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Over a cliff: The Brexit bus, with all its claims of a new Golden Age for the UK, teeters on the edge. Boris Johnson, in the driver’s seat, says: “Boys? I’ve got an idea.”

It is incredible that people are still giving credence to Boris Johnson and his repetition of the lie that was painted on the side of the ‘Brexit bus’ during the run-up to the EU referendum.

As This Writer pointed out, more than a year ago, the UK never gave £350 million a week to the EU. With rebates and revenue from favourable EU trading conditions, the total value of our contributions was less than half that. Add in the money brought into the UK by the work of EU migrants and the UK is in profit by £120 million per week – nearly £6.25 billion per year – based on last year’s figures.

Even if you strip out the public and private sector receipts, the UK’s contribution doesn’t come to anything like £350 million per week.

The latest twist in the tale is Mr Johnson’s row with the head of the UK Statistics Authority, who wrote to warn him that the figure “confuses gross and net contributions” and is “a clear misuse of official statistics:

Mr Johnson has written a furious screed in response, claiming that it misrepresents what he said, which was that the UK would “take back control” of the £350 million per week, and it would be “a fine thing” if much of that money “went on the NHS”:

But, as Steve Peers points out below (and I pointed out more than a year ago), the UK already decides how to spend the rebate, so it cannot be considered “extra public spending”:

As far as This Writer is concerned, Mr Johnson was clearly either lying or stupid. In either case, his claim that his outburst was not the start of a leadership challenge against Theresa May and he remains “all behind” her can only undermine her position: She employs idiots.

The responses on Twitter have been enjoyable:


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