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Don’t buy the Sun – wrong then, wrong now.

by Sam Ashworth-Hayes | 14.06.2016

The Sun says we should “BeLeave in Britain”. If we stay, we’ll be too weak to fight our corner in the EU. If we leave, we’ll have “enormous clout” on the world stage. Remaining – the option backed by pretty much every reputable economist – will see wages tumble and jobs lost.

The Sun is wrong on every count.

The paper says that if we stay, “Britain will be engulfed in a few short years by this relentlessly expanding German-dominated federal state”. But there is no danger of our being drawn into a superstate. David Cameron’s renegotiation secured a promise that the UK will be exempted from “ever closer union”.

As for a German-dominated system, Britain gets its way in Europe more than almost any other country.

None of this seems to comfort The Sun. “For all David Cameron’s witless assurances,” the front page says, “our powers… WILL be further eroded”. The paper should have more faith in the British people. Any transfer of powers from the UK to the EU requires us to vote for it in a referendum.

This scaremongering sits oddly next to The Sun’s contempt for “Project Fear”, though there is, of course, at least one notable difference between warnings of unemployment and inflation after Brexit, and Britain being sucked into a superstate if we remain: the former could actually happen.

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The Sun’s conclusion that staying in would be “worse for jobs, worse for wages” looks particularly odd. There is no evidence EU immigrants are taking work from Brits. It’s also wrong to say immigration “puts catastrophic pressure on our schools, hospitals, roads and housing stock”. EU immigrants pay in more than they take out. We should blame our government not migrants for failing to invest this surplus in public services.

There is much more that is wrong with the Sun’s editorial – for instance, its breezy assertion that we could use “our enormous clout” to strike “great trade deals”. This ignores our greater clout as part of the EU and the disadvantage we’d face in trying to renegotiate a trade deal with the bloc.

But the paper was right to criticise one part of “Project Fear”. A Leave vote wouldn’t lead to “world war”, which is why Cameron never said it would. That particular phrase comes from Vote Leave’s Boris Johnson.

The Sun declined to provide a comment.

Edited by Hugo Dixon

6 Responses to “Don’t buy the Sun – wrong then, wrong now.”

  • The Sun is on the old cynical disaffection of Up Yours Delors and Gotcha based largely, in the case of the EU, on anti-German sentiment left over from 1945. Its PR department did not need any help from InFacts which was was unwise to publish this piece as it only eggs the tabloids on.

    Facts are not a commodity that The Sun would ever let stand in the way of a good headline and nor will facts be uppermost in the minds of its readers on polling day.

    • Well said, but no doubt the army of right wing brexiter trolls will swarm in shortly and start ranting about us giving away our sovereignty, letting in too many foreigners etc etc etc.
      Wait til the footie match is over…

  • Let the truth get in the way of a good story ?? You are talking of the scum here not a newspaper ! I mean look at it’s owner if you want an example.

  • Sun was wrong when it said the “A vote is a vote” was a moronic poster made by the Remain group. It was not , it was meant to encourage minority ethnic communities to register and vote

  • “Europe’s nations should be guided towards the Super-state without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation.”
    – Jean Monnet, founding father of the European Union