Fiona Twycross AM is an idiot
The latest piece of silly, hysterical scaremongering to emerge from the positive vision-challenged Remain campaign is the idea that London will somehow wither up and become a ghost town if we leave the European Union.
Normally such idiocy wouldn’t merit a response, but it is now being advanced by some fairly serious people, including elected London Assembly members, such as Fiona Twycross AM, writing in Left Foot Forward:
Londoners are also renowned for their openness, and it’s the welcome that visitors receive that draws so many people in.
It’s that latter point that is so important to consider when we discuss the ramifications of Brexit. If Britain choses to leave the EU next month it would effectively signal that we are pulling up the drawbridge and that London is closed for business.
Not only would this diminish our great city, it would discourage the tourists who contribute so much to our economy.
Yes. Because choosing to no longer be part of an ever-tightening political union of European countries is exactly the same thing as “pulling up the drawbridge” and turning our back on the world.
When we consider the major cities of other countries which foolishly failed to dissolve themselves into political union with their neighbours, naturally they are all complete fortresses, utterly hostile to would-be visitors. The reason that Canberra and Wellington are not top of the list of tourism cities is of course entirely because Australia and New Zealand stubbornly cling to the idea of being separate, independent countries. New York City, Toronto, Chicago and Los Angeles are all ghost towns because the governments of America and Canada failed to get together and realise that the only way to attract tourists is to form a political Union of the Americas.
But Fiona Twycross has expert testimony to back up her assertion, from the mouth of London First Tourism Director Matt Hill who says:
Cutting ourselves off from Europe is not in the interests of the tourism industry.
Any new barriers which add complexity and expense to holidaying or doing business in London will put at risk investment in the capital’s attractions, flagship stores and hospitality venues.
Because in the event of a Brexit vote, the government’s first actions will be to blockade the Channel Tunnel and blow up the runways at all of Britain’s major airports in order to most effectively sever our ties with other countries. Because that’s what Brexiteers want. Sure.
Twycross then has the nerve to say “this is not about scaremongering”. No, of course not, Fiona. You’re not trying to worry anybody. You’re just saying that if we don’t want supranational EU institutions to have primacy over our own parliament and supreme court, the world will end.
According to the capital’s promotion agency, London and Partners, in 2014 the capital’s tourism industry saw 17.4 million visitors. Their contribution to London’s economy stood at a huge £11.8 billion.
But perhaps most significantly, of these visitors 11.5 million (66 per cent of all tourists) originated in Europe, which shows just how important continental tourists are to London’s tourist economy.
Brexit could therefore mean a devastating loss of billions of pounds and put at risk thousands of jobs.
But why? Twycross doesn’t explain. Quite why any tourist would give a damn whether Britain remains inside a political union with 27 other countries or acts as an independent country like the United States, Canada or Australia is never explained. It is just disingenuously presented as received wisdom in the hope that nobody will notice how stupid it sounds.
If Remain supporters are going to continue claiming that leaving a political union is the same as “pulling up the drawbridge” and liable to result in billions of lost tourism revenue, then let’s see some figures to back it up. Not cooked up HM Treasury statistics which only look at apocalyptic scenarios while ignoring the most likely Brexit option (a controlled, safe exit to EFTA/EEA membership, retaining free movement of people and single market access), but a genuine, unbiased analysis.
Of course there will be none. Because Fiona Twycross, like too many others on the Remain side, is too scared to admit why she really wants Britain to stay in the European Union (because to do so would be politically toxic). And when the Remain campaign cannot be honest about why they love the EU so much, they instead resort to evasions, distractions and scaremongering to achieve their desired result without ever making the passionate case for Britain surrendering what remains of our independence and allowing ourselves to be fully dissolved into the common European state.
It’s a shame that Fiona Twycross and others in the Remain campaign lack the political courage to tell the truth about why they are so desperate for Britain to remain in the European Union. Not least because all of the fake reasons they are scrambling to come up with make them look really, really stupid.
Postscript: But full marks to Twycross for her sneaky, disingenous attempt to portray worrying about London’s status as the world’s top tourism destination as the “patriotic” thing, but worrying about Britain’s independence as a sovereign country as reckless and irresponsible. That takes some nerve.
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