When Vote Leave’s singularly batshit principal Dominic Cummings fetched up before the Treasury Select Committee earlier this year, he was adamant that Britain’s contribution to the EU budget was sent in full, gross, every week, with the rebate coming back at some later time. Committee chairman Andrew Tyrie, who had worked in the Treasury, knew this was not true: the amount sent is net of the rebate.
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
Thus the Vote Leave claim that “we send £50 million a day” was bunk, and moreover, it took no account of the actual net contribution - what we actually send - being a little over £160 million a week (not £350 million). Then some funds come back in the form of farm subsidies, regional grants and other spending that makes the debit figure around £110 million a week. But one very vocal Leave supporter cannot get her head around this.
To no surprise at all, still fighting this dishonest battle is (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch, who says anyone disagreeing with her is a liar. “The worst Remain lie is that we did not send £350m a week to the EU. We did. We sent more, in fact … The reason the BBC did not dispute the £350m figure is that it was accurate and they could not”. The BBC is there to report, not take a partisan debate position. And they did query that claim.
“The failed LSE economist implies, like all Remain, that @vote_leave said £350m a week was net. We always ALWAYS said it was gross”. Two things here. One, just because you don’t agree with someone doesn’t make them “failed”. And two, no you didn’t. “In point of fact £350m a week significantly understates the amount of money the UK sent each week to the EU, per House of Commons library”. Per HoC Library, it says no such thing.
“Here are the official figures which prove very plainly that the UK sent more than £350m a week to the EU”. No, they confirm that it’s less than half that amount. “2016, gross EU contribution £20.5 billion; net, £11.2 billion. That ‘expert’ is lying. (HoC library figures)”. Calling “liar” again - tedious, isn’t it? And we still don’t send the gross amount.
The net amount is what matters, and what is sent. This was pointed out to her: “First, that isn't at all true. We didn't get back our rebate for a year. Second, we gave net figures too”. So now she invents a year delay that does not exist. Again, the facts were pointed out to her, and again she called “liar”: “Net is a lie of Remain. Vote Leave spoke of total, gross figure, rightly so”. No, net is not a lie of anyone, it is what we send.
Then came another whopper: “Money the EU spends on its own propaganda; ‘rebate’ a year later; no, we will use our gross loss thanks”. Money we do not send to the EU is somehow spent by them on propaganda! Wow!! Still, she can always use her fall-back position: “You are such a tool … Sigh … But you lost. That's the key thing”. Yes, Leave won, and so any pack of lies they pulled during the campaign is therefore validated.
It takes a special combination of fantasy, stupidity and dishonesty to be able to argue as Louise Mensch does on a daily basis. And remember, they allowed her to become an MP.