Yesterday, the Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun were back on Brexit propaganda duty, combining the anti-EU narrative with smearing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. “BREXIT BARGAINS … Here’s some of the high street savings we could make after Brexit - if Jeremy Corbyn DOESN’T become PM” proclaimed the headline.
The Sun - so clueless they can't work out his P45
How would a change of Government do that? Well, it wasn’t quite that simple: “Prices on everyday goods could FALL once we’re free of EU tariffs - provided we don’t stay in a customs union”. It was a calculated hit piece in response to Jezza’s speech earlier this week. It was also a pack of lies, despite telling those readers “According to experts Britain will be able to slash tariffs on everyday items such as butter if we quit the customs union”.
How many experts would that be? Er, none, actually: the Sun’s only source was “Jayne Adye, Director of pressure group Get Britain Out”. Not exactly a neutral source, then. Still, what could we save in the Sun’s brave new Brexit world? Well, there was “Mozzarella-type cheese”, “Cherry tomatoes”, “Butter”, and “LG 43in Flatscreen TV”.
And the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker could count on one notable endorsement: the member for times long past Jacob Rees Mogg was pleased to tell his followers “Thanks to the Sun for calculating the huge savings for us all outside the Customs Union, except for the one on cigarettes which no government would pass on”. Quite so.
But then reality intervened, courtesy of Jonathan Portes of KCL, who brought bad news for the Murdoch goons: “This is fake news, which the Sun will be retracting. All these "calculations" are wrong. Astonishing @Jacob_Rees_Mogg should promote it”. And a few examples of what made it Fake News came from Steve Peers at the University of Essex.
“First of all, no tariffs are charged on goods coming from the EU (obviously) or from countries with which the EU has a free trade deal. That includes South Korea (TVs). That means that the majority of these products sold in shops haven't been subject to a tariff. So no saving”. And when it came to those bananas the Sun featured?
“The EU has FTAs with some developing countries and reduced or zero tariffs with many others. So for bananas, most African and Caribbean bananas don't face a tariff; Latin American bananas do”. Then came the Sun’s sums problem.
“The S*n calculates its ‘savings’ based on the *retail price* of the goods. But tariffs (if charged at all) apply to the value of the product when it's *imported*. That's obviously less than the final retail price, due to VAT, shop markup etc”. And the paper’s inability to understand tariffs: “on butter in particular, the S*n doesn't understand the tariffs. This is an area where tariffs are based on the volume, not the import price. See this thread. Bottom line … the tariff adds 15p, not £1, to the cost of non-EU butter”.
As Portes said, that makes the Sun’s article Fake News. And now it has been pulled: all the reader sees is “WHOOPS! We can’t seem to find what you’re looking for”.
They can’t even seem to find what they’re looking for, either. So no change there, then.