Facing facts about the EU referendum

Jon Danzig |

Facing facts about the EU referendum

• The new InFacts website, putting right incorrect ‘facts’ about the European Union

It’s often said that truth is the first casualty of war, and it seems that’s also the case with the way the EU referendum is going so far.

Facts, stats and data are flying about all over the place from all sides, and it’s not surprising that many people are confused.

This morning, for example, over a communal hotel breakfast, friends and colleagues claimed, “The EU isn’t democratic!” and “The EU accounts have never been signed-off!” and “EU migrants only come here for the benefits!”

All these statements are untrue, but when trying to challenge them, the incredulous reply is often, “I don’t believe you!”

Well, of course, as an independent journalist I have been trying my best to post factual articles to counter the mistruths about Britain’s membership of the EU. But with few resources and working on my own, there is a limit to what I can achieve.

Now, however, a new website has launched that I can highly recommend. It’s called InFacts.org and it’s doing a sterling service in combating some of the blatantly incorrect information being published and broadcast about the European Union.

It has, for example, a section called ‘Sin Bin’ where every day it takes to task statements proclaimed by newspapers and politicians that are provably wrong.

Hopefully this will be helpful to all those who, like me, support Britain’s continued membership of the EU, and need ready-facts at the breakfast or dinner table when discussing with friends and family whether Britain should stay in the EU.

And it seems that, in the lead-up to the EU referendum, such meal-time, pub-time and work-time discussions are going to become more and more prevalent and likely quite heated too.

  • In the latest edition of Infact’s ‘Sin Bin’, The Independent is taken to task for falsely reporting that, since 2010, one-third of new jobs were taken by foreigners. 
  • Tory MEP and ardent Eurosceptic, Daniel Hannan, is challenged for wrongly stating that the EU only has trade-deals with two Commonwealth countries. 
  • Vote.Leave boss, Matthew Elliot, is pulled up for erroneously claiming that the UK sends almost £20 billion a year to the EU. 
  • And Margaret Thatcher’s former Press Secretary, Bernard Ingham, is ‘sin binned’ for wrongly claiming that the EU accounts haven’t been signed off for ‘nigh on 20 years.’

For these and other ready-facts and challenges on why ‘Britain should stay in the EU’, take a look at the new ‘In Facts’ website at www.infacts.org

Does the fact that I am promoting ‘In Facts’ make me biased as a journalist? Yes, it does.

I am openly pro-EU and happy to declare that as ‘an interest’. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t also have a healthy respect for the truth. As I have often written, I accept the truth, and don’t argue with it, whether I like it or not.

After all, my reputation as a journalist of many years standing is based on being a truthful and honest reporter of facts.

So, if the Leave campaign do come up with better information and verifiable evidence that Britain should end its membership of the EU, then yes, my mind is open to change. So far, however, they haven’t managed to persuade me.

Sure, there is a lot wrong with the EU. However, my view is that the EU isn’t bad enough, and the alternatives aren’t good enough, for Britain to leave. So, consequently, I intend to vote for Britain to ‘Remain’ in the EU.

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