Project Fear: RT unravels the latest scare tactics to keep Britain in the EU
Should I stay or should I go? That is the question facing Brits on June 27, when a referendum will be held on the UK’s continued membership of the European Union.
Prime Minister David Cameron named the date for the vote last month following frantic negotiations with fellow EU leaders. Since then leaders from across the globe have made clear their opposition to Brexit, with many resorting to scare tactics.
RT has examined some of the best examples of Project Fear at work.
Spain threatens Gibraltar
Madrid warned it could close the border with Gibraltar and renege on its obligations to the tiny British territory if the UK leaves the EU.
The Spanish government said on Saturday it would no longer have to respect directives from Brussels on the free movement of capital, goods and labor in and out of ‘the Rock.’
Spain views Gibraltar as a territory under “illegal occupation” and may try to exploit the EU referendum to get revenge for the continued British presence in the territory, which was captured by the UK in 1704.
France weaponizes refugees
France issued a not-so-veiled threat earlier this month when it warned a Brexit could result in migrants who are stranded in Calais traveling unchecked across the Channel.
French Finance Minister Emmanuel Macron said a British withdrawal from the EU would spell the end of the 2003 treaty which allows UK border guards to be stationed in Calais.
Macron also suggested France would “roll out the red carpet” for bankers wanting to “repatriate” from the City of London to Paris.
Germany drops the ‘trade bomb’
Given Berlin has the most to lose in the event of a Brexit, it’s not surprising Germany jumped on the Project Fear bandwagon last month.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned a Brexit would be “poison” for British, European and global trade.
He said years of challenging negotiations and insecurity would follow if the UK leaves the EU.
United States, NATO & ‘national security’
Despite the fact the US isn’t even in Europe, Washington has been vocal and persistent in its opposition to Brexit.
Lieutenant General Frederick Hodges, head of the US Army in Europe, echoed President Barack Obama when he warned such a divorce would cause NATO serious damage. Obama himself plans to visit the UK before the June vote to urge British citizens to stay in the EU.
US Senator John McCain even dug out the Russian threat earlier this month. He said whatever the results of Britain’s referendum, “it will send a strong message to Vladimir Putin.”
While being accused of supporting Brexit, Russia, unlike the US, has largely kept out of the debate.
Earlier in March, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said: “None of our allies want us to leave the EU: nor Australia, nor New Zealand, not Canada, not the US. In fact, the only country [that] would like us to leave the EU is Russia. That fact should probably tell us everything we need to know.”
The Russian embassy in London replied at the time: “We find this unfair towards both Russia, with whom Britain maintains diplomatic relations, and the British people, who deserve a better treatment from their own government.”
In resorting to the “wicked Russia thesis,” they “admit they cannot win an argument in an open and straightforward debate” with the British people, it argued.
With only weeks to go before the referendum, Project Fear and its allies abroad will no doubt drop many more doomsday scenarios.