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Analysis

No Boris, crashing out of EU is not what people voted for

by Luke Lythgoe | 07.01.2019

“It is no deal, or WTO terms, that actually corresponds to (people’s) idea of coming out (of the EU),” claims Boris Johnson in his weekly Telegraph column today. This is nonsense.

What Johnson’s latest thousand words do suggest, however, is that hard Brexiters are rallying behind the “no deal” banner. Not once does he mention his old fantasy “Super Canada” scheme. Others Brexiters are making what looks like a concerted “no deal” push: Matt Ridley in The Times, John Redwood on the BBC, Peter Lilley’s 30-point defence in the Telegraph.

Unlike all the extremists’ previous versions of Brexit, which were undeliverable unicorns, “no deal” is real. But it’s deadly real – and certainly not what people thought they were voting for. Here are seven Vote Leave campaign promises – several out of Johnson’s own mouth – which couldn’t be delivered amidst no deal chaos.

“An extra £350 million a week for the NHS”

Even with a deal, this promise was pie in the sky. No deal would trash the economy, meaning less money to spend on the NHS not more. On top of this, the status of EU-born NHS staff would be thrown up in the air, and cooperation on research and medicine regulation would grind to a halt.

“All the advantages of the single market

By definition, no deal means we are outside the single market. The frictionless trade of goods with the EU would see supply lines gummed up by new customs checks. And forget any preferential access for our huge services sector. Businesses which have thrived inside the single market could go to the wall.

“A free-trade zone stretching from Iceland to Turkey”

Iceland, Turkey and other non-EU nations in Europe enjoy “free trade” with the EU thanks to deals made with the bloc. We won’t have any such agreements in place if we crash out.

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Young people can look forward to a more secure and more prosperous future”

Young people’s rights to live, work and study in 27 other EU countries would be immediately and drastically restricted in a no-deal scenario. Their opportunities for the future would be greatly diminished. And at home they would struggle in a jobs market hit by economic upheaval.

“Bold new trade deals with growing economies around the world”

If we quit the EU without paying our dues, as Johnson suggests, we will blow our reputation as a reliable partner. That will put off any potential trade partners in other countries. What’s more, we will lose trade deals with 90 non-EU countries that the EU currently has pacts with and which benefit from.

“Releasing businesses from unnecessary and meddlesome red tape

The single market is designed to cut red tape for UK exporters trading with the rest of the EU. New border checks on UK goods will create heaps of new forms and bureaucracy.

Law enforcement cooperation with our European partners will continue”

No deal means we crash out of the EU’s security framework. That includes access to EU criminal databases and the ability to easily send EU criminals back to their home country to face justice.

Just because Johnson’s no deal arguments don’t stake up, though, doesn’t mean MPs should vote for Theresa May’s miserable deal. There’s a third, much better alternative: a People’s Vote.

Edited by Hugo Dixon

10 Responses to “No Boris, crashing out of EU is not what people voted for”

  • Question:

    Are you and Hugo actually journalists or just fanatical pro-EU political activists?

    I read so many of your articles dressed up as facts but the majority of the time they appear to be only opinion pieces.

  • Peter,
    I suppose the youtube links to actual speeches and Interviews of Boris Johnson. Micheal Gove and David Davis above were all photoshopped after the event from their real message of Hard Brexit? It is more than a little bizarre to see someone with such blind faith in these charlatans, whilst insisting everyone else is making things up. You did actually open the youtube link?

  • I haven’t really got time for any of the mentioned politicians but may I remind you that we have not left yet so none of us know what will truly happen. it seems to me that it is the devoted remainers that are continuously crystal ball gazing.
    In terms of politicians I have even less faith in the likes of Clegg, Heseltine, Bliar, Campbell (unelected nobody), Cable, Cooper, Sourbry etc etc etc. All of those that claimed to respect the referendum result but have plotted and connived to thwart it ever since and force us to stay in!!!

  • Why doesn’t Johnson have the honesty to admit he got it hopelessly wrong with his 2016 predictions about how easy Brexit would be, e.g. his prediction that the NHS would benefit by £350 million/week? If he doesn’t, why should anyone believe him now?

  • Peter,
    Let’s think about what the referendum results tell of us because its worth looking at:
    17.4 voted Leave
    16.1 voted Remain, making a difference of 1.3 Million votes. This means that a mere 650,000 people voting Leave rather Remain swung the vote (half the difference). That’s 1% of the population. Looking at the age demographic of the vote, most people under the age of 50 voted remain, with the leave vote being most heavy for the 65+ age group. With such a slim majority either extreme right wing or left wing like to attribute the result to immigration, taking back control, austerity etc. etc. It seems to me though that the thing that was a powerful influence, particularly on the more elderley was what was written on the side of Boris’s bus. Certainly big enough to sway 1% of the population with even Dominic Cummings from Vote Leave admitting as much. I don’t see such a cynical manipulation of the electorate for the advantage of a bunch of disaster capatalists as a great victory of democracy.

  • In response to Peter’s question, I. Can confirm that I am not a journalist. I am an independent citizen who is extremely concerned about the duty of candour that MPs have to avoid deliberately misleading the electorate. That is why I cited the source of the website that so clearly contradicts BJ’s latest assertion. Over to Peter, can you now see the contradiction, is it just another shift in his position or is it a breach of his duty of candour?

  • Hey! I just checked around my work place and yes, we all voted to leave and assumed it would be ROCKHARDBREXIT and nobody thought about a deal being made and if there was a deal to be made, it would be a settlement from the EU, splitting our joint assets like a divorce… MEH!

  • For me it is simple.
    I would have liked to have seen a good future deal negotiated but the treacherous extreme remainers in parliament have made that impossible. Therefore the only other option is leaving on WTO. That IS what I (and millions of others) voted for.

  • Peter,
    No doubt several million people think that this was and is a great idea. I am equally sure most don’t have a single idea what that means. In a way it would be good to experience it for a month and see if people still felt the same way, I guarantee a lot of them would not, as Project Fear became Project reality. There would be no majority for the No Deal on WTO tariffs in the country ( you do realise that no country in the world actually does this?) but we could always have an honestly run Referendum to find out.