Opinion  

Boris bashing, the fear factor and Brexit

Emma Ann Hughes

Emma Ann Hughes

The political voices calling for us to remain in the European Union say change is to be feared and would damage the prosperity we enjoy.

Remain campaigners Nicola Sturgeon, first minister of Scotland, and former pensions minister Angela Eagle, took part in a televised debate last night and argued we all benefit from our membership of the European Union.

Just as Prime Minister David Cameron did earlier in the week during his televised question-and-answer session, the Remain campaigners last night repeatedly said our economy would be worse off if the UK left the European Union.

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The Remain campaigners warned of recession, the loss of workers rights and less protection for pensions if we vote to leave the European Union on 23 June.

They played on our nation’s fears – what if change means we are worse off?

Playing on our fears may well prove a tactic that delivers the result they want but the fact they keep saying we are enjoying prosperity could be what pushes many towards voting for a Brexit.

Because I don’t think most of my friends of all ages living in the UK today feel they are well off.

Mr Cameron would be branded a liar if he were to copy his predecessor Harold Macmillan who in 1957 said “most of our people have never had it so good”.

If the Remain campaigners think we are going to stick with the European Union because they say we have a strong economy then they may find themselves disappointed on 24 June.

The leave the EU campaigners were putting forward change and empowerment.

They argued the European Union was a noble idea that had failed to deliver value for money for the £350m a week they claim we pay to be part of it.

Boris Johnson, the former Mayor of London and leading Brexit campaigner, pointed out a city the size of Newcastle arriving in the UK every year was something our country was struggling to cope with.

Andrea Leadsom, former City minister who worked in the financial services industry for 25 years, said the truth is if we stay in the European Union there is no way to control our immigration.

She pointed out the Bank of England had observed immigration at current levels had pushed wages down.

Ms Leadsom said 80 per cent of the world’s economies were outside of the EU. She pointed out the makers of JCB were saying we would be fine it we left the European Union. Ms Leadsom also noted only 6 per cent of our companies export to nations in the European Union.

On the flipside, Nicola Sturgeon, first minister of Scotland and representing the Remain campaign, said a vote to remain was a vote to continue to access 500 million people in the European Union to trade with.