“Facts don’t work” for winning votes, according to the multimillionaire co-founder of the Leave.EU campaign.
Prominent Ukip donor Arron Banks admitted financing an “American-style” referendum campaign, referencing controversial Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump as an influence.
The insurance entrepreneur and diamond tycoon was a founding member of Leave.EU campaign group and its main financier - but his conduct since the Brexit vote has attracted criticism.
Talking to the Guardian about the referendum campaign, Mr Banks said: “It was taking an American-style media approach.
“What they [Political strategists Goddard Gunster] said early on was ‘facts don’t work’ and that’s it.
“The remain campaign featured fact, fact, fact, fact, fact. It just doesn’t work. You have got to connect with people emotionally. It’s the Trump success.”
The prime emotional connection Leave.EU made with voters is widely accepted to have been on the issue of immigration. However, it is unclear whether it will be possible to reduce immigration, as access to the single market with Europe necessitates free movement.
The Leave campaign also received criticism for other exaggerated claims made during the referendum campaign. In particular, the claim that there could be an extra £350 million per week for the NHS, having been repeatedly rebuffed by the UK Statistics Authority, was almost instantly reneged on by high-profile Leave figures following the vote.
6 ways Britain leaving the EU will affect you
6 ways Britain leaving the EU will affect you
1/6 More expensive foreign holidays
The first practical effect of a vote to Leave is that the pound will be worth less abroad, meaning foreign holidays will cost us more
2/6 No immediate change in immigration status
The Prime Minister will have to address other immediate concerns. He is likely to reassure nationals of other EU countries living in the UK that their status is unchanged. That is what the Leave campaign has said, so, even after the Brexit negotiations are complete, those who are already in the UK would be allowed to stay
3/6 Higher inflation
A lower pound means that imports would become more expensive. This is likely to mean the return of inflation – a phenomenon with which many of us are unfamiliar because prices have been stable for so long, rising at no more than about 2 per cent a year. The effect may probably not be particularly noticeable in the first few months. At first price rises would be confined to imported goods – food and clothes being the most obvious – but inflation has a tendency to spread and to gain its own momentum
4/6 Interest rates might rise
The trouble with inflation is that the Bank of England has a legal obligation to keep it as close to 2 per cent a year as possible. If a fall in the pound threatens to push prices up faster than this, the Bank will raise interest rates. This acts against inflation in three ways. First, it makes the pound more attractive, because deposits in pounds will earn higher interest. Second, it reduces demand by putting up the cost of borrowing, and especially by taking larger mortgage payments out of the economy. Third, it makes it more expensive for businesses to borrow to expand output
5/6 Did somebody say recession?
Mr Carney, the Treasury and a range of international economists have warned about this. Many Leave voters appear not to have believed them, or to think that they are exaggerating small, long-term effects. But there is no doubt that the Leave vote is a negative shock to the economy. This is because it changes expectations about the economy’s future performance. Even though Britain is not actually be leaving the EU for at least two years, companies and investors will start to move money out of Britain, or to scale back plans for expansion, because they are less confident about what would happen after 2018
6/6 And we wouldn’t even get our money back
All this will be happening while the Prime Minister, whoever he or she is, is negotiating the terms of our future access to the EU single market. In the meantime, our trade with the EU would be unaffected, except that companies elsewhere in the EU may be less interested in buying from us or selling to us, expecting tariff barriers to go up in two years’ time. Whoever the Chancellor is, he or she may feel the need to bring in a new Budget
Mr Banks was also criticised for his response to the spike in racist incidents which followed the outcome of the referendum.
After the POSK Polish cultural centre in West London was attacked, he wrote on social media: “What’s a psok cultural centre when it’s at home. Pack in the guardian connected outrage….Yawn”. Other tweets accused the media of 'spinning' racist incidents.
The seperate Vote Leave campaign for Brexit was also criticised for its approach to facts and repeated the same highly dubious claims on NHS funding and immigration.
In particular, Michael Gove – who is now running for the leadership of the Conservative party - came under fire after claiming “people in this country have had enough of experts” during a debate.