EU Referendum Debate Summed Up In 40 Second 'Newsnight' Clip

'They don't know anymore than we do'.

21/06/2016 12:29 | Updated 21 June 2016

The EU referendum debate was an opportunity for the country's elected officials and financial and political experts to put forward sensible, coherent and convincing cases for the Leave and Remain camps.

Only this hasn't happened.

In the absence of anyone actually knowing for sure what would happen in the event of Brexit, the discourse surrounding the most important political decision in recent UK history descended into which side could scare the public the most.

It is within this environment that a short clip from BBC Newsnight highlighted by editor Ian Katz becomes particularly telling...

Chris Cook is interviewing two ladies in a cafe about who they trust in the debate.

He says: "So you don't trust Mark Carney or the Chancellor or the Prime Minister or Martin Lewis, or any of these people when they say we'll be poorer if we leave the EU?"

The ladies reply: "No, not really. They don't know anymore than we do. Do they know more, really?"

Cook responds: "The governor of the Bank of England is a specialist economist, central banker, brought in from Canada to help with our economy and he thinks it's a bad idea."

"Yeah but does he know what it's like to go round Sainsbury's shopping?", one of the ladies replies.

"Or to where people are all on benefits and spending tokens? 

"Does he know what it's like?"

Both sides in the debate have characterised the other as lying and fighting deceitful campaigns that have done little to hide the fact they are targeting people's fears and emotions rather that appealing to logic.

Even the perennially-restrained John Major has waded in to show his disgust at the “deceitful, depressing and awful” Leave camp.

The former Prime Minister, whose seven years in Downing Street in the 1990s were marked by Tory splits over the EU, accused Brexit campaigners of pumping out “a whole galaxy of inaccurate and frankly untrue information.”

On the other side of the fence, Nigel Farage last week accused the Remain camp of trying to link his campaign with the murder of MP Jo Cox.

After unveiling a poster that some said reminded them of Nazi propaganda from the 1930s, he said: "When I launched the poster there was no controversy at all.

“What we are seeing here is the prime minister and ‘Remain’ campaign trying to conflate the actions of one crazed individual with the motives of half of Britain who think we should get back control of our borders and do it sensibly and I think it’s quite wrong the way it’s being done.”

Suggest a correction