Project Fear: Predictions vs Reality
Project Fear is a complete laughing stock. Barely a day ges by without new evidence that Britain is prospering, and attracting huge waves of investment, as we head out of the EU. Let's just do it without delay
Time and again we are informed by those peddling the campaign of scaremongering known as ‘Project Fear’ that Brexit spells the end of economic growth and industrial development within Britain. However, when reality hits, these claims are blown out of the water.
As yet another reminder of the regular collapse of Project Fear 'predictions', last week Jaguar Land Rover announced over £1 billion-worth of investment in its British factories. This money is earmarked for development of brand-new electric cars -- specifically the electric version of their XJ model – within its Castle Bromwich factory in a suburb of Birmingham.
This will be only the second electric car constructed wholly in the United Kingdom. The intention is to also build a battery construction plant in the Midlands, which would be the first in the UK.
As a result, the UK would lead the charge in the development of new electric car models around the world, and with demand for these batteries only increasing, the potential economic boost is likely to be astronomical. This also, of course, bolsters the UK’s ambition to slash CO2 emissions, a goal restated by Boris Johnson in his first speech as Prime Minister on the steps of 10 Downing Street.
The car industry's supposed abject opposition to Brexit has also been challenged in the last few days. The CEO of Aston Martin has made it clear his business would vastly prefer a No Deal Brexit in October compared to the prospect of further delays. He argued that businesses need to know where they stand, and No Deal gives them this certainty.
The ‘Remainer’ proposals for further delays, kicking the can down the road, or their preferred option of the abandonment of Brexit entirely, have caused a huge amount of business uncertainty for customers and investors, as well as the British people.
The benefits of a clear message are mirrored in record levels of investment within Financial Technology (FinTech), which occurred in the first few months of 2019, despite the clear possibility of a No Deal Brexit taking place on March 29th. After all, Theresa May confirmed well over 100 times at the Despatch Box that, Deal or No Deal, we would be out of the EU on March 29th. Instead, Theresa May and her majority Remain Cabinet backtracked and delayed.
Now that we have Boris Johnson as our new Prime Minister -- with over 66% of the votes from Conservative Party Members -- Conservative MPs have a clear message on Brexit. ‘Remain’ MPs in predominantly ‘Leave’ constituencies will feel pressure from their constituents to finally honour the vote of the Referendum, resign, or be deselected.
If brilliant car and FinTech industry news isn’t enough to thoroughly rubbish the attempts of Project Fear to try and keep the UK in the failing EU, then last week’s statistics showing unemployment continuing to fall to record lows, partnered by the increase in wages to the highest point in over a decade, is another hammer blow to claims the vote to Leave the EU would cause the British economy to fall into disrepair.
Wage rises are the most notable out of both these two success stories. This comes in parallel to a reduction in immigration from EU countries since June 2016. In other words, we can see the correlation already beginning to form between a reduction in immigration from EU countries, which undercuts the wages of British workers, and has resulted in an increase in real terms salaries of working people in Britain.
This is much to the dismay of the pro-EU Labour Party, which signed the UK up to open door immigration from all over Europe. Boris Johnson on the other hand, while welcoming the benefits migration can present to a country, has committed to restricting immigration to those people who offer the most to our country, using an Australian points-style system.
This will mean British workers will be given the chances they deserve. Alongside this, to ensure the hardest working in Britain are rewarded for their input, Boris Johnson has committed to an increased National Living Wage.
In the last 2 weeks we have seen sensible and innovative investment into the car industry; record investment in FinTech; record low unemployment and the highest wage levels for over a decade. The argument will be made about the UK not having left the EU yet, but it is now very clear Brexit is going to happen.
Investors and the country are liking the new Brexit certainty which Boris Johnson’s leadership is promising to bring. What Boris needs to do now is finish the job and Get Britain Out of the EU by Halloween.
The new Brexiteer-dominated Cabinet and MPs need to get behind our new Prime Minister, and push forward - with Boris Johnson at the helm - to finally deliver the will of the Great British Public.
Let’s continue to banish ‘Project Fear’ to the history books. No longer can we allow the #DespiteBrexit narrative to pass without pointing out its drastic deficiencies.
Instead we should replace it with #BecauseOfBrexit -- a tribute to the successes of a Britain heading out of the EU which has the merit of reflecting the hard facts.
Joshua Mackenzie-Lawrie is a Research Executive at cross-party grassroots campaign Get Britain Out
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