The (br)exit of honest statistics – An opinion piece by Xavier Hatfield

According to Justice Minister Rory Stewart’s keen sense of belief, 80% of the British Public supported Theresa May’s draft Brexit deal before knowing what it contained.

Stewart “produced” this entirely false percentage while being interviewed on BBC Radio 5 on the 15th of November, a statement he later released an apology for.

Sadly this kind of creativity with statistics and ignorance has been common over the last few years; from the lead up to the referendum where the big red bus promised we would save £350 million a week that would instead fund the NHS if we left the EU, which has since been shown to be untrue; to it being admitted that much of the “research” conducted on leaving the EU was never actually done – that those in control had little idea of what Brexit would entail.

More recently it was revealed that Dominic Raab, who at the time was Brexit Secretary, had not fully understood the importance of the Calais – Dover crossing for UK trade. Since then he, and a number of other members of parliament have resigned over the Brexit deal.

In 2017 it was reported that 44% of the UK’s export in goods and services went to other EU nations. That 44% equates to £274 billion of £616 billion of UK exports, and in 2016 it was reported that the UK depends on the channel tunnel alone for £90 billion a year in EU trade which is roughly 15% of the total value of UK export.

As we draw closer to the end of Brexit negotiations the public still seems to be being fed misleading statistics, and that the heads of government seem unwilling to listen to the growing number of people, particularly the “youth”, that demand a second referendum to stop Brexit.

Despite often being reported as a homogenous group in 2016 70% of 18-24’s voted to remain, and though that only accounted for 64% of 18-24’s, the number of “young people” taking a serious interest in politics and Brexit seems to be on the rise with over ten thousand attending the People’s Vote March for the Future last month.

However, though growing, the number of remainers in a recent poll was marked as 54%, and if there was to be a people’s vote there is no guarantee the outcome would change though it is still 2% higher than the leave vote that set the UK on this course.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *