The Daily Express has published a story about how 12 million Turks will come to the UK once ‘an EU deal is signed’ – the subheading indicates that this ‘EU deal’ is about Turkey joining the EU.
As a bit of background for those currently not up to speed with UK (and European) politics, the UK will shortly hold a referendum on whether to remain a member of the EU. Many are concerned about a loss of sovereignty or the money that is sent to the EU; many more are concerned about immigration. Those in favour of remaining tend to concentrate on economic benefits from membership of the single market (a free trade zone), benefits from harmonised regulation, and benefits from free movement of labour. The arguments are too complex to cover in a short blog post.
The Express is firmly in the “leave” camp, for two key reasons: Richard Desmond, the paper’s owner, stands to benefit from the UK leaving the EU through reduced press regulation and controls on financial dealings; and the paper has increasingly built up a readership of UKIP supporters which it must cater for in order to remain in business. Because of this, the newspaper has been printing stories for the past few years which argue against the EU – although in many cases the factual basis for these stories is shaky, if it exists at all.
The story that ran on Sunday is a classic example of this, and serves as an interesting case study on how statistics can be misused, propaganda built, and lies spread. It’s too large for a single blog, but over the course of this week I aim to look at a number of aspects of this story and explain whether they are true or not:
- Is Turkey going to join the EU?
- Are 12 million Turks planning to move to the UK? [and other statistics from the story]
- Are 12 million Turks allowed to move to the UK?
If you have any other questions over this topic, please get in touch.