After Nigel “Thirsty” Farage’s less than successful encounter with a German interviewer was exposed, partly by Zelo Street, it might have been thought that our free and fearless press might stop and think before hiding behind something in a non-English language in order to con their readers. But that is exactly what the Murdoch goons at the Sun have tried in order to pretend Brexit will not mean what we know all too well it will mean.
“Germany’s kingmaker who is set to prop up Merkel says Britain CAN slash migration while keeping EU trade … Liberal party leader Christian Lindner says 'all options need to be on the table' for Brexit” declares the headline, going on to tell “His words raise the prospect of Britain being able to maintain free-trade links with Europe while controlling our borders and escaping the grip of the EU court … They also stand as a stark rebuke to other European leaders, who have tried to claim that the UK cannot pick and choose which parts of the EU to sign up to”. Really? Do go on.
“Mr Lindner suggested that Britain could remain in the single market as long as it accepted free movement of labour - instead of the free movement of all people … That would mean only EU citizens with jobs in the UK could settle here, and they could not claim any benefits from the state”. So, what did Herr Lindner tell Politico?
As if you need to ask. Here is what he actually said: “there can be no cutbacks in the basic freedoms of the internal market. If the British have problems with freedom of movement within Europe, they can perhaps be convinced that it is only a matter of free movement of workers. Fear of immigration into social systems is groundless”.
Christian Lindner has merely repeated what we already know: free movement of people does not mean the free right to move to another EU member state without the means to support oneself. But the myth of hordes of foreign-speaking welfare spongers coming over here and taking Sun readers’ benefits is so ingrained into those readers’ consciences that they can be conned into believing Lindner said something new. He didn’t.
What Lindner also said in conclusion was that there should be a move towards realism in the Brexit negotiations. That might also apply to the Sun spinning “if the UK could restrict entry to migrants without jobs, and stop benefits handouts to foreigners, they may conclude that single market membership is the best way to keep the advantages of trade with the EU”. They already can. You don’t have the means to support yourself, out you go.
The Murdoch goons talk falsely of “Mr Lindner’s bombshell”, but all he has done is to restate the reality of single market membership. No change has been advocated or indicated. When they claim “BRITAIN can slash immigration even if we stay in the single market, according to an influential German politician”, they are lying through their teeth. And he said NOTHING about the “EU court”, so that was made up, too.
Memo to under-fire Sun editor Tony Gallagher: just because most of your hacks think that speaking another language consists of declaiming English very loudly and very slowly, it doesn’t mean someone out there can’t do the translation and call you out for it.
The Sun: lying to its readers since Rupert Murdoch took it over. No change there, then.