Cameron and Corbyn at PMQs - Politics live


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Whether you call it Project Fear or Project Fact, the campaign being run by Downing Street and Britain Stronger in Europe over the last 10 days or so to highlight the disadvantages of leaving the EU has been thorough, well-argued and relentless.

But has it been persuasive? Not necessarily, according to the recent polling, although at least the In camp has a clear and consistent message. As Alastair Meeks argues at Political Betting, the Out camp’s messaging has been all over the place.

Hard-headed analysis shows that every alternative to remaining in a reformed EU would leave Britain weaker, less safe and worse off. Working people would pay the price with fewer jobs and rising prices.

As each day passes we see yet another example - from the utter failure to cope with the migrant crisis, to the increasing disaster of the euro.

This dodgy dossier won’t fool anyone, and is proof that Remain are in denial about the risks of remaining in a crisis ridden EU.

I think that there has been far too much scaremongering. It’s like Halloween come early; we have a scare story each week about the ghoulish prospects outside the European Union. I don’t believe in ghosts and I’m not afraid of these ghoulish stories of life outside the EU. Iain will choose his own words and I’ll choose mine.

I think we want to go into the negotiation offering a very ambitious trade deal, but you’re right to say that there are areas like agriculture and services where we might get slightly higher tariffs. But, of course, those are areas that are protectionist within the single market.

Our bottom line is that a Brexit offers a lot of risk with little obvious reward. We see an EU exit leading to lower UK growth and investment, and potentially higher unemployment and inflation. Any offsetting benefits look more amorphous and less certain, in our view.

Project Fear’ has become ‘Project Horror Comic’. People may have been concerned when they saw the G20 communique suggesting that a Brexit could lead to a world economic ‘shock’.

Of course, if people are determined to talk themselves into a crisis they will - it should be remembered that the G20 members include not just four members of the EU but also the EU itself.

The mayor of London was the choice of 43 per cent of the 1,005 party members surveyed by YouGov for The Times.

This put him 21 points ahead of the chancellor on 22 per cent of the vote. Theresa May, the home secretary, was third on 19 per cent; Sajid Javid, the business secretary, was on 7 per cent and Nicky Morgan, the education secretary, was backed by only 1 per cent of members.

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