having their cake and eating it thinking) without other EU countries wanting the same concessions, which lead to the total collapse of the EU project, which (agree with EU project or not) would mean economic disaster for the whole world for years to come.

  • Interesting to see that you’re removing posts which don’t fit in with your mad cap philosophy. I can see why you find the dictatorial EU so attractive, but you’re wrong.

  • While I agree that the electorate were consistently misled by the Brexit campaign, I do find the repeated labelling of their claims as “promises” irritating. They did not make any “promises”, simply because none of them were in a position to do so. All they ever claimed was what we “could” do. This was in fact the weakness (and the cleverness) of their argument – they did not put forward any concrete plans, let alone data. Unfortunately, reinforced by the media, too many voters allowed themselves to believe the repeated “coulds” were in fact promises of real possibilities. It was always obvious that none of them would ever materialise.

    • You’re engaging in a semantic argument. A person doesn’t have to be capable of enacting a promise to make a promise, only to make an honest one, which is the point of this entire article.

      The British public, well just over half of them, believed that Vote Leave could, in fact, carry out these promises. The problem is that apparently no one thought to ask how they would do it. Wales and Cornwall only appeared to think of it the next day!

      Even when basic errors in these claims were shown to be false Vote Leave continued to state them as fact and continued to insist their claims would come true. They stated them as assured outcomes of voting to leave. That’s a promise in all ways that count.

      You may choose to play semantic games, but no one’s buying it.