There’s been much talk since the EU referendum of Brexiters backpedalling on promises they gave voters: £350m a week for the NHS, a points-based immigration system, that the economy wouldn’t tank after the vote.
Now campaign group ‘Open Britain’ are pointing out the sudden change some architects of the ‘Leave’ operation have performed on what Brexit means for our place in the Single Market.
First Tory MEP Daniel Hannan was skewered on the subject by Newsnight’s Evan Davies.
But now he, Nigel Farage and Vote Leave chief Matthew Elliot have been spliced together in one 90-second clip decrying a place for post-Brexit Britain outside the Single Market, the system that means countries can trade without tariffs based on agreements on things like immigration.
The video includes highlights such as:
“Absolutely nobody is talking about threatening our place in the Single Market”
“Only a madman would actually leave the Market”
And when you remember that Norway are in the Single Market but not the EU, it makes these quotes quite awkward reading.
“Wouldn't it be terrible if we were really like Norway and Switzerland? Really? They're rich. They're happy. They're self-governing”
“The Norwegian option, the EEA option, I think that it might be initally attractive for some business people”
“Increasingly, the Norway option looks the best for the UK”
Those messages make uncomfortable reading when you look at the post-referendum discussion of what Britons voted for on June 23.
Farage himself said less than two months after the poll that remaining in the Single Market would be a “betrayal” of the 17.4 million people who voted for Brexit.
Commenting on the sudden change of heart, Anna Soubry MP argued that the referendum vote had given a mandate for Brexit, but not one to pursue a “hard, destructive Brexit”.
She said: “Leave campaigners told some misleading tales during the referendum campaign and now they are at it again on the Single Market.
“Nigel Farage and his chums like to pretend they’ve always wanted to leave the Single Market but Open Britain’s video shows the opposite is true – they used to wax lyrical about Single Market membership.
“There is a mandate to leave the EU but there is no mandate to pursue a hard, destructive Brexit.
“Brextremists like Nigel Farage need to checked before they are allowed to pull the UK out of the world’s largest and most sophisticated trading bloc of 500 million consumers, which creates jobs, drives growth and keeps prices lower in the shops.”