The brains behind the Vote Leave campaign this week branded Brexit a “train wreck” as he attacked the Government, civil servants and MPs for their handling of getting the UK out of the EU.
Dominic Cummings’ rant on the way Brexit is being delivered is the latest about-face from Leave campaigners, who are increasingly finding reality is not quite bending to their will in the negotiations with the EU.
Theresa May – who lukewarmly campaigned for Remain in the 2016 Referendum – has also found herself guilty of over-promising, particularly on the UK’s future customs policy.
Caroline Lucas, supporter of the People’s Vote campaign for a referendum on the final deal, said: “Leave campaigners used to claim that Brexit would be a piece of cake and totally cost-free, with no downsides whatsoever. Now they’re crashing head-first into reality.
She added: “With the costs of Brexit mounting up, and with the fantasy benefits melting away, we need a People’s Vote at the end of this shambolic process, so that the British people can decide for themselves whether or not the Brexit deal on offer is good enough.”
Here Are 5 Times Leavers Claimed Brexit Would Be Free Or Easy…And Were Proved Wrong.
1) Divorce Bill
In April 2017, before she was a Minister in the Brexit department, Suella Braverman appeared on Question Time and claimed any talk of a Brexit divorce bill was just part of “Project Fear” that should come with a health warning: “Don’t believe it.”
But this week she appeared before the parliamentary Brexit Committee and admitted that the UK would be paying £39billion to the EU as a divorce settlement, without the payment even being conditional on getting a trade deal at the end.
2) Real Wage Suppression
In October 2016, Brexit Secretary David Davis said “there will be no downside to Brexit at all, and considerable upsides.”
This week, the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, described how real household income is now £900 lower than forecast before the EU referendum.
3) Trade Deals
In February this year, the International Trade Secretary Liam Fox indicated that Australia and New Zealand were top priorities for a post-Brexit UK trade deal.
But this week, Australia and New Zealand decided to launch trade talks with the EU instead.
The EU estimates that trade agreements with these two countries could boost EU exports to Australia and New Zealand by about a third.
4) ‘Free and Frictionless’ Trade
In March 2017, the Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons she wanted a deal with the EU delivering “free and frictionless trade”.
This week, the Chief Executive of HMRC, Jon Thompson, told the parliamentary Treasury Committee that the Brexiters preferred customs arrangements (the so-called ‘Max Fac’ solution that relies heavily on technology) could cost businesses up to £20 billion per year.
5) Security Cooperation
Also in March 2017, Theresa May was accused of trying to blackmail the EU into providing the UK with a good trade deal by threatening to withdraw security cooperation.
But this week, a row has blown up over UK participation in the EU’s new satellite navigation system, Galileo. The estimated cost of setting up a rival UK system from scratch is up to £3 billion.