Exposing Leave’s lies is the way to stop Brexit

PUBLISHED: 13:18 05 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:18 05 October 2018

Boris Johnson before he boarded the Vote Leave campaign bus. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

Boris Johnson before he boarded the Vote Leave campaign bus. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

I strongly support the campaign for a People’s Vote, but I am at loss to understand why its promoters will not even reveal the most powerful argument for it...

The all-out campaign of lies which both Leave groups ran before the 2016 EU referendum, and which very probably won it for them.

I was reminded of that incomprehensible failure to level with the public on September 29, as People’s Vote campaigner Amy Longland was being interviewed on Sky News’ Sunrise. At first, she insisted “nobody is saying that the outcome of the 2016 referendum is invalid”. But when a frustrated Stephen Dixon pressed her on another point, her real feelings slipped out: “The referendum campaign was a really dirty campaign.”

Until last April, I was resigned to the outcome of the referendum. Then, that month, Chris Wylie and Shahmir Sanni’s revelations and subsequent disclosures, changed everything.

Nigel Farage responded to a recent accusation of lying by saying: “Well, you could argue that for every election that’s ever been fought.” In elections, lies are odious, but we elect MPs for a maximum of five years only. For all we know, this referendum result could be for ever. That difference is crucial.

Why are those powerful arguments not made by the People’s Vote campaign, instead of remaining unsaid?

Paul Smith

Taking part in a referendum on the terms of the deal/no-deal should be compulsory for all those on the voting register. That would make it more democratic than the original vote and cut through the nonsense that it would cause friction, unrest or betrayal.

Kenneth Brown, Stroud

Do we wish to win the next referendum? Because we show no sign of it. Too many of us are hoping to scrape over 50%. But increasing student turnout is not the answer. Our aim must be to heal the country and settle the question.

The harms of Brexit will not do it – voters will blame the EU. The economic case is no more likely to land with the electorate than it did in 2016. Showing the emptiness of Brexiters’ claims will be dismissed as lack of courage and vision. So what might work?

First, we can make the positive case for the EU. Pooling sovereignty is much better than taking back control at obtaining for us what we want: more protection for workers and the environment when we know we will not be undercut by other countries.

Second, we heard you. We really did. The 2016 vote showed a much deeper level of unhappiness with the way society works than most of us realised. Only some of that was down to the EU. Most of it was UK-driven.

Our role as campaigners is to explain how much easier it would be to address the grievances in this country if we stayed. There would be more government time and capacity, more money, the chance for joint action across the EU.

Michael Romberg, W1T

If we can create a plan to help those ‘left behind’ once we ‘rejoin’ the EU, then we can go into a People’s Vote answering the concerns of Leavers who are angry that their vote has not brought quick change. There may even be an upsurge in those prepared to/wanting to stay. If so, instead of saying “vote Remain and the country (but not you) may prosper” we would be saying “here’s a plan to improve the lot of people, especially those outside London, who have had it rough for 30 years. And staying in the EU will help make this plan happen”.

Even a rough outline for a better, shared future would be more defensible than the hogwash and lies put up by Leavers.

Peter Davis, Bath

Our radios have been full of PPI ads for many years. There is a whole industry built around promises from claims companies to get your mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance back for you. Sometimes they intimate they can find money for you even if you don’t think you ever had a policy.

In 2019 will we all be entitled to massive pay-outs for BBI? Blatant Brexit Incompetence? Bonkers Brexit Imbecility? Blind Brexit Idiocy?

Amanda Baker

Edinburgh

• Send your views to The New European by emailing letters@theneweuropean.co.uk

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