'Get ready for Brexit' campaign tones down mentions of the UK's leaving date

PUBLISHED: 14:09 21 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:22 21 October 2019

An electronic display showing a 'Get ready for Brexit' Government advert,in London. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA.

An electronic display showing a 'Get ready for Brexit' Government advert,in London. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Since the government was defeated in the Commons on Saturday, the 'Get ready for Brexit' campaign has made some interesting tweaks to its wording around the UK's leaving date from the EU.

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Eagle-eyed commentators have noted that the leaving date is disappearing from some pages and is being downplayed on others since Boris Johnson was forced to request an extension to Article 50.

At 2.26pm on Saturday October 19, the government's web pages on Brexit readiness said in large letters: "Get ready for Brexit on 31 October 2019."

But since Boris Johnson's defeat in the Commons over the Letwin amendment, which forces him to request a Brexit extension, the webpage now says in smaller letters: "the UK could still leave with no deal on 31 October 2019".

The headline letters now simply read: "Get ready for Brexit" with detail in smaller lettering below.

This now reads: "A Brexit deal has been agreed in principle with the EU.

"Both the UK and the EU need to approve and sign the withdrawal agreement.

"If the withdrawal agreement is not signed by the UK and the EU, the UK could still leave with no deal on 31 October 2019."

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The BBC economics editor Faisal Islam also pointed out that a banner message telling site visitors to "get ready for Brexit on 31 October 2019" has also disappeared from related pages since the vote, such as the page with advice on vehicle taxation.

"Appears to me that government website has markedly toned down the plastering of the "Get Ready for Brexit" campaign on every page. Less emphasis on the date," tweeted the journalist.

The £140 million campaign also includes billboards and broadcast advertising in addition to the government's website.

But the web changes appear to chart the government's shrinking certainty in its own stated leaving date.

Prior to the October messaging which said "Get ready for Brexit on October 31 2019", the government's message was even more confident. As of September, the website said: "The UK will leave the EU on 31 October 2019."

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