Mark Francois believes everything his Brexit mates in government and the right-wing press say, especially when it fits his little Britain great again narrative.

First published in June 2020.

Mark Francois MP was back on TV this morning with his unfortunate habit to misinform the public.

Unchallenged by BBC journalists, the Chairman of the European Research Group (ERG) claimed that the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) was not in favour of an extension of the Brexit transition period that ends on 31 December.

“The head of the CBI said recently she didn’t want an extension of the transition period because that would provide further incertainty to business. And I absolutely agree with her.”


Mark Francois MP on BBC News / 12 June 2020

Except that the CBI’s director general, Carolyn Fairbairn, has not said that.

Michael Gove said it instead.

Indeed, it is the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster who told the House of Commons on 11 June that the CBI was now backing the government position.

“I know that businesses ... want uncertainty to be removed. That’s why we’re clear that we will end the transition period on the 31st of December, and it is a position that I also understand now the CBI or in favour.”

Twitter - @lisaocarroll

So, how did Michael Gove come to such conclusion?

The senior Brexiter was probably referring to remarks made by Carolyn Fairbairn on BBC’s Newsnight on 4 June:

“We have left the EU politically. We do now need to leave the EU economically. Business does not have any interest in delaying that because that is uncertainty magnified.”

Her comments were sadly misunderstood by the Hard Brexit-supporting website Guido as a proof that the CBI had now decided to fully support the government’s position not to extend the transition period.

Twitter - @EuroGuido

They could not be further from the truth.

Carolyn Fairbairn actually told the BBC:

Walking away with no deal would be a major block to recovery. It would worsen inequalities, damaging regional and national growth. Many businesses are not – and cannot – prepare for the impact of a no deal on top of what is happening.”

In a separate statement she also added:

“Many businesses are fighting to survive as the impact of Covid-19 unfolds. A recovery plan that reaches all parts of the UK is essential. Every opportunity for growth must be seized, particularly to support young people and kickstart demand. A good deal with the EU would be a foundation stone of renewal.

Mark Francois, who certainly prefers to believe his Brexit mates in government and the right-wingers at Guido than the BBC, may want to change his sources of information to be more accurate in the future.

Or the MP for Rayleigh and Wickford could just decide to tell the truth on national TV.🔷


Getting ready for the end of the transition period, European Commission.


Check their Voting Record:

🗳️ Mark Francois

🗳️ Michael Gove

[This piece was first published in PMP Magazine on 12 June 2020. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: Screenshot / BBC News.)

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