Statement on the Governments Pro-EU Leaflet

AN MP has hit out at government’s pro-European “factual” leaflets sent to every household for lacking any real facts. Government claims the £9.3 million spend was necessary as 85 per cent of people wanted more information ahead of June’s referendum. Angry MPs last night criticised the cost at a time of cuts and described the information as propaganda. Shipley MP Philip Davies, brandishing the glossy pamphlet, joked his copy must be missing pages as he could not find any facts in the document. In the Commons he said: “If the minister is so keen on the facts being told to the British public can he tell us what the trade deficit was last year between UK and EU and what our net contribution is to the EU budget each year as those facts seems to have been missing from my particular document. I am sure he would like to put the record straight.” The leaflet claims it is a “once in a generation decision” and warns leaving would create “years of uncertainty.” It also claims staying would “protect jobs, provide security and strengthen the UK’s economy for every family in the country.” Mr Davies added: “These are not facts these are statements and opinions. Facts are that we spent £18 billion in membership fees last year and our trade deficit with the EU was £62 billion. Since joining the Common Market in 1973 Britain has handed out more than £250 billion in membership fees. These are facts and this is what people have a right to know.” Europe Minister David Lidington said contributions were published each year by the Treasury and the Office of Budget Responsibility.