Bill Carmichael: Hard cheese. Sandwich scare is another slice of Project Fear hysteria

Theresa May should take some Wensleydale cheese to France for her Brexit talks with French president Emmanuel Macron later today.
Theresa May should take some Wensleydale cheese to France for her Brexit talks with French president Emmanuel Macron later today.
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IF you plan to eat a sandwich this lunchtime, make sure you enjoy every mouthful because as a result of Brexit it may be the last one you will ever eat.

Don’t take my word for it, just take a look at the BBC website where, under the sensationalist headline “Brexit threat to sandwiches”, we are told in breathless prose that sandwiches will disappear from British life because of the disruption to food supply chains.

The entire justification for this risible scare story is a single “senior grocery executive” who remains anonymous – probably because he doesn’t want all his colleagues laughing at him.

You may think this is the most ridiculous example of Project Fear since David Cameron predicted the outbreak of genocide and the start of World War Three, but in fact it is not even the worst example this week.

For instance we’ve also been told that a virulent strain of gonorrhoea could become rampant in the UK after Brexit; that medicines, including insulin, may be impossible to source; that planes will not be able to land or take off in the UK and that cheese, butter and yoghurt may become expensive luxuries.

Woe, woe and thrice woe! We are either going to starve to death or die of the clap – take your pick.

Project Fear Part II has really gone into overdrive, and it seems desperate Remainers have learned nothing from the miserable failure of their scare tactics when they tried them in 2016.

If you assume that whatever Project Fear predicts, the exact opposite will happen, you won’t go far wrong.

For example, when the then-Chancellor George Osborne predicted an “immediate” recession after the Brexit vote with the loss of 800,000 jobs, what happened?

Well, the economy has grown in every quarter since the vote and employment is at an all-time high with hundreds of thousands of new jobs created. In other words, exactly the opposite of what the clever chaps in the Treasury forecast would happen.

Another handy tip to help you decide whether these stories are credible or not is to ask yourself two simple questions.

For example, with regard to the Great Sandwich Scare, ask if British people ate sandwiches before we joined the EEC in 1973. The answer is yes, of course. In fact sandwiches were apparently invented by a British aristocrat in 1762 and British people have been enjoying them ever since without the aid of pen-pushers in Brussels.

The second question to ask is this – do people outside the EU produce and consume sandwiches? Yes, many millions of them every day.

If the answer to those two questions is ‘yes’, the story is likely to be nonsense.

Let’s try it with some of the latest scare stories. Were British people successfully treated for gonorrhoea before 1973? Yes. Are people today successfully treated for gonorrhoea outside the EU? Yes.

Did aircraft take off and land in the UK before 1973? Yes. Do aircraft take off and land outside the EU today? Yes.

Were diabetics treated with insulin in the UK before 1973? Yes. Are diabetics treated with insulin outside the EU today? Yes.

Did we eat cheese, butter and yoghurt before 1973? Yes. Do people outside the EU produce and consume cheese, butter and yoghurt? Yes.

Dead simple, isn’t it?

I suspect that after Brexit life will carry on pretty much as normal – the only difference is we will no longer be contributing as much to Jean-Claude Juncker’s bar bill.

The sky is not going to fall in despite the ever more hysterical predictions of the pro-EU fanatics.

And it does make me wonder that if there were good, solid, logical arguments for us to stay in the EU, wouldn’t Remainers be making that case 
instead of dreaming up increasingly laughable and easily debunked scare stories?

Prime Minister Theresa May is meeting President Emmanuel Macron today at his retreat in the south of 
France – apparently in an effort to put pressure on the obstinate bullies in Brussels to accept a reasonable compromise.

May I suggest she takes him a gift 
of a piece of Wensleydale cheese, produced in this county of Yorkshire 
with milk from local farms as it has been for generations – and will be in many years to come when the EU is just a distant memory.