Those groups that have dedicated themselves to campaign for Britain to leave the EU long ago decided that their opponents were trading on the fear of voters: only they, the optimistic and outward-looking, were promoting a positive campaign. Those soliciting a vote to remain in the EU were members of Project Fear, and the Out campaign would have nothing to do with such pessimism. Well, up to a point.
The Dacre doggies do not hold back: “Catalogue of UK murders and rapes by criminals let in under EU rules … DEADLY COST OF OUR OPEN BORDERS” screams the headline. The supporting article continues “EU free movement rules have let dozens of foreign criminals commit horrific offences in Britain, analysis reveals … A dossier released today lists 50 of the 'most dangerous' European criminals who have entered the UK freely, despite convictions in their countries”. And whose dossier would that be?
Finally, in the tenth paragraph, we get the answer: “Among those on the list of 50 drawn up by Brexit campaign group Vote Leave”. So those screaming “Project Fear” at the Remain campaign are indulging in more than a little, er, Project Fear of their own. Interestingly, the Telegraph is a little less bombastic, telling “EU sends killers to UK, says Leave lobby”.asserts “Vote Leave campaign condemned over EU crime dossier”. Scaremongering has clearly taken hold in the Out camp, and so has the inconvenient fact that the UK’s borders are not open, as anyone who has had to transit them recently will know. All passports are checked, and as Hugh Orde has pointed out, the UK has deported 7,000 criminals back to other EU member states in recent years.
It gets worse: we can deny entry to whomsoever we like, whether they come from outside the EU or not. But that depends on having good intelligence - meaning other member states need to share information with our security agencies. That would not improve if Britain left the EU. Whether the situation would get worse is one of those “you pays your money and takes your chance” moments.
But good to see the desperation of the Out campaign so well exposed by, er, themselves, actually. What you will not read in the Daily Mail.