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Saturday, June 25, 2016

The big lies that secured a Brexit vote

Day Two of post-Brexit Britain and things are panning out pretty much as predicted. The value of the pound has plunged, falling more than 8% against the dollar and 6% against the euro, possibly leading to higher petrol prices.

Holiday makers are struggling to exchange currency abroad, Scotland is considering a second Independence referendum and there are calls for a vote in Northern Ireland on whether they should also leave and merge with the Republic.

Wall Street and the FTSE 100 both fell sharply on Friday in a wild day of trading after the UK voted for Brexit whilst the London blue-chip index fell 7% in early trading to just over 5,800 points ending the day 3.15% lower at 6,138 and Spain has called for joint sovereignty over Gibralter.

The Prime Minister has resigned and there are moves to no confidence Jeremy Corbyn. Oh, and the Mayor of Calais wants changes to the 2003 Touquet deal which allows Britain to carry out immigration checks on the French side of the English Channel.

The most galling moments though have been the rapid u-turns by pro-Brexit campaigners on what were obvious lies they told during the campaign.

As the Telegraph reports, Nigel Farage was very quick to admit that it was a "mistake" to promise that £350million a week would be spent on the NHS if the UK backed a Brexit vote. The pledge was central to the official Vote Leave campaign and was controversially emblazoned on the side of the bus which shuttled Boris Johnson and Michael Gove around the country. It was an out-and-out lie.

The Guardian also reports Farage's comments but adds that the claims by campaigners that leaving the EU would reduce immigration was also a lie. Tory MEP Daniel Hannan  agreed that free movement could result in similar levels of immigration after Brexit. He said: “Frankly, if people watching think that they have voted and there is now going to be zero immigration from the EU, they are going to be disappointed.”

It is funny how they waited until after the vote before fessing up. Meanwhile it is worth reading this from a Financial Times reader:

I think I will just leave it there and let people reflect on those points.
Reads to me like you are disappointed. Me too. But in typical British fashion I know we'll all pull together and try our hardest to make the most of what comes.

And doubtless some good will come out of our new, rather isolated status in the world. Linguistic and cultural deviations will be seen for just what they are. Expensive irritants that can no longer be tolerated. Or afforded. 'One-nationism' will be the only mantra from hence forth.

Viewed from this perspective things don't seem to be nearly so bad.

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