The Deep State, or ‘establishment figures’, as former British foreign minister Boris Johnson calls them, has run a lengthy and effective fear campaign over the fallout from Brexit.
And a no-deal Brexit — one which would see the UK leave the EU without a formal withdrawal deal in place — tops the list of what Johnson mockingly calls the establishment’s ‘apocalyptic’ forecasts.
Johnson, along with other Conservative Eurosceptics, is convinced Prime Minister Theresa May’s government is over-exaggerating the danger of a no-deal Brexit as a means to get the votes she needs for her withdrawal plan to pass in parliament this upcoming week.
May uses fear to coax in further support
Clearly falling short of unanimous support from her fellow MPs regarding her Brexit plans, we’ve been witnessing first hand in the past couple of months the struggle May has faced in keeping enough people on board with her leadership.
The Confidence vote alone showed 117 people in her Conservative party no longer supporting her ambitions for the UK.
And it’s somewhat understandable, seeing as a crux aspect of May’s withdrawal deal is ensuring little change in Britain–EU relations — which essentially undermines the purpose of Brexit.
It seems Johnson believes May is aware of the unappealing nature of the deal, for her tactics in gaining support are through fear of what could become of the UK if no such exit deal is put in place come 29 March.
Thus, rather than convince them of the benefits of her deal, May is instead highlighting the consequences of having no deal at all.
As Johnson wrote in his column for the Daily Telegraph (a pro-Conservative publication):
‘Establishment figures have taken to the airwaves to warn of the perils of rejecting Theresa May’s lamentable withdrawal agreement; and we now have a cumulative forecast that is downright apocalyptic.’
May exaggerates no-deal Brexit consequences
Judging by the words being thrown around in the media, ‘apocalyptic’ is not an exaggeration of the level in which this fear campaign is being broadcasted.
Dame Caroline of the Conservative party told BBC Radio 4:
‘Crashing out of the EU without a deal will cause job losses and bring to an end the renaissance of manufacturing that we’ve seen in regions like mine in the West Midlands, and both Jack Dromey and I know the human interest and impact of this.’
May herself has used the phrase ‘uncharted territory’ to describe the future state of the UK if her deal is rejected by parliament this week.
It’s certainly over-the-top, but this sort of language seems to be working.
Over 200 MPs from the House of Commons have signed a letter insisting that May take the prospect of a no-deal Brexit off the table.
But Boris Johnson is convinced the British public don’t possess the same fear of a deal-less exit from the EU.
Voters aren’t afraid of a no-deal Brexit
As DPA reports, Johnson has pointed out that opinion poll results show ‘the so-called no-deal option … is gaining in popularity’ despite the vocal endorsement of May’s deal.
Johnson believes voters — those who initiated this Brexit in the first place — are not convinced of the fear propaganda. And for good reason, as Johnson explains:
‘The most obvious answer, perhaps, is that this [no-deal] option is closest to what people actually voted for.
‘They didn’t vote for anything like Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement. They voted to come out.’
The parliamentary vote on May’s Brexit deal was postponed four weeks from its initial schedule, for May was aware she would have faced a heavy defeat if the vote occurred back in December.
She probably thought her fear campaign needed more time to take effect. But perhaps four weeks wasn’t long enough.
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