Even the pro-Remain newspapers are sceptical about Osborne's 'dossier'
Does anyone really believe George Osborne’s warning that leaving the would plunge Britain into instant recession, result in 820,000 job losses and force up the price of foreign holidays?
Even a leading Remain campaigner, Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon, thought such “fear-based” predictions
Sturgeon’s statement was headlined in the Guardian, the Times and Metro. It was noticeable that the pro-European Union appeared sceptical enough to give Boris Johnson’s reaction - “These types of prophecies are not credible” - top billing in its news report.
And the Europhile Independent ran a piece that also questioned the claims: “”.
The pro-Brexit Daily Telegraph lamented that a “proudly impartial civil service” had produced a report that
On its news page, the paper reported that the prime minister was facing threats of cabinet resignations and it quoted Johnson, who accused Cameron and Osborne of “scaremongering”.
It was not alone in revealing the depth of the split within the Conservative party. The Daily Mail’s splash, “”, reported that “dozens of Tory MPs are threatening to topple David Cameron” following “the latest Brexit ‘dodgy’ dossier row.”
It said unnamed backbenchers were predicting a vote of no-confidence in their leader after the referendum vote. But it also quoted several named critics: former defence secretary Liam Fox, Commons leader Chris Grayling, former chancellors Lord Lawson and Lord Lamont, plus backbencher Bernard Jenkin.
It also mentioned the tweet by the Tory MP for Yeovil, Marcus Fysh, who called the Treasury analysis “specious bollocks” (though the paper used asterisks).
That tweet was seized on by the Sun, which ran a poster-style front page headlined “”. It said a “furious Tory backlash” over Osborne’s “doomsday dossier on Brexit” had taken the party to “breaking point”, with two ministers threatening to quit.
But it was the Telegraph that carried news giving the greatest heart to the Remain campaign by
The ORB survey put Remain on 55% and Leave on 42% among voters who say they will vote. Among all voters, the Remain campaign was favoured by 58%.
According to the poll, there has been “a collapse in support for Brexit”, with older voters, Conservative supporters and men moving into the Remain camp.
The paper carried by Lynton Crosby, the Tory party strategist, in which he wrote that one of the largest shifts in voting intention has occurred among Tory voters.
In March, 60% were intending to vote Leave compared with 34% for Remain. Now the figures have moved to 57% as against 40%. Crosby concluded:
preferred to point to the decision by Cameron’s former aide, Steve Hilton, to back Brexit after saying “membership of the EU makes Britain literally ungovernable.”
It poured scorn on Osborne: “Either the chancellor’s forecasts are credible, in which case holding the vote is a monstrous act of negligence, or he doesn’t believe them himself and is in the business of whipping up hysteria. No prizes for guessing which we go for.”
For the Sun, “Remain’s tactics have been a dark mix of fiction and fear plus a vicious smearing of their opponents.”
I think that final sentence would win an award for irony.
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