Distorting facts, attacking Jeremy Corbyn
The Daily Express quoted expert opinion by BiE Director, Dr Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, offered on the night of the UK election, according to which 'the Conservative party had lost the credibility required to govern the country' and that the election result had 'made “hard Brexit” an untenable position' (full article here).
They also quoted the following excerpts from interviews recently given by Dr Giannoulopoulos:
'Since the referendum [the Labour Party] had been between a rock and a hard place, with most of their supporters voting for Brexit while the party had historically been pro-European. But the electorate’s rejection of May’s hard Brexit meant that they could now more easily pursue a closer collaboration with Europe and a more moderate approach to leaving the EU.'
So far so good. But the headline read, quite provocatively: 'Corbyn could DITCH Hard Brexit: Expert warns Labour are preparing shock EU U-turn'. The article then explained that 'JEREMY Corbyn could roll back on his assurance Labour would push on with Brexit if it formed a government, an expert has warned'.
Dr Giannoulopoulos' comments were distorted by the paper, with a view to offering a platform to attack Jeremy Corbyn for allegedly preparing a shocking U-turn on Brexit. The BiE Director never issued such a warning, and there is no information to suggest such a U-turn is being prepared. Dr Giannoulopoulos' opinion rather reflected the scope that existed for Labour to revisit their position following the election result.
The complexity of the Brexit negotiations, and the fragility of the current Government, make it all the more important to base policy choices on expert evidence and opinion, and inform the public responsibly, not throw alternative facts at them.