After the slump in the value of Sterling, and the slow realisation that our politicians are manifestly unfit to tackle the negotiations that would be necessary to secure Britain any kind of half-decent deal for departing the EU, the hysterical press coverage has become yet more so as hacks and pundits scrabble to tell their still-credulous readers that all is well and that we can still beat those dastardly foreigners.
And nowhere is this more evident than at the Baby Shard bunker, where the overpaid and underworked Murdoch doggies at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun seek to prepare readers for a world where anything bad that happens will be the fault of people talking foreign - and that it won’t really happen anyway. This approach was kicked off yesterday with a Sun editorial - and has been taken on by obedient pundits today.
The aggressive framing of the argument sets the scene: “EVER since we voted for Brexit, there’s been a non-stop series of threats from the likes of France and Germany. If we dare to take back control of our borders, they say they’ll push us out of the single market”. No threats have been made, and leaving the Single Market is inevitable if we won’t accept the Four Freedoms - which include freedom of movement.
Then it veers over the fantasy line: “Most of it is just hot air, since they export far more to us than we do to them. If they slapped tariffs on us and started a trade war, they’d be the main losers”. Let’s take this nice and slowly, for the benefit of dopey Murdoch hacks. 44% of Britain’s exports go to other EU member states. 8% of those member states’ exports go to Britain. And the Sterling slump shows we could not sustain a trade war.
It gets sillier: “Thirty-six of the countries that have done trade deals with the EU have already pointed out to Brussels that their agreements were made with a single market that included the UK … And it was our presence in the single market that was one of the main lures in making a deal”. This is pure invention. We want to end freedom of movement, we are out of the Single Market. This principle is non-negotiable. End of story.
The detachment from reality continues with another fantasy editorial today which tells “Theresa May must not be blown off course by the EU Remain cheerleaders Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband and Keir Starmer”. Why so? They “insist Parliament should vote on the Brexit negotiations for the ‘good of democracy’”. Do go on. They “are trying to frighten us into taking a deal that would stop Britain regaining its sovereignty from Brussels”.
Er, hello Murdoch doggies! What you are discussing is the exercise of parliamentary sovereignty. You think sovereignty is a good thing, but maybe it isn’t. Make your minds up.
Meanwhile, faithful Murdoch retainer Trevor Kavanagh has told readers “Nobody wants a Sterling crisis but we are a long way from that”. A currency crash is defined as a 15% year-on-year depreciation. As of last Friday, that in Sterling had reached 19%. Kav then claims “A lower exchange rate is a huge shot in the arm for British exporters - the very firms we need to flourish outside the EU”. Retailers are now warning of Brexit price rises.
But he does concede that “Without huge and unlikely concessions from other EU leaders, [Brexit] means an end to the free movement of people to these shores - and our access to the EU single market”. If only the Murdoch mafiosi could agree their fantasy storyline.