Cameron and the Remaininans have launched “Project Fear”, the Nightmare on Downing Street, coming soon to a street near you. Their dire warnings are becoming almost farcical, and scarcely credible. I’m waiting for “If we vote for Brexit, our country will be decimated by plagues of locusts”. Or more likely, “If we vote for Brexit, global warming will go critical and we shall all fry”.
Cameron started out by calling for a dignified and respectful campaign – and then attacked Boris Johnson in uncompromising terms. Downing Street abandoned any pretence of fairness or balance when it engineered the dismissal of the head of the British Chambers of Commerce John Langland. As the Daily Mail put it, “An honest man knifed by Number 10”.
There is a series of lies and misrepresentation coming from the Remain camp, and I’ll just run by some key points.
“3½ million jobs will be lost”. No. The jobs depend on the trade, not the EU membership. And the trade will continue.
“We must remain in the Single Market”. Errrr … why? The USA is not in the Single Market, yet it sells more goods and services into the EU than the UK does. None of the three largest sources of EU imports – the USA, China and Russia – is in the Single Market, and none has a free trade deal with the EU, yet they have no problem in selling into the EU. Nor shall we.
“We’ll still have to accept free movement, and obey EU rules, and pay for market access”. So says Wolfgang Schauble, Germany’s Finance Minister. . Why does he say that? He’s reading across from the Norway model, and assuming we’ll want the same deal. But we don’t:
“We’ll be like Norway or Switzerland”. These are small countries with limited negotiating power. The UK, by contrast, is a member of the G7, and the world’s fifth largest economy. We will also be (after Brexit) the EU’s largest (and net largest) customer. Norway and Switzerland are, as it were, quasi-associate members of the EU. We don’t want that relationship. Get it into your head, Wolfgang, that we want independence.
No other free trade area (or Customs Union) in the world insists on free movement, and we can’t accept it either. And since we buy £80 billion more from the EU than they buy from us, if there is any payment for market access – they should be paying us.
“Calais Jungle Camp will come to Kent”. In a set-back for Cameron, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve knocked this one on the head. He’s said (as I also said) that if our border comes back to Dover from Calais, undocumented migrants arriving at Dover would simply be sent back to France, which would have to accept them. But any attempt to move the border is likely to increase the flow of migrants into Calais, hoping to cross the Channel, and exacerbating the existing humanitarian crisis on the French side.
This article first appeared on Roger Helmer’s blog.