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I am being polite. Having watched the debate, I was fuming that somebody did not ask Boris Johnson to put his hand on his heart, look down the lens and tell the British public that the £350 million was a truthful statement. One thing is for sure: I know that, in my forceful manner, I would have made him admit that he was lying. Who knows, perhaps that could have swung the vote.
Similarly, Gisela Stuart, a German immigrant who took advantage of our joining the EU in 1973 came here in 1974. She has flourished: she has become an MP, a mother of two and, I believe, a grandmother. She is an immigrant who flourished and contributed, yet that night she stood in the leave group criticising immigration by implying that 80 million Turks were about to come running to our country—a total lie. She said, “It’s simply a statement of fact that uncontrolled immigration puts pressure on services”. I would say “Pot, kettle”.
We have no understanding of the negotiations taking place between us and the EU. I hope and believe that a rabbit will be pulled out of the hat shortly. Common sense must prevail that we get at least a trade deal. I am a businessman and I sympathise in a way with the Prime Minister, who is possibly in a frustrating position of knowing how the negotiations are going but not being able to publicly disclose the status. The media, bless them, make up their own stories that everything is going to be a disaster when in fact they do not know what is going on at all. My experience in business when negotiating with another party is that you do not lay all your cards on the table; you have to keep your cards close to your chest. One cannot keep the public at large in touch blow by blow. This would effectively destroy our negotiating power.
I seriously believe that the public were misled. For that reason, I believe the public should be entitled to a vote on the final negotiated terms.