The Big Guns have been rolled out again to scare us into remaining in the EU, this time marshalled by George Oborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer. But the other one, the PM isn’t sitting quietly either:
Downing Street is expected to create around 25 new Conservative peers within days of the EU referendum. David Cameron will nominate them as part of Government efforts to try to regain control of the House of Lords.The move has raised concerns that the Prime Minister could dole out the peerages to supporters who have backed the Remain campaign. Senior sources last night suggested the Government is preparing to draw up a list of peers to be sent to the Lords within days of the June 23 vote.
So no ‘Lord BoJo’ then …
David Cameron will today repeat the controversial claim that Brexit would cost every household in the country £4,300 as senior figures from the four main political parties take to the Remain campaign trail. The blitz will enlist 6,200 campaigners from Britain Stronger In Europe and the political parties will lead about 1,000 events across the UK. On what is being billed as the biggest day of cross-party campaigning in British political history, the Prime Minister will unveil a poster showing a brown envelope lying on a doormat with the words: ‘The cost of leaving the EU: £4,300 for every household’.
Someone ought to tell him that lies don’t become true when they’re repeated. The former PM John Major is also at it:
Michael Gove should be ’embarrassed and ashamed’ about claims Britain’s borders will be opened to 88 million more people if voters do not back Brexit, Sir John Major claimed tonight. In a fierce attack on the Justice Secretary, Sir John blasted ‘mischief making’ over warnings about the future expansion of the EU. Mr Gove has warned new countries entering the EU will heap an unbearable strain on schools, the NHS and housing. In a major speech to the Oxford Union, Sir John also called on Mr Gove, Boris Johnson and Iain Duncan Smith to apologise for ‘peddling’ false figures about the cost to Britain of being in the EU.He warned the senior Tories against playing their ‘trump card’ on immigration – insisting careless language was ‘dangerous’ and could do long term damage to society.
But he’s not being allowed to get away with this:
But ‘Out’ campaigners fired back at Sir John and claimed the ‘Remain’ campaign had “toxified” the migrant debate. Employment minister Priti Patel, from the ‘Leave’ campaign, said: “The day after it was finally revealed that EU migration is even higher than previously admitted, the pro-EU campaign are trying to silence people with legitimate concerns about controlling our borders while failing to address the real public concern of the impact of immigration form the EU. At the same time, the Conservative In campaign is putting out offensive leaflets telling British citizens that their family members [in non-EU countries] aren’t welcome here. “I know many people will be deeply offended by this – it is exactly the type of rhetoric that toxifies the issue and prevents a sensible conversation about legitimate public concerns.”
The latest scaremongering comes from the IMF (International Monetary Fund), whose president, Madame Lagarde, intervenes on behalf of her friend George Osborne:
A vote to leave the EU next month could precipitate a stock market crash and steep fall in house prices, the International Monetary Fund has warned. Christine Lagarde, the IMF managing director, also backed warnings from the Bank of England governor Mark Carney that Britain could fall into recession following a Brexit vote. Lagarde, who was in London on Friday to present the fund’s annual health check on the UK economy, said it was possible the economy would shrink in two consecutive quarters, which is the definition of a recession. […]Vote Leave reacted angrily to the findings, which it said were part of a plan by the government “to circumvent purdah rules by using the IMF, which is funded by the EU and the UK government”. The Brexit campaign accused the Washington-based organisation of being “consistently wrong about its forecasts for the UK economy” and said it was wrong again on Britain leaving the EU. It also attacked Lagarde’s reputation saying it was sullied by criminal allegations of negligence over €400m (£314m) of payments in the Bernard Tapie affair, dating back to when she was French finance minister.
Another interesting twist to the Remain campaign comes from Labour:
Labour MPs have warned Jeremy Corbyn he must make more effort to mobilise Labour supporters in order to prevent Britain voting to leave the EU in next month’s referendum.Pro-EU Labour figures fear that Mr Corbyn will not throw his full weight behind the Remain campaign and that it could lose the referendum as a result. Some Labour MPs have even raised the prospect he could face a leadership challenge after a Brexit vote, as he would get the blame.
Let’s move from the sublime to the plain ridiculous – because it’s the Eurovision song contest tonight!
The pop genius behind legendary Swedish group Abba has urged Britons not to take a chance on life outside the EU. Bjorn Ulvaeus said it would make him ’emotional’ if the UK decided that it did not want to stay in the union. The plea, issued on the eve of the Eurovision song contest, delighted Remain campaigners who said it was a reminder that ‘breaking up is hard to do’. In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live ahead of the contest – which Abba won with Waterloo in 1974 – Bjorn said: “It would really make me sad if Britain would leave and what that would mean. It’s like someone you love leaving you. It’s emotional.”
Come on – you don’t want to make Bjorn ’emotional’, do you! And if we leave we’d never win the Eurovision Song Contest, ever! Now wouldn’t that be sad …