So today, we are assured, the long-awaited Russia Report will finally be published. As the website of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament has told, “The Committee's Report on Russia, prepared by its predecessor, will be laid before Parliament at 10:30am on Tuesday 21 July … The Report will then be available … on the Committee's website … Please note that advance copies will not be available”.
The Europhobic tendency has been fretting for some days now that the Russia Report might hint at improper interference in the 2016 EU referendum. This could endanger the whole Brexit project, hence the Sunday Brexit, still called the Express, telling last weekend “Brexit sabotage warning: Remainers may use Russia report to 'undermine' EU exit … THE CONTROVERSIAL ‘Russia influence’ report due to be published this week must not be used to ‘sabotage Brexit’, it was warned”. They need not have worried, it seems.
Because the Tel has brought reassurance. Under the headline “Russia ‘tried to meddle in Scottish vote’”, readers are told “Long-awaited report will lay bare Kremlin efforts to interfere in UK elections - but says there was no influence on Brexit”. And while the Tel has paywalled the article to the max, the Express has already lifted it.
They tell readers “Although the 50-page report did not state Russia had interfered in Brexit, it will claim there were attempts to divide the UK in 2014. According to the bombshell document, there is a ‘credible open-source commentary that Russia undertook to influence the campaign on Scottish independence’”. There was more.
“On its release, the ICS' document will criticise previous Governments for being too lenient on Moscow [look over there, not at Bozo] … One source said: 'The report will say that the desire by successive governments to tackle terrorism and a desire to have favourable relations with a better-behaving post-Soviet Russia failed to reflect that things changed dramatically under Putin’”. No effect on Brexit, and someone else done it.
But enough. This is a classic dead cat, and an all too obvious one. Why would Russia interfere in the Scottish independence vote but not the all-important Brexit one? Or is the Tel admitting that the gangsterist régime in the Kremlin did attempt to meddle in the EU vote, but somehow messed it up? That’s the problem with making it up on the hoof: the duly concocted story is all too easy to pick apart. Or falls apart all by itself.
Good to see, though, that someone out there is getting worried. Roll on later this morning.