Wethersoon Charmain Tim Martin has spoken out criticising Prime Minister to reason May’s attempts to get her “Brexit” deal through parliament. Having been rejected three times with the possibility of it coming before Parliament for time Tim Martin says : “If the PM’s deal is approved, the public will shun EU suppliers – and UK companies which promoted Project Fear” says Tim Martin”
You don’t have to be a marketing genius to work out that angry British consumers will turn against EU companies, as well as UK politicians, if we end up paying reparations of £39 billion to Brussels, for which there is no legal liability, as a result of Theresa May’s ‘deal’.
The deal offers nothing in return, just the agony of further prolonged negotiations – and it has already been rejected three times by Parliament.
Wetherspoon has already switched from French and German brandy, champagne and beer to UK, American and Australian alternatives, with excellent results – there is pent-up demand for products from countries which support the aspirations implicit in Brexit.
Worse, the deal means that every shopping trip by a Brit will result in continued high prices, as we stay indefinitely in the protectionist customs union, resulting in invisible quotas and import taxes (tariffs) for oranges, rice, bananas, Aussie wine, children’s clothes and over 12,000 other products. Tariffs are collected by the UK government and sent to Brussels, costing shoppers billions every year.
And regaining control of fishing waters, where 60% of fish are today landed by non-UK boats, would also be delayed – probably forever, as our hopelessly pro-EU negotiating team bargain away coastal livelihoods for a ha’porth of tar.
Germany and France, as the main beneficiaries of the sclerotic eurozone economy, will suffer most. Cars, wine, cheese, hundreds of other products and continental holidays will all be in the firing line of irate UK customers – reparations which are perceived to be unjust cause deep wounds in the human psyche.
But consumers will also vent their wrath on UK companies and organisations which have paved the way for the deal – or, more damagingly, for a permanent customs union – by orchestrating Project Fear. The absurd scare stories and falsehoods haven’t generally fooled the public, but they appear to have hoodwinked gullible politicians, civil servants and the press.
Organisations like the CBI, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and the British Retail Consortium (BRC), representing businesses which are too lazy to think for themselves, have repeatedly made false claims about the imaginary dangers of leaving the EU without a deal, and of trading on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms.
The CBI has been the main promoter of rule from Brussels, helping to convince the government in the 1990s to join the disastrous exchange rate mechanism, which brought the country to the verge of economic collapse.
It then urged us to join the euro and its current chief, Carolyn Fairbairn, relentlessly issued apocalyptic warnings about voting leave and, more recently, about the need for a deal at any cost – an economically illiterate concept.
The BRC has adopted the same tone. Its chief executive, Helen Dickinson, misleadingly told the press in 2017 that from 30 March 2019 “imported goods will be subject to higher tariffs…For consumers this means higher prices.” Dickinson upped the ante in 2018, saying that “a No-Deal Brexit” would mean “reduced availability and higher prices of food and medicine…and a VAT bombshell for businesses”.
Ian Wright of the FDF, in the latest of many similar interventions, repeated the mendacious mantra on BBC TV last week that no deal would mean empty shelves and higher tariffs.
Company bosses have also been personally involved in these falsehoods. A Sunday Times headline in 2017 said that “Sainsbury’s boss David Tyler warns a ‘no deal’ Brexit would raise the cost of shopping”.
And in 2018 the same publication reported that “Senior executives from some of the big four supermarkets” had warned the Treasury that “a no-deal Brexit would force up the price of the average weekly food shop by as much as 12%”.
Notably, none of the major supermarkets sought to distance themselves from these claims.
Tesco and Sainsbury’s, for example, may be particularly vulnerable to retaliation from consumers. The europhile John Allan, Tesco chairman, is notoriously negative about Brexit and is also president of the CBI – a poisoned chalice for many of his customers.
And Martin Scicluna, chairman of Sainsbury’s, was previously chairman of zealously pro-EU accountants Deloitte, a branch of which is campaigning for a second referendum.
The UK public is extremely tolerant of debate- and understands that people have diverging views on many issues. However, Project Fear is a propaganda campaign, which has falsely claimed, over a number of years that prices will axiomatically rise in the event of no deal.
This proposition is, quite simply, untrue, since no deal allows the UK government to scrap thousands of import tariffs on non-EU imports, which will reduce prices; to save £39 billion; to regain control of fishing and to increase the level of democracy in the country.
By propagating false claims, and by undermining the political desire for independence, as expressed in the referendum result, some UK businesses and organisations, along with their EU counterparts, will pay a very high price.