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Don't let Grinch Philip Hammond steal Brexit by scheming to keep us in the EU

Deep in government and outside Parliament, ignoring the usual Christmas cheer, the Grinch is laying plans to re-visit Project Fear, scare everyone and then steal Brexit.We’ve already seen this over the last three years.

We’ve already seen this over the last three years.

Remember George Osborne’s miserable threat that the UK economy would crash, with unemployment up by half a million.

Average real wages would be lower, inflation higher, house prices would be hit and public borrowing would rise. Yet none of that came true.

Unemployment continues to fall to nearly the lowest rate on record.

The UK did not enter recession and, despite the worst scare stories of the remoaners, the UK economy continues to grow, confounding those “doomsters” for whom the EU is everything and the UK is nothing.

Being wrong hasn’t stopped them, for they continue their prophesies of doom.

The threat that planes wouldn’t fly, as the EU would refuse landing rights.

Well, that turned out to be nonsense, for we now know the EU has said regulation will be extended and aviation licences remain valid.

Then there was the scare that the UK wouldn’t be able to import medicines.

But now we know the UK will continue to recognise EU batch testing of medicines and, because there will be no end to exports from the EU, the NHS has told Health Trusts and Medical Practices there is no need to stockpile.

Then the threat that there will be enormous queues at ports like Calais.

Yet no one bothered to report that the president of the Northern France region stamped on that threat, saying fluidity of trade (at Calais), was essential.

In an even bigger slap down to Project Fear, the Mayor of Calais described Brexit as an economic opportunity for Calais and said there would be no extra lorry checks.

So as we all head off to enjoy Christmas, the Grinch in chief, the Chancellor, and other mini Grinches plot to steal Brexit.

For Philip Hammond and the Treasury have done their level best to slow down and delay the preparations, to make it more difficult for the UK to leave.

Worse, alongside the Bank of England, he keeps on producing more doom-laden forecasts.

The latest predicting lower growth over 15 years.

Yet, it is these self-same people who failed to see the economic crash in 2008 and who seem unable to predict the level of growth in the economy for longer than six months.

How are we to believe they can now forecast 15 to 20 years ahead?

You are justified in asking how is it that the British establishment has so little faith in the UK.

So much so that Parliament itself is completely out of touch with what people voted for in 2016. After all, the majority in Parliament are utterly opposed to Brexit.

While the public voted to leave most MPs voted to remain. That’s why a cohort of MPs even now, continue to plot and scheme to see the vote overturned.

What the referendum laid bare is the way in which the EU over 40 years has eaten into the soul not just of MPs but of the wider governing establishment.

From broadcasters to corporate chief executives, from universities to the civil service, they have all lost faith in the UK’s ability to do well outside the EU.

Yet it has always been the same. Whether it was appeasement in the 1930s, to Trade Union reform, or demanding that the UK join the Euro, the establishment has been wrong every time.

This is because it is they, that cosy group of well-paid, powerful people, who have the most to lose from real change.

The status quo is their comfort zone, change is their greatest threat. So great is their influence that they have set the threatening tone. No deal — crashing out, cliff edges and small-minded extremists is how Brexit and those who back it have been described.

Yet despite the demonising and trashing of those who voted to leave, it is the people beyond the establishment in Britain who have yet again put their trust in this great country.

They believe in freedom and self- government, and they will rescue us yet again as they have done so often before.

Others have not given up and through Christmas and beyond Project Fear will be re-launched to frighten us all.

That’s why we must stiffen our resolve and not let the Grinch steal Brexit.

  • Iain Duncan Smith is the MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, and a former Leader of the Conservative Party.


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