While Britain continues to occupy a post-referendum limbo, with the process of withdrawing from the EU not even having started, and unlikely to be triggered until well into next year, if at all, those who advocated to Vote Leave are relentlessly talking up the result, whether or not their analysis coincides with reality. That, inevitably, brings us to the musings of MEP and occasional Tory Dan, Dan The Oratory Man.
Hannan is prepared to grasp at any passing fact, and even stories that are not true, in order to bolster his happy vision for a mythical world of limitless free trade where we deal with other nations, getting perhaps better terms than the rotten EU, and nobody sees us coming and screws us over on the altar of tariff imposition.
Dan’s latest round of opening mouth and inserting boot began with his airy cheer “From one sovereign nation to another, happy #IndependenceDay to our friends and Commonwealth allies in #India”. The reality? Germany now does far more trade with India than Britain does. So much for the Commonwealth talk, then.
But those Germans are going to give us a special deal. Dan has observed “Germany in May: ‘Out means out!’ … Germany now: ‘Given Britain's size, significance & long membership of the EU, there'll be a special status’”. The reality? Michael Roth, Germany’s Europe minister, has confirmed “Let me be very clear: out is out. No cherry picking. Free movement of labour is indispensable”. Reality strikes again.
It gets no better when Hannan talks up the news on unemployment figures: “Unemployment has fallen by 8000 since the referendum. #DespiteBrexit” he exclaims triumphantly. The reality? The link he cites is for the period April to June, which is almost entirely before the referendum. And we haven’t left the EU yet.
Never mind, there is better news on retail sales: “Retail sales in July were up 5.9 per cent on last year #DespiteBrexit”. The reality? Retail sales were depressed by poor weather in June - they fell year-on-year - but then picked up in July, perhaps aided by the fall in Sterling and more spending by visitors from overseas. And we’re still in the EU.
Then came a dig at The Donald: “Brexit supporters won by being upbeat, civil and open to global trade. Mr Trump, you're no Mr Brexit”. The reality? Vote Leave, under whose banner Hannan campaigned, made their campaign all about frightening voters shitless about migrants, and especially Scary Muslims (tm). Perhaps Dan forgot the now infamous leaflet telling that there were 76 million people in Turkey. With Iraq and Syria next door.
All that Hannan had left was to tell his faithful followers “Even the FT is grudgingly acknowledging the good economic news, notes @harryph”. The reality? He has to resort to citing Harry Phibbs (Phibbs by name, fibs by nature) who has written at the Murdoch-bankrolled Heat Street website run by (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch.
And Britain, remamber, has still not left the EU, nor even begun the process of leaving. All of which means Daniel Hannan is as out of touch with reality as ever.