Are Vote Leave breaking their Brexit promises? We’ve produced an infographic to show you.

    Brexit Promises infographic

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    James Carver MEP, UKIP’s Commonwealth spokesman has suggested Britain should look towards the Commonwealth for trade deals. This is a demonstration of pure economic density.

    Whilst more favourable trade deals with Australia and New Zealand, two of the world’s more developed economies, would be welcomed by British, and foreign, business, opening up a free trade zone with the smaller, developing economies of India, Pakistan, and the African and Caribbean members, or even with Australia and New Zealand without proper regulation to bring business to the same level, will ultimately only hurt British industry.

    What’s the problem?

    The world is globalising more and more each day. Businesses no longer compete on a local scale (e.g. West Midlands), nor on a national scale (e.g. the UK), nor even on a regional scale (e.g. Europe), but on a global scale (e.g. Planet Earth). BP is no longer trying to be the biggest fuel seller in Shropshire, or even the UK, or Europe, but the world, competing with the likes of Exxon and Shell and other huge companies across the industry, operating from every continent on the planet (besides Antarctica).

    So what’s the issue with a free trade deal with the rest of the world? Put simply, our economy is simply not compatible with many in the Commonwealth, which ranges from some of the poorest, to some of the richest nations on Earth.

    The EU/EEA only works because the economy is singularised; every member state has the same base level of regulation, and their economies similarly developed. Other factors excluded, it is generally no cheaper to build cars in Germany than in France.

    In a free trade zone, you can build wherever you like, to sell to wherever you like. If it is significantly cheaper to manufacture in one area than another (e.g. lower minimum wage), or easier (e.g. less environmental, or health and safety regulations), then business and industry, thus also jobs, leak from the more expensive areas to the cheaper.

    We do not see this in the EU as the member states have similarly developed economies, regulated into line during the accession to the EU, and kept there by the courts and councils and parliaments and different institutions of the EU.

    Meanwhile, the Commonwealth’s economies are as spread as they come. To match them together to create a Commonwealth free trade zone would be a task more complicated than untangling the meaning of life.

    But, what about globalisation?

    The path to a globalised world depends on global regulation and standards to develop the globe’s economies. These international regulations are formed by the UN, the WTO, and ISO.

    And who influences these standards? The world’s largest economies, including the US and China, and also the EU. And how can Britain influence them, to ensure British interests are preserved in international standards? Truth is, we can’t without being one of, or in the largest economies. How can we best do this? The answer: stay in the EU, or get invaded by China.


    Liam Fox cannot believe his luck. Having backed Leave, then failed to win the Tory leadership, he finds himself in an even better position: carrying out Brexit himself.

    If he delivers on his and Vote Leave’s (of which he was a part) promises, Britain will be looking forward to a bright future of prosperity with and beyond the EU.

    On the other hand, if it turns out Fox and Vote Leave lied through their teeth, then he is in for a political lynching.

    Unfortunately, it does not look like happy days for Mr Fox, the new Minister for International Trade, as it turns out he has no clue how UK-EU and UK-WTO relations work.

    In a massive gaffe, his department issued a rather confused and confusing press release. This was quickly removed, but trust someone to cache the page. Like Google. Oops.

    What was wrong with it, you may ask. Well, read it for yourself first, then come back and read this.

    ## Mr Fox is wrong, or Vote Leave lied

    While the outcome of future negotiations can’t be predicted, nothing changes until the UK has exited from the European Single Market. This won’t happen until at least 2 years after the UK has invoked Article 50, which formally withdraws the UK from the EU. Even then exporters will only be affected if the UK exits the European Single Market as well as the EU.

    The second paragraph, and already a Vote Leave claim is sliding away. The Vote Leave Trade Brief states that:

    We will negotiate a new UK-EU deal based on free trade and friendly cooperation.

    So to suggest that the UK may end up leaving the EU without a free trade agreement is a complete backtrack on a promise from the official Leave campaign.

    Just to weigh it in a wee bit more:

    Some claim we will not get a trade deal but there is a European free trade zone from Iceland to the Russian border and we will be part of it.

    What Mr Fox doesn’t know about the WTO

    Yes, the World Trade Organization - surely this must be Mr Fox and the Ministry for International Trade’s specialist subject? Nope.

    Despite Vote Leave’s trade briefing stating that:

    We have no independent voice in the World Trade Organization.

    Liam Fox and his ministry do not appear to know that. They claim:

    If the UK does exit the European Single Market, it will be governed by World Trade Organization (WTO) rules until any new trade deals are negotiated.

    Oops! As the UK has “no independent voice in the World Trade Organization”, i.e. the only treaty we currently have with the WTO is through the EU, the UK will have to renegotiate a treaty with the WTO before we can trade under WTO rules.

    What does this mean for Brexit?

    This press release shows that the ministry on the front line for delivering prosperity after Brexit has no idea what it is doing. Liam Fox clearly does not understand the WTO rules.

    Possibly more alarming too, is the suggestion by a Vote Leave MP now in charge of International Trade that the UK may end up leaving the single market.

    To see more Web Saves, go to the Web Saves page.


    Just a day after the country decided, by a 2% majority, to leave the European Union, Vote Leave, the official ‘Leave’ campaign have taken down their website. Fortunately, the internet has it saved.

    A new site is now available, under the name of VoteLeaveArchive.com. It allows people to view the Vote Leave website exactly how it appeared on June 20th.

    The Vote Leave website is also available on Archive.org’s Wayback Machine cache, also from Jun 20th (timestamp 20160620214900).

    Why did Vote Leave take down their site?

    There are sinister conspiracies for why the winning side of the referendum would go to such lengths as delete the content from their site, on which much of their campaign was stored.

    Perhaps the most obvious conspiracy is that Vote Leave are covering their tracks; destroying the evidence for when their claims fail to materialise and promises are broken.

    This is understandable, considering the extremely high bar they set themselves: £350 million savings, cutting fuel VAT, lower immigration, less ‘red tape’, and access to in the single market, just to name a few.

    Another reason would be that it wasn’t needed anymore - the campaign had succeeded. This may be true, although it is useful to leave a lasting archive of the referendum, for academic and historical purposes, among others.

    What can I do now?

    You can visit the site at VoteLeaveArchive.com, and browse every public page. Note that the areas behind login screens, and forms will not be accessible, or indeed work. (If you had an account, it is not available on the archive, so there is no security risk of the archive being online.)

    Recap: All of Vote Leave’s promise, formerly published on their website are readily available from web on the Vote Leave Archive, as they are on other online archives such as the Wayback Machine. To see more deleted websites that the internet has resurrected, go to our Web Saves page.