On 23rd June 2016 Britain voted to leave the European Union.
Based on an expectation that more money would go to the NHS, manufacturing jobs would be safe and that we could negotiate a relatively pain-free exit from the Union 51.89 per cent of the country opted to get out, casting aside supposed scaremongering from Project Fear to embark on a bright new future as promised by our noble and trustworthy politicians.
But three years on from the referendum the picture could not be more different. Vote Leave director Dominic Cummings has admitted he lied to the public about cash for the NHS, manufacturing jobs are being cut at a rate of knots and Britain has still not managed to exit the European Union, namely because the promises it set out to deliver have been proven to be unachievable.
Project Fear has become Project Fact as Britain’s economy limps along and businesses are beset with uncertainty. Indeed, the fearmongering that came from the Leave camp – that Turkey would soon join the EU or that Britain would become part of an EU army – has proved to be the most fictitious of it all, yet the playing cards now rest in the hands of its purveyors.
For this month we celebrate two unwanted anniversaries. It is now nearly a year since police were given evidence against Vote Leave & Leave EU for electoral crimes which they are still yet to investigate. Some 2,400 documents have been submitted to the Met by the Electoral Commission which has already fined Vote Leave £61,000 over spending limits. But rather than action we see inaction as a prominent Brexiteer gears up to take the keys to Number 10.
Which is a problem, because now Leavers are being forced to lie in order to get out of their lies. Yesterday Boris Johnson set out his plans for leaving the EU, saying:
“You disaggregate the elements of the otherwise defunct Withdrawal Agreement.. You reserve the payment of the £39 billion.. That is in the context of the Free Trade Agreement that we’ll negotiate in the implementation period, after we’ve come out on Oct 31st”.
But that doesn’t stack up, because there would be no implementation period in that scenario so there would be no disaggregation and no FTA. As Rory Stewart put it, you would end up with a “No-No-No deal”, yet for Britain that is set to become our strategy for leaving the European Union before October 31st.
So there we have it. Three years on from the EU referendum and we have exhausted our options to the point where Boris Johnson is about to take a phoney agreement to the EU because his side has lied so much they no longer have any grip on the truth. And if that’s taking back control, I really do pray for the future of this country.