Throughout the Brexit process, the UK Government has descended deeper and deeper into paralysis – with no plan, no direction, and no authority as Tory MPs wage an open civil war.
Theresa May, by laying down her red lines, chose to be hamstrung by a narrow faction of Tory Brexit extremists – the engineers of Brexit who over-promised and delivered nothing.
As we head into the European election that the Tories are hiding from, we thought we’d remind them of just a few of their broken Brexit promises.
There will be no downside to Brexit, only a considerable upsideDavid Davis, 14 July 2016
1) Brexit will be easy and will have no downsides
Reality: Almost three years since the EU referendum, the UK government is still in paralysis over Brexit, while thousands of jobs are being slashed and the economy is suffering.
Honda, Nissan and Rolls-Royce have already scaled down major operations and announced thousands of job cuts.
The European Medicines Agency has recently relocated from London to Amsterdam, resulting in a loss of 900 high-skilled jobs.
Even Somerset Capital Management, a company co-founded by Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg, warned about the “considerable uncertainty” caused by Brexit.
The ongoing Brexit shambles has already brought about enormous damage, which would only be exacerbated if we actually leave the EU.
Theresa May’s negotiating plan deliberately dodged economic logic, purely to appease the hardline Tory Brexiteers who ended up rejecting her deal anyway.
The people who promised ‘sunlit uplands’ sold lies to the electorate, ran away from responsibility, and have been holding the Government to ransom ever since.
The free trade agreement that we will do with the European Union should be one of the easiest in human historyLiam Fox, 20 July 2017
2) Numerous new trade deals would be ready by 29 March 2019
Reality: Britain can only start negotiating deals with third countries during the transition period, which is now set to begin on the 1st November. It cannot implement any trade deals before December 2020 – the end of the transition period.
As a European Union member, we are already part of 40 trade deals, spanning more than 70 countries.
If the UK leaves with no deal on the 31st October, it will immediately lose these deals, causing widespread harm to businesses, leading to price rises and slashing jobs.
The UK will regain control over our domestic fisheries management rules and access to our waters.Theresa May, 3 March 2017
3) Britain will take back control of fisheries after Brexit
Reality: Throughout the transition period, the EU will have continued access to UK fishing waters, and what’s more, the EU demanded reciprocal access to UK waters as part of any future trade deal.
It’s been evident for decades that Tories consider Scotland’s fishing communities to be ‘expendable’, which only became clearer when Theresa May’s Brexit negotiations resulted in a shameful sell-out of Scotland’s fisheries.
Ruth Davidson’s 13 Scottish Tory MPs claimed they would vote against any Brexit deal that didn’t “restore complete control and full sovereignty” of Scotland’s waters. Theresa May’s deal doesn’t even come close to achieving that, but the majority of Scottish Tories have rolled over to their Westminster bosses and backed the deal.
Scots Tory MPs letter to PM on 14/11 says specifically that “access and quota shares cannot be included in the Future Economic Partnership”. Political Declaration now agreed shows they have been. The 13 therefore cant support May’s #Brexit deal ( including @DavidMundellDCT ) pic.twitter.com/KpqFQ1oM9a
— Michael Russell (@Feorlean) November 22, 2018
We send the EU £350 million a week, let’s fund our NHS insteadThat infamous Vote Leave bus, 2016
4) Brexit will give the NHS extra £350 million a week
Reality: Even Nigel Farage, just hours after the referendum result, dismissed the £350m claim as false.
But the Tories have repeatedly recycled Vote Leave’s lie by claiming that leaving the European Union will result in more money for the NHS.
Vast amounts of analysis from the UK government, the Scottish Government, and independent organisations, all show that the UK’s economy would be smaller under all forms of Brexit, impacting NHS spending levels.
Worse still, the Tories’ hardline plans to cut immigration will make it harder for the NHS to attract and retain the talented medical staff from EU countries. Scotland has an estimated 26,000 EU nationals working in health and social care, and cutting immigration will put our NHS under more pressure.
Brexit is bad for Scotland’s health and the Tories are throwing our NHS under the bus.
If we vote Leave, we will be able to increase funding to science and still save billionsVote Leave, 14 June 2016
5) Brexit will mean more money for scientists
Reality: 29 Nobel Prize winners and leading scientists warned Theresa May in an open letter, written in October 2018, that Brexit will cause a cut of £1bn to science funding that came from the EU.
What’s more, the UK Government’s plans to cut immigration will negatively affect the mobility of scientists, and a no-deal Brexit would put research and study exchange programmes, such as Erasmus, at risk.
Scotland’s and the UK’s research reputation depends on its openness, collaborations and ability to attract the world’s best scientists – all of which Brexit will undermine.
There will be no change to the border between Northern Ireland and the RepublicMichael Gove, Boris Johnson, Priti Patel, 1st June 2016
6) Brexit will not be a problem for the Irish border
Reality: The Irish border issue has been one of the most intractable parts of the Brexit negotiations, and hardline Brexiteers who are driving the UK Government’s agenda are prepared to put the Good Friday Agreement at risk.
While the UK Government has been prepared to ride roughshod over Northern Ireland’s interests by pandering to the DUP, the EU has been unflinching in the solidarity it’s shown to the Republic of Ireland and the peace process.
Further demonstrating the vast benefits of being an independent state in the EU, compared with the consistent silencing and sidelining of Scotland’s interests by Westminster.
No means we stay in, we are members of the European Union.Ruth Davidson, 2 September 2014
7) The only way to preserve Scotland’s EU membership was to vote No
This ridiculous claim by the Better Together has not aged well.
What is process for removing our EU citizenship? Voting yes. #scotdecides
— Better Together (@UK_Together) September 2, 2014
Scotland in 2014 was told by Better Together to “lead, not leave” the United Kingdom which was a “partnership of equals”. However, it has never been clearer that successive UK Governments are prepared to ride roughshod over Scotland’s interests and think they can get away with it.
Brexit is an isolationist project of the hard-right and it was squarely rejected by Scotland’s voters. However, the Tories couldn’t care less about Scotland’s voters.
We now need a public vote with an option to remain, so that Scotland has the chance to escape from the Brexit mess. And it’s not just us who agree.
If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracyDavid Davis, November 2012
David Davis used to vocally support the membership of the customs union.
Now, he’s fervently opposed – instead preferring the hardest possible Brexit that would slash hundreds of thousands of jobs and inflict serious damage on the economy.
When questioned in the Exiting the EU Committee as the Brexit Secretary, he said he changed his mind. It’s fundamentally wrong that MPs get to change their mind, but the public can’t.
Scotland’s future lies in Europe.
This European election, on May 23, every vote for the SNP is a vote to make clear that Scotland says no to Brexit.
Labour and the Tories are both committed to delivering Brexit, ignoring Scotland’s clear wish of remaining in the EU. It’s a democratic outrage that we’re now being dragged out against our will.
Their support for Brexit is riding roughshod over Scotland’s interests – slashing jobs, hurting businesses, and taking away opportunities from young people.
We need to send the Westminster parties a strong message. Scotland will not be ignored any more.