Thursday, 17 March 2016

The Guardian: The idea of Brexit is pure Project Fantasy. But the dangers are very real

The Guardian: The idea of Brexit is pure Project Fantasy. But the dangers are very real

by Alan Johnson

"As we enter what is in danger of being Britain’s final 100 days as a committed member of the European Union, the arguments being made by the leave campaigns have become increasingly muddled. Nigel Farage seems to want to take us back to an imaginary golden age.

And having struggled with an “agonisingly difficult” decision only last month over whether to back Brexit, Boris Johnson now seems to see no dangers whatsoever in leaving, and says doing so would lead to a “bright, bright future”. What exactly were you agonising over then, Boris?

Clearly, there is some deception going on. Johnson, Farage and the other Brexiters are quick to denounce anyone who spells out the facts about what Brexit would mean for Britain’s prosperity, security or influence as constituting “Project Fear”. But it is increasingly clear that the leave campaign is the one that is reliant upon deception – let’s call it Project Fantasy.

Project Fantasy goes like this. Diminish Britain’s standing by suggesting that Europe is somehow something that is done to us; ignore the ways in which, from terrorism to climate change, we are far more effective working with our partners; label all workers’ protections “red tape” and say the economy would be better off if we could scrap them; ignore the huge economic benefits our EU membership has brought us and try to convince people that there is a land of milk and honey waiting outside the EU without spelling out how to get there."

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