Brexiteers have adopted a new tactic in their bid to drum up public support for their plan to leave the European Union without any withdrawal agreement. It’s called racism.
After a telephone conversation with Boris Johnson in which Angela Merkel reportedly said a deal based on his current proposals was “overwhelmingly unlikely”, the campaign group Leave.EU, run by the infamous Arron Banks and Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice, released the image above.
It is racist for all the reasons set out in the caption.
Worse, European newspapers seem to be pushing the opinion that it – and those behind it – are succeeding in their attempt to sway public opinion here in the UK.
European newspapers and commentators rounded on the “outrageous” tactics of an “out-of-control” Downing Street after a string of leaks sought to blame France, Ireland and Germany for the Brexit breakdown – but they warned the EU would not fall for them.
For Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung, Boris Johnson’s Brexit strategy “may be recognised as transparent in Brussels and outrageous in Berlin – but in the UK it seems, for the time being, to be working”.
The plan was to insist that the UK was “heading for no deal, either before or after the next election – it’s just a matter of time”, and all because the EU is “not prepared to compromise. We gave it our all, but it was not sufficient. Now enough is enough.”
Suggesting Germany was largely at fault was, of course, deliberate, the paper said. “Aversion to Britain’s wartime opponent, and its return to power via Brussels, was a reason for many especially older Britons to vote for Brexit.” Cue the inevitable reactions from leave voters: “Merkel is to blame, Germany is showing its true face, Berlin always wanted to subjugate us, the EU must be smashed.”
Johnson and his senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, “have always threatened no deal, paying mere lip service to an agreement”, the paper noted. “The UK’s latest proposal was obviously not designed to make a deal possible in a short time.”
The EU is unlikely to give in to this threat, SZ said. But No 10’s psychology was different: “It aims to oblige the Commons to force a Brexit delay – and then sees angry voters re-electing Johnson by a large majority.”
In a piece headlined the Saboteur, Der Spiegel reckoned that Johnson, thwarted in his desire for no deal by parliament, was “embarking on a last-ditch attempt to make it possible – this time, triggered by the EU”. He was “doing everything possible to prevent the EU unanimously approving a new Brexit extension”.
But that was all just for show, said the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. Johnson and Cummings were putting “more persuasiveness and energy into shifting the blame for a new Brexit extension than into securing an 11th-hour deal on Britain’s exit from the EU”.
The prime minister, it said, had seen the polls and knew he could win a large majority at the next election. He may “hint that he wants to drive the EU nuts, with a no deal on 31 October as the consequence, but that’s for domestic consumption. He knows he has no chance of success: the UK is heading for postponement and early elections.”
So Johnson is “now doing everything possible to avoid taking responsibility for the delay”. Tuesday’s events played out “exactly as No 10 wanted”, the paper said.
“Without a German reply, without any traceable involvement of No 10, the British public gained the impression that the EU was being intransigent, Johnson was standing up to them as a patriot, and that postponing Brexit will not be his fault.”
Are we really a nation of racists?
Is that what nine years of Conservative-led rule has done to the once-great-and-tolerant United Kingdom?
No. We aren’t and it isn’t.
Not when we have people who can produce responses like this:
And we must not allow the Brexiteer strategy of racism and scapegoating EU nations – particularly Germany – to swing the more impressionable members of the UK public into supporting him.
What we’re seeing is evidence that everything Boris Johnson and his team have done has been geared to fool us.
His plan has changed.
He wanted to leave without a deal on October 31.
But now he wants to delay Brexit – and pretend the European Union is to blame.
So let’s get the message right.
Boris Johnson is deliberately delaying Brexit to fool you into voting for him.
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