Mr Redwood’s intervention during the Statement on the Government Referendum Leaflet, 11 April

John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): Does the Minister accept that this leaflet is not so much “Project Fear” as “Project Slightly Worrying”, because it has been dumbed down, but is it not an abuse of public money and an insult to the electors, and does he not realise that it will drive many more people to vote to leave?

The Europe Minister (Mr David Lidington): I return to what I said earlier: there is clear evidence from the independent polling research— its methodology has been published by the company concerned on its website—that more information is wanted by the British public. That research finding bears out what I and, I suspect, many other hon. Members on both sides of the House are finding anecdotally in conversations with constituents. I now spend time virtually every day signing replies to Members of Parliament, who have enclosed letters from constituents saying they feel they do not yet have enough information on which to make an informed decision and would like to have some more.

I hope that people will look carefully at what the Government are arguing, that they will look at the arguments put forward by the two campaign groups, once they have been designated, and that they will come to a decision about what they believe to be in the best interests of the United Kingdom as a whole. That is how the Government are approaching this matter.


  1. Elliot Kane
    April 12, 2016

    I find it extraordinary that anyone could interpret “We would like more information, please,” as “Please send us a totally one-sided propaganda sheet.”

    Even if this pamphlet were absolutely accurate in every detail and put the case for Remain as truthfully as it could, it would still only represent one side of the debate, and thus be wholly inadequate for the purposes of genuinely informing anyone.

    As it is, the pamphlet offers only what I shall very generously call ‘a certain point of view’, with genuine indisputable facts being at a premium.

    Despite the fact that I am 99% sure to vote Leave, I would very much like to see an honest and factual case made for Remain. This is, after all, probably the single most important decision I will have to make in my entire life. I’d like to see the other side put their case for that reason.

    If the pamphlet were genuinely about making the case for Remain, I might be more forgiving for that reason. But it is simply more Project Fear, and, as such, a complete waste of taxpayer’s money.

  2. Antisthenes
    April 13, 2016

    Dodging the real question. To my my mind these leaflets are a gross abuse of power and the way they were sneaked out so the costs would not be included in the amount allowed for the campaign is morally reprehensible. To use taxpayers money and the machinery of government in this way is an absolute disgrace.

    In times past just a whiff of corruption or wrong doing in a politician was to see that politicians career ended. Now it appears that anything goes without fear of censure or retribution. I put it down to the rise of the lefty progressives with their spin, dumbing down of society and prepared to use any means to achieve their ends. Perhaps if the heir to Blair David Cameron had not become leader of the Conservative party these lefty practices would have been stamped out and traditional values would have been restored to politics and for politicians.

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