8 of the most misleading promises of the Vote Leave campaign, ranked in order of preposterousness

Good afternoon, and welcome to a brave new EU-free world.

Just to recap: the UK has voted to leave the European Union in a result that came down to just 1.39m votes.

The value of the pound has dropped through the floor. Sinn Fein are calling for a united Ireland. Prime minister David Cameron has resigned. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has said that Scotland is looking at a new independence referendum. The Labour party has tabled a motion to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn.

And it's only lunchtime.

Leave campaign leaders Boris Johnson and Michael Gove promised the electorate an awful lot if we voted out, such as spending commitments to the tune of £111bn.

What's less clear, in the light of a fresh summer's day, is whether they actually have any clue whatsoever what the f--k they're going to do. It's not clear that they even really believed they could win.

Just some of the truthy flights of fancy that won't be coming true any time soon include:

1. We aren't going to see a fall in immigration levels

No one in the Leave campaign actually gave any target figures, at any time, ever. Conservative MEP Dan Hannan has already said this morning that people expecting immigration to come down will be "disappointed".

2. We aren't going to have an extra £100 million a week for the NHS

Nigel Farage has already told reporters today that the Leave campaign shouldn't have claimed that.

3. We aren't going to be able to stay in the single market

No other country has a set up like that: both France and Germany have made it abundantly clear that we are not going to be able to have our cake and eat it, ie, take advantage of the free-trade zone without contributing a single penny to it, as Leave says we will.

4. We aren't going to get our sovereignty back

Looks like we're going to get a new prime minister by the end of the autumn Conservative party conference. It'll be a short list of two people, nominated by MPs.

This unelected leader could then theoretically hold office unopposed until a general election has to be called in three year's time.

P.S. We still have the House of Lords. So there's that.

5. We aren't going to save £350m a week

The Leave claim that the UK gives £350m a week to the EU has been thoroughly debunked. But it was still emblazoned on their battle bus right up until the end:

6. We won't remain a world leader in research and development

UK investment in science and universities has dried up since the recession, whereas the EU gave us £7bn in science funding alone between 2007 - 2013.

We're also going to face new barriers to collaboration with European universities and research centres.

7. We aren't going to save £2bn on energy bills

Leave promised we could end VAT on household energy bills. While that's possible, it won't save us any money in reality because we rely on imports for so much of our energy.

Because the pound has fallen, inflation will go up, which means imports and thus our domestic energy bills will cost up to 12 per cent more than they currently do.

8. We aren't going to be a 'greater' Britain

Overnight the UK economy has already slumped from the fifth largest in the world to sixth.

More than £200 billion has already been wiped from the value of the UK stock market - or put another way, 24 years' worth of UK contributions to the EU.

Picture: Matt Frost/Getty
Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)