Group complains of new "project fear" campaign in the UK

The leading cross-party grassroots campaign Get Britain Out says there has been an escalation of what it calls “Project Fear” in the UK.

 Jayne Adye, its director, said current reporting on Brexit “does not examine the complete reality of the situation.”

“The UK will still be a member of the WTO after Brexit, meaning the EU will be unable to intentionally discriminate against UK products without just reasoning. Given the UK has committed to maintaining high standards after Brexit, Project Fear reports are far-fetched, and are only aimed at scaring the  public.”

She added, “The WTO’s Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, for example, ensures regulations and inspection procedures must only be applied to meet health and safety standards, and must be removed if the scientific evidence is not sufficient.Unfortunately for Remain campaigners, there will not be gridlock under a No Deal Brexit. Global rules and institutions are in place to avoid such an outcome.Under the Trade Facilitation Agreement, the EU is obliged to work constructively with the UK to promote a border devoid of as much friction as possible.

 The WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) is in place to ensure trade between neighbouring countries remains as frictionless as possible. As both the UK and the EU are signatories to the TFA, this agreement commits both sides to coordinate their activities and facilities in such a way so as to promote cross-border trade."

She said, "Faisal Islam’s Sky TV piece went on to suggest that queues on the M20 would result from the EU imposing stringent checks on UK goods entering the continent after Brexit. Again, given the UK’s stated commitment to upholding high regulatory standards after Brexit, such excessive checks would contravene Article V of the TFA.

"Through sleight of hand, the biased report moves from claiming concern is chiefly over food safety checks, to lumping all lorries into a calculation over projected disruption. This artificially inflates the problem to create panic where there shouldn't be. 

"The report fails to actually acknowledge how current WTO rules operate with regards to customs checks, instead choosing the unchallenged view of just two members of the public." 

 Jayne Adye added, “The British public deserve to know the truth about the WTO, rather than the myths being peddled as part of Project Fear Mark II.

“The WTO is itself a trading arrangement which seeks to enhance the amount of trade between its Member States. It is NOT the Armageddon many in the Remain media portray it as.There are numerous multilateral agreements which deal with cross-border trade. After Brexit the EU will be forced to adhere to them or risk being taken to the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Procedure. A case the UK would certainly win. Unfortunately for Remain campaigners, there will not be gridlock under a No Deal Brexit. Global rules and institutions are in place to avoid such an outcome.

“Under the Trade Facilitation Agreement, the EU is obliged to work constructively with the UK to promote a border devoid of as much friction as possible."

Meanwhile, a senior German MEP Elmar Brok, a controversial figure who once successfully invoked parliamentary immunity in order to avoid income tax evasion charges,has risked incurring the wrath of Brexiteers after he backed the campaign for a second Brexit referendum in the UK.

He also says that the European Union should have campaigned for Remain in the June 2016 vote so it could have confronted "lies" spread by Brexiteers.

 Brok is a former foreign affairs committee chair and member of parliament’s Brexit steering group chaired by Alde leader Guy Verhofstadt.

 Brok, a close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, told German newspaper FAZ that a second vote could avoid a chaotic Brexit. 

"If there is no exit agreement by March 29 2019 a hard Brexit will occur. So a referendum in December or January...could avert a hard Brexit," said  Brok, the Brexit Co-ordinator of the European People's Party.

He added, in remarks likely to anger Brexiteers, that the EU should have been allowed to take part in the referendum campaign in the UK in 2016.

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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