Tuesday 17 January 2017

Theresa May just told an enormous lie about the EU referendum campaign

Not only was Theresa May's Brexit speech rammed full of inherently contradictory nonsense, she also told a glaring outright lie to the British public.

In an attempt to justify her decision to drag the UK out of the Single Market she made the extraordinary revisionist claim that Brexiters had campaigned on a platform of quitting the single market all along. Here's exactly what she said:
"Both sides in the referendum campaign made it clear that a vote to leave the EU would be a vote to leave the Single Market." [source]
Here are a few reminders of what numerous Brexiters were actually saying before the EU referendum debate in order to hoodwink people into voting Leave.
"Only a madman would actually leave the market" - Owen Paterson, Tory Vote Leave campaigner
"Absolutely nobody is talking about threatening our place in the single market" - Daniel Hannan, Tory Vote Leave campaigner
"There's a free trade zone from Iceland to the Russian border and Britain will still be part of it after we vote leave." - Chris Grayling, Tory Brexit campaigner and current member of Theresa May's own cabinet!
"There is no question about it, Britain will still have access to the single market after we vote leave" - Matthew Elliot, chief executive of the Vote Leave campaign
"Britain will stay in the single market whatever happens" - Pete North, pro-Brexit blogger
Aside from numerous direct Brexiter claims that Britain should remain part of the single market, there were also a load of Brexiter claims that Britain should follow the Norway/Switzerland model, of existing outside the EU but having access to the Single Market. Here are some examples:
"Increasingly, the Norway option looks the best for the UK" - Arron Banks, Leave.EU founder and massive UKIP bankroller
"Wouldn’t it be terrible if we were really like Norway and Switzerland? Really? They’re rich. They’re happy. They’re self-governing" - Nigel Farage, Leave.EU campaigner and UKIP leader at the time
Norway, Switzerland, all of these countries have complete free trade with the EU, and by the way, I can't help noticing that they're doing pretty well." Daniel Hannan, Tory Vote Leave campaigner
Of course there were always Brexit extremists who consistently argued the case that Britain should commit economic self-harm by quitting the Single Market, but Theresa May's attempt to claim that all leave campaigners "made it clear that a vote to leave the EU would be a vote to leave the Single Market" is an absolutely transparent lie.

Still. If anything at all has been proven by Brexit, it's that Brexit supporters are generally more than happy to be repeatedly and egregiously lied to.

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