Facts, Facts, And BBC Facts.



This should have been up this morning but I guess there were a few gremlins in the system……


The BBC blitzed the Leave campaign’s suggestion that the NHS would benefit from money now given to the EU being handed instead directly to the NHS without the EU taking its cut and the EU deciding how it should be spent.  Here’s a couple of examples of the BBC’s coverage of the NHS and the EU…

Laura Kuenssberg laid on the subtle undermining remarks in this report….she represents it all as a Leave campaign tactical trick to fool the voters….

Vote Leave target undecided voters over NHS

First, the claim itself is not entirely straightforward.

There have also been very serious warnings from unions, the health secretary and some health experts about the impact leaving the EU would have on the NHS.

Senior Leave campaigners acknowledge privately that the situation is a bit more complicated than the slogan on their banners would suggest.

At a campaign event in Manchester tonight, Boris Johnson just about admitted as much to me – although the pro-Leave audience was none too pleased that the question had been put.

But they have a very clear political reason for pushing the NHS, even thought it’s not an issue you’d normally associate with the debate about the EU.

Sources in the campaign tell me that the ears of undecided voters prick up suddenly when they start talking about money that could, as they claim, otherwise be spent on the NHS.

The next part of the argument that appeals, they say, is that immigration is putting pressure on the NHS, and of course much of that strain is from EU migrants.

They argue it is the most effective way of getting undecided voters on their side.

And that is the task of the main Vote Leave campaign.

Then there is the BBC’s ‘reality Check’…reported by ….

Reality Check: How much pressure do EU migrants put on NHS?

What’s the true cost of EU migration to the NHS?

What about EU citizens who live and work here? There aren’t any figures for how much they cost the NHS.

We do know there are around three million people from other EU countries resident in the UK and all are entitled to use NHS services. That definitely adds to demand.

But crucially those people would be unlikely to leave the UK, even if the UK left the EU.

How can she dismiss 3 million immigrants and the pressure that puts on the NHS?  She is after all asking How much pressure do EU migrants put on NHS?      Obviously that should take account of those here already.

Other than that quick mention she doesn’t bother with the actual pressures on the NHS that so many new patients place upon it.  Last week we heard about the record figures attending A&E and doctors were on the BBC saying it was due to immigration and an older population.  As always the BBC sweeps the immigration bit under the carpet.

She provides a flurry of figures about money but they can be made to say anything…we all know the truth that GP surgeries and A&E are bulging at the seams due to immigration.

She then gets onto the usual defence that the NHS needs migrant employees….well if we had fewer migrants flooding into the country the NHS would need fewer employees to look after them…its a circular thing.

Here’s the final verdict:

Reality Check verdict: There are no figures to show the exact cost to the NHS, but the three million EU citizens already here are likely to stay even if we leave the EU.

So the BBC’s little nudge?  That even if you leave the EU you’ll still have all those migrants here already, so you might as well vote Stay.  Which kind of misses the point….we’re already full so leaving will help to stop another 3 million coming here.

Wonder how the BBC will react to the latest from the Stay campaign…..

NHS and public services will face billions in cuts if Britain votes to leave EU, George Osborne to warn

Ah look…here’s the first BBC response…all very amenable and positive about the government’s message…by Kamal Ahmed…..

EU exit will hit trade and living standards, Treasury says

Many believe that businesses will move at least part of their operations to the continent of Europe to be within the EU single market.

Borrowing costs for the government could also rise as investors demand higher repayments for supporting the UK’s debts as the economy weakens.

I am told it has taken months to prepare and those that support Britain leaving the EU are likely to attack it as being government-sponsored “propaganda”.

Vote Leave immediately dismissed the report as “just the latest erroneous pro-EU economic assessment published by the government over the last 40 years”.

Treasury sources insisted to me the report was a “sober assessment”.

I am told the analysis, written by government economists, looks at three scenarios in the event of a vote to leave the EU in the 23 June referendum.

Sources have told me that each scenario had a strong negative impact on the economy, according to the report.

The 6% fall in GDP is described as the “middle option”, not the most damaging (a WTO-style deal) and not the least damaging (an EEA deal).

Under the middle option, the UK strikes a Canada-style bilateral deal with EU partners.

Writing in The Times on Monday, Chancellor George Osborne says: “Put simply‎: over many years, are you better off or worse off if we leave the EU?

“The answer is: Britain would be worse off, permanently so, and to the tune of £4,300 a year for every household.

“It is a well-established doctrine of economic thought that greater openness and interconnectedness boosts the productive potential of our economy.

“That’s because being an open economy increases competition between our companies, making them more efficient in the face of consumer choice, and creates incentives for business to innovate and to adopt new technologies.”

A bit tacked on the end from John Redwood criticising the claims but all in all Kamal has had a good stab at putting the government’s case I think.

Interesting to see yet more BBC follow ups and how they dissect this….as forensically and frantically as they did with the Brexit NHS claims?






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One Response to Facts, Facts, And BBC Facts.

  1. Edward says:

    Can I just share a ‘Reality Check’ of my own?

    The multinational company I work for is pro-EU; the company released an official statement saying so a couple of weeks ago, although I already knew their position over a year ago. The statement claims the company is better off in a unified Europe.

    The company has also offshored hundreds of UK jobs to Poland, Lithuania and The Philippines over the last 5 years. If we vote to leave the EU, those jobs lost to Poland and Lithuania will have to come back to the UK to remain compliant with HMRC.

    What’s good for business is not always good for the workers. Leaving the EU will mean more jobs for our department and the reopening of other departments that were moved to cheaper (and less efficient) countries on the continent. It will mean the company has to dig into its pockets and fork out for the reverse-relocation of jobs and departments; it isn’t as if it can just leave the UK – one of its largest customer bases – altogether.