Yesterday, as the turmoil following the referendum on Britain’s EU membership intensified, there was no sign of London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, widely expected to throw his IOU in the ring when the Tory leadership contest begins in earnest. That, we now know, was because he was devoting his energies to his latest Telegraph column and its attendant generation of £5,000 in “chicken feed”.
A total Muppet. And Elmo from Sesame Street
Thus the priorities of the ocean-going liar and con artist, one half of the fraudulent double act with Micheal “Oiky” Gove, these being the modern-day Men Who Would Be King. And that column is most revealing, effectively forming Bozza’s pitch for the future relationship between Britain and the EU. The summary of his vision can be put directly: it is one that delivers precisely none of the promises made by the Leave campaign.
It is also peppered with more blatant lies, such as “It is said that those who voted Leave were mainly driven by anxieties about immigration. I do not believe that is so”. Perhaps Sir would care to explain the Vote Leave leaflet that suggested the EU meant Syria and Iraq, as well as claiming Turkey was “joining the EU”? Perhaps he could also explain “the pound remains higher than it was in 2013 and 2014”? It’s been marked down again overnight.
Bozza is away with the fairies when he muses “We had one Scotland referendum in 2014, and I do not detect any real appetite to have another one soon”. Did he miss the presence of Nicola Sturgeon all over the airwaves yesterday, suggesting exactly that? And then, my friends, to borrow the Bozza vernacular, comes the main pitch.
“I cannot stress too much that Britain is part of Europe, and always will be. There will still be intense and intensifying European cooperation and partnership in a huge number of fields: the arts, the sciences, the universities, and on improving the environment. EU citizens living in this country will have their rights fully protected, and the same goes for British citizens living in the EU”. And there’s more.
“British people will still be able to go and work in the EU; to live; to travel; to study; to buy homes and to settle down … there will continue to be free trade, and access to the single market”. Right. That means accepting free movement of people. There will therefore be no constraint on migration from the EU. He lied about that.
It gets worse: what Bozza has described is membership of the European Economic Area (EEA). That means an arrangement not dissimilar to Norway, which pays into the EU budget at a rate per head of population higher than that of the UK. That means we would not get any money back to spend on the NHS, or indeed anything else. And it gets worse still: as this would be a new arrangement, the rebate first secured by Margaret Thatcher would not apply. We would end up paying more to the EU than we do now.
So his pitch is built on lies. And so is his rationale: “The only change - and it will not come in any great rush - is that the UK will extricate itself from the EU’s extraordinary and opaque system of legislation”. Not if we want access to the single market, we won’t.
And the lies just keep on coming: “the Government will be able to take back democratic control of immigration policy, with a balanced and humane points-based system to suit the needs of business and industry”. Not for citizens of EU member states it won’t - because the rules of the Single Market do not permit it.
Can he keep on lying? He certainly can: “Yes, there will be a substantial sum of money which we will no longer send to Brussels, but which could be used on priorities such as the NHS”. Single Market access means paying into the EU budget, and we won’t get a rebate, so there will be no sum of money to be used on anything else.
Plus there is a little routine misinformation: “we will be able to do free trade deals with the growth economies of the world in a way that is currently forbidden”. That will mean hiring experienced trade negotiators and lawyers - the EU currently does this sort of thing for us, that’s what we pay our contributions for - so we will end up shelling out even more money.
On top of that, the package of measures David Cameron agreed with other EU leaders in the run-up to the referendum has already fallen, and will not be enacted. Now the chief architect of his downfall has effectively admitted that there will be no change to EU immigration, we will end up paying more to the EU, and on top of that, we won’t have a say in how the EU works, or indeed, the direction in which it develops.
That means Turkey could join some time in the distant future and we would not be able to stop it. I said last week that Bozza was an ocean going liar: in his Telegraph column today, he has confirmed it in spades. Hello British people! You’ve been had.