13 lies in a StrongerIN campaign video

I count 13 deliberate deceptions in the StrongerIN propaganda video:

Why does a so-called positive campaign need to employ so many deceptions in the span of less than 2 minutes? Is it because they don’t actually have a strong case for staying in the EU?

In this article, I count the number of lies and misleading half-truths in a 109-second video from the IN campaign…

Deception 1 – “Invoking Article 50 means at least 2 and up to 10 years to negotiate terms of Brexit” (7 seconds in)
Truth: Two years is the maximum, not the minimum. This maximum can only be extended if every country agrees to it. [1]

Deception 2 – “other EU members have all the control” (13 seconds in)
Truth: The withdrawing Member State will negotiate in the terms of withdrawal, and the withdrawing member state will not participate in the European Council discussions, so that it is not negotiating with itself. [1]

Deception 3 – “new trade agreements would mean new tariffs and paperwork” (26 seconds)
Truth: The point of trade agreements is to reduce tariffs and paperwork, not increase it.

Deception 4 – “820,000 jobs would be lost” (28 seconds)
Truth: In 2015, the employment turnover rate was 8%. That translates to over a million people losing their job and gaining a new one every year. [2]

Deception 5 – “Prices would increase in UK shops” (33 seconds)
Truth: Outside of the EU tariff zone, some prices would increase, such as expensive goods from the EU, and some prices would decrease, such as cheaper goods from developing countries.

Deception 6 – “UK workers would no longer have vital rights protected by EU law” (37 seconds)
Truth: All current EU directives are already written into UK law, which will stay in place after withdrawal from the EU. Furthermore, UK labour laws are already more generous than EU requirements, such as 5.6 weeks paid annual leave (28 days) over the EU’s 20 days. [3] For what it’s worth, workers rights protections were already established in the UK before it joined the EU. [4]

Deception 7 – “Your family’s freedom to work, travel, retire and study in the EU could be lost.” (41 seconds)
Truth: Work permits, tourist visas, student visas, and retirement visas will facilitate EU travel and residency easily, without requiring total free movement of people. It is in the interest of the countries concerned to issue these migrants who meet these visa requirements actually contribute to the country.

Deception 8 – “Britain would no longer have access to the European Arrest Warrant” (47 seconds)
Truth: Having access to the European Arrest Warrant also means being subject to it. The UK is generally more stringent with its checks than most of the EU, but with the EAW, countries which have a poor human rights record are able to force the UK to extradite suspects without equally stringent checks. [5]

Deception 9 – “…the value of the pound would drop…” (59 seconds)
Truth: the drop in the value of the pound would decrease the cost of UK products on the international level, thus increasing exports and foreign investment. The reduced spending power at the international level would also decrease imports and increase domestic spending. All of these are positive contributary factors toward a growing economy. [6]

Deception 10 – “… interest rates on your mortgage would rise” (61 seconds)
Truth: Rising interest rates are actually an indication of a growing economy. If interest rates on mortgages rise, interest rates on savings accounts also rise.

Deception 11 – “over time families would be worse off by £4300 per year” (69 seconds)
Truth: This estimate deliberately conflates income levels with GDP. GDP represents how much money goes around in the country’s economy. It does not reflect actual income rates. [7]

Deception 12 – “36 billion pounds of spending cuts” (72 seconds)
Truth: As before, this attempts to project to a degree of detail over a period that is unrealistic by any economic model. This represents less of a forecast and more of a threat.

Deception 13 – “…lose its world influence and say in global decisions” (80 seconds)
Truth: A position in the EU represents a seat at the European-only table. Actual global influence is in institutions such as the World Trade Organisation, International Standards Organisation (ISO), North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the Security Council, the G8 forum, the United Nations, etc. As a member of the EU, positions in some of these institutions are actually sacrificed because the EU has its own representation that supersedes that of the UK’s. These representatives do not represent the UK and thus are not obliged to act in the interests of the UK. Many international organisations are actually headquartered in the UK.

[1] http://www.lisbon-treaty.org/wcm/the-lisbon-treaty/treaty-on-European-union-and-comments/title-6-final-provisions/137-article-50.html
[2] https://www.cipd.co.uk/binaries/labour-market-outlook_2015-summer-2015.pdf
[3] https://fullfact.org/europe/eu-and-paid-holidays/
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_labour_law_in_the_United_Kingdom#Post_War_consensus
[5] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23239493
[6] http://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/devaluation.asp?o=40186&l=dir&qsrc=1&qo=serpSearchTopBox&ap=investopedia.com
[7] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36073201


Author: Hoong-Wai

I'm a sinner. I have an interest in economics, philosophy, politics, science, sociology, technology, theology (in alphabetical order). I care about truth and justice. I can be a contrarian.

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