Debunking BSE’s ‘Brexit Jobs Threat’ Misinformation Campaign

The “Remain” campaign misrepresent and exaggerate every claim about jobs that might possibly be at risk from Brexit, but fall deafeningly silent on the innumerable jobs which are never created in the first place thanks to Britain’s EU membership

Here is Britain Stronger in Europe’s latest attempt to frighten and deceive the British people into thinking that a vote for independence from the EU’s explicitly political union will somehow cost millions of jobs at home and mysteriously devastate the sixth largest economy in the world.

It’s predictable stuff and spans only 30 seconds – any longer and the cracks in BSE’s argument would start to show – but it is worth watching, if only because it reveals a strategy which will be used to pummel the “Leave campaign” every day between now and the EU referendum.

BSE’s video attempts to take the words of Vote Leave campaign chairman, Dominic Cummings, and use them against the Brexit movement. Whatever Cummings’ other flaws may be (and they are well documented), the point he made here was an honest one and in no way injurious to the Brexit cause, though BSE were more than happy to misrepresent him and throw their hand up in mock horror to score a cheap political point.

What more would we expect from an organisation fronted by intellectual firebrands like June Sarpong?

The video begins with the alarmist splash “Even the Out campaign admits JOBS ARE AT RISK if we leave the EU”. Dramatic, no? The source is audio footage from a recent Spectator debate on Brexit, in which Dominic Cummings is asked “Would none of these jobs be at risk?”

Cummings responds:

“I think in the short term there would be, there are definitely problems for some areas, yes.”

This is then predictably presented by BSE as “smoking gun” evidence that Brexit would cast us all into penury, with every single job even distantly linked to trade with EU countries being lost.

BSE - Brexit Lies - 2

This myth depends on the public being dim enough to believe that the only options available to Britain are to either remain part of an antidemocratic political union, or else become an insular, Anglo-Saxon version of North Korea, shut off from the world and not trading with anyone. Which is of course complete nonsense.

Will some jobs inevitably be impacted by Britain leaving the EU? Yes, of course. All of those diplomatic and political jobs directly associated with Britain’s EU membership will go, of course. But this isn’t what BSE are talking about – they are talking about the 3 million jobs which they consistently misrepresent as being on the chopping block if we vote to leave.

BSE - Brexit Lies - 1

Guido Fawkes explains how this laughable claim was debunked by the author of the study on which it is based:

At the Spectator’s EU debate last night, the original source of the figure blasted the pro-EU camp for repeatedly misrepresenting him. LSE professor Iain Begg says the assertion that 3 million jobs rely on membership has been a “persistent misrepresentation” by the Remainers. Representing the BSE campaign, Will Straw admitted that 3 million jobs do not “depend” on the EU, spinning that they are only “linked“, to laughs from the room. He said it was a “mistake” for Remainers to previously use the figure and BSE would not use it.

One week later and BSE are still using this erroneous claim, taking the raw number and misrepresenting it to strongly imply that this many jobs will be immediately lost as a direct consequence of Brexit.

It is foolish to think that our European friends would kneecap their own economies by erecting unreasonable barriers to trade with Britain in the event of us leaving the EU. Both sides import and export to one another, and both would be hit by punitive tariffs. For those concerned that Brexit would be a leap into the unknown, then the Flexcit plan produced by Dr. Richard North is essential reading as it outlines a smooth, step-by-step process for Britain leaving the EU while maintaining essential co-operation with Europe and securing favourable trading terms.

Yes, a small number of jobs would inevitably be lost as Britain extricates itself from a political union and turns to face the world as an independent nation once again. But this isn’t some showstopper of a calamity. Jobs are lost every day as old industries close down or become irrelevant, and new industries spring up in their place. And this is a good thing at the macro level. Britain used to make the best, most technologically advanced steam trains in the world – the Mallard still holds world records – but you don’t go on stubbornly producing steam trains in the age of diesel and electric locomotives. The loss of some jobs can indicate an economy repositioning itself for the future.

More to the point, all of this fearful, pessimistic talk about potential lost jobs only serves to distract our attention from the millions of jobs which were never created in the first place because Britain lacks the freedom to chart our own economic and regulatory course so long as we remain in the European Union.

BSE throw around their scaremongering, deceitful  “3 million jobs at risk” factoid knowing not only that it is false, but also that it is impossible to rebut with a counterfactual – the number of British jobs which were killed in the crib, never seeing the light of day, all because the EU insists on harmonisation of everything across a political union of twenty-eight diverse countries.

But although nobody can produce such a counterfactual, it is not at all unreasonable to assume that without the constraints of suffocating EU social policy and employment law, businesses (particularly small and medium sized enterprises) would have had far more freedom and confidence to invest, grow and create the new jobs of the future.

As with so many other aspects of the EU referendum debate, BSE’s “Brexit jobs threat” comes down to differing assessments of the wisdom of the British people. The “Remain” campaign are banking on the British people being fearful, pessimistic, ill-informed and stupid. That’s the only way that their non-sequitur of a campaign message – that our continued membership of an unwanted political union is the only way to secure prosperity for one of the most powerful countries in the world – can possibly succeed.

Those of us who support the “Leave” campaign, on the other hand, choose to place our trust in the wisdom, optimism and dynamism of the British people. We believe that the British people are smart enough to understand that free trade and good co-operation with our European neighbours does not require a parliament, a European government, courts superior to our own, common foreign and security policies or the continued silencing of Britain as an independent player on the world stage.

We believe that the British people understand that while other European countries may want these things, they are not for Britain, and that saying no to political union does not mean becoming a closed, insular Fortress Britain.

We will run a positive campaign to educate the British people of these facts, so that they can make an informed decision uncoloured by scaremongering or warnings of imminent apocalpyse.

And the way you know that we hold the British people in higher regard than the pro-EU fanatics is that because unlike them, we do not resort to lies, tricks and manipulations like Britain Stronger in Europe’s risible “3 million jobs” threat.

Britain Stronger in Europe - Will Straw

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