The claim promoted in the mainstream media that Britain would be left £20 billion a year worse off under the “max fac” customs plan backed by Brexit supporting figures has been blasted as “propaganda” by UKIP’s leader.
The technology-dependent customs border favoured by Brexit backers including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove could cost businesses between £17 billion and £20 billion, according to HM Revenue and Customs chief Jon Thompson.
His claim that the light-touch border dubbed ‘maximum facilitation’ would force firms to pay £32.50 for each customs declaration was reported by the globalist Financial Times as a “dramatic intervention” which “appeared to destroy the case advanced by pro-Brexit MPs” in support of the system.
But on Wednesday, UKIP leader and Brexit spokesman Gerard Batten hit out at what he portrayed as biased reporting in the UK media, slamming BBC coverage of what Thompson told the Treasury Committee as only giving one side of the story.
BBC ‘News’ just announced UK outside the Customs Union would cost businesses £20bn. I didn’t hear anyone saying that EU businesses would have to pay the UK far more in customs dues because the EU sells us far more than we sell them. It’s propaganda not news.
— Gerard Batten MEP (@GerardBattenMEP) May 23, 2018
“I didn’t hear anyone saying that EU businesses would have to pay the UK far more in customs dues because the EU sells us far more than we sell them,” he said in a Twitter post branding the BBC’s framing of the issue “propaganda” rather than news.
In its online report of the customs chief’s intervention, Britain’s public broadcaster offered as “balance” the response of Tory Brexiteer John Redwood, who told the public broadcaster that “if it is going to cost this much it is the wrong system”.
The BBC has overwhelmingly suppressed Eurosceptic views in its coverage of issues related to the EU, according to research published by Civitas earlier this year.
Left-wing support for leaving the EU has been consistently omitted from the BBC’s debate on the issue, said authors David Keighley and Andrew Judd in the study, which noted that the broadcaster preferred instead to present criticism of Brussels “through the prism of Tory splits” and held an editorial stance which “tended heavily towards discrediting and denigrating opposition to the EU as xenophobic”.