Boris v Dave. Eton chums go head to head. It's Tory civil war. Yawn. Over the past few months, it's been frustrating to see the media so obsessed with personalities rather than the actual facts. How is the public supposed to make an informed decision on the EU debate? Forecasts are not facts and neither are estimates. You would think an MP knew the difference, well-educated lot that they are. As one Newsnight audience member asked, 'Why do the facts change depending on who's giving them?"
The debate has sunk into absurdity, spurious lines flying in both directions. The EU is clearly not the Third Reich as Johnson claimed, while #VoteLeave is not “patriotic” as Cameron said. When the Prime Minister does address the key Brexit arguments, he does make a plausible case. Until he drops a pamphlet through your letterbox, claiming, with apparent certainty, that more than three million jobs “are linked to our trade with the EU”. That is a contentious figure. Anyway, who’s to say that those jobs will automatically go if the country votes to leave?
On the other hand, outside the EU we would not be saving £350m a week as Michael Gove and others argue. How empowering it feels to say “take back control”, “be the master if your own destiny”, doesn't it. They are also sweeping and simplistic statements. Oh look, #VoteLeave have their own missive.
Where is the balanced and rational debate? Two rare qualities in a politician are humility and honesty: the ability to admit fault and acknowledge the strength of an opposing argument. We see it, week in, week out on Question Time, Prime Minister's Questions and countless interviews. Regardless of where you think this referendum is a popularity contest, a battle of ideologies or the dawn of the apocalypse, you probably shouldn’t trust either side. So what should you do?
I don’t agree with comedian David Mitchell’s argument that the EU referendum is a “random vote”, that this decision is beyond the public. No doubt, the political system has failed us and correspondents should be cutting through the core issues with far greater acuity. But the onus is on each of us to individually research and assess both sides of the argument in the context of our own lives. And to question the motives of those offering their opinions. When asking whether the EU is good for Britain, ask yourself what Britain are you talking about? What Britain would you like to live in with your family and how likely is it to become a reality?
What appeals to a working mother in a low-income family will differ dramatically from the benefits favoured by a CEO sitting snugly in business class. Understandably, there is a lot of resentment in society regarding austerity, public services, housing… The working class, in particular, is being squeezed. They have little patience for the intricacies of Brussels are looking to point the finger. Is the EU really to blame or should the government be on trial? My main concerns are equality of opportunity and shared prosperity in the UK but also genuine harmony and collaboration across the continent. If that’s not too utopian…
Here is the big problem: no one knows what will happen in the future. Brexit supporters cannot say with any certainty how easy it will be to negotiate trade deals or what the impact our exit will have on the economy. Equally, those in the remain camp can't guarantee that the EU will evolve to effectively control immigration, better facilitate trade and broker new deals beyond the single market. Broadcaster and former BBC economics correspondent Paul Mason said on Newsnight a few weeks ago, its “impossible for the European Union to be a democracy” (before revealing he would vote remain to foil the “crazed right-wing Conservatives”).
Opinion is divided across the land. For some, it's an instinctive, blood-boiling choice. For others, a few lines of reasoning are required. Here are a few that caught my eye in the comments sections.
You remember how your teacher would ask you to show your working in maths class? Well that’s what I’m about to do here. Hopefully it’s useful to you. If I can debunk a few myths in the process, then all the better. It’s a long one though. So take a deep breath, get a big up of builder’s and have two aspirin at the ready.
- Our net contribution to the EU, taking into account the rebate, is £35m per day according to the Daily Telegraph; £280m a week says the Independent. The House of Lords estimate is between £8.6bn and £10bn per annum. This money could (if you trust your government) be redirected into public services and the NHS. Not all of it though – Norway contributes to the EU despite only have an EEA agreement. In contrast, there is no definitive study on the economic benefits of being a member of the EU.
- We are trading less and less with EU member states (down to around 45% in 2015 from 52% the previous year). Outside, we would be free to make new trade deals with growing economies such as India, China, Australia and the US. The EU does have free trade deals with “50 partners” but the Daily Telegraph argues that, “the more countries involved in a trade deal the harder, slower and worse the result.” The current trade deficit would also strengthen the UK’s bargaining power.
- We would be free to reallocate resources that the EU tells us how to spend. Kent Matthews is the Sir Julian Hodge Professor of Banking and Finance at Cardiff University. “Price support systems and subsidies, as in the Common Agricultural Policy, result in a misallocation of resources. The removal of the price support payments will lower prices to consumers.”
- The UK economy is becoming increasingly services-focused (manufacturing comprises less than 10%), the majority of which are exported outside the EU so there is no reason for Brexit.
- Some leave campaigners draw parallels with the Conservative government’s campaign to keep the UK in the ERM. That time round, interest rates soared, bankruptcies came thick and fast, and the banks made huge losses. After Black Wednesday and the surge of the Deutsche mark the pound fell by 17%. This was the best thing that had happened to the British economy in a long time. The weakened pound and falling interest rates made UK goods and services competitive again. In turn, the trade deficit reduced.
- Crowdsourced film Brexit: The Movie put forward a powerful economic argument – that the EU “had slid from free trade into crony capitalism and protectionism” as MEP Daniel Hannan put it. Another voice tells us that, “EU regulations and trade barriers have pushed up the price of everything and cut us off from the rest of the world." (There is a particularly compelling case study at the Tate & Lyle factory in East London, about 42m 40s in.) Instead, we should be emulating “super-democracy” Switzerland whose combined trade deals total £29.2 trillion compared to £5.23 trillion for the whole of the EU (£18.4 trillion if you count internal deals).
- Not all EU trade deals are positive. Ceta (the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) will reduce “obstacles to trade” between Canada and the EU, threatening “unfairness” actions in commercial arbitration courts against governments if they impose regulations to protect food safety, workers’ rights and environmental regulation. US trade deal TTIP also poses concerns. Both could be an open door for big business to abuse and exploit.
- London-based research group Open Europe, traditionally Eurosceptic, thinks that leaving won’t have a big impact on the economy, predicting “between 0.8% permanent loss of GDP by 2030 and 0.6% gain” based on the pursuit of deregulation and a mixture of trade agreements in the EU and around the world.
- According to Capital Economics chief economist Vicky Redwood, it only takes a reduction in GDP of 0.98% for public sector borrowing to be £10bn pounds more. In the worst case scenario where Britain failed to agree a free trade deal, it would face the EU’s common external tariff. The average tariff on manufactured goods is about 4%. “If exporters had to pay this,” she explains, “the cost would be well within the normal range of exchange rate movements that businesses would face on a bad day … in the space of a few hours. Tariffs do vary by sector (eg 10% on cars and 5% on imported components) but the government could use savings from EU contributions to help hardest hit sectors."
- If we do leave, UK products would still have to comply with EU safety regulations but we would have no say in what those regulations would be. A separate free trade deal is a possibility under World Trade Organisation rules (and “most favoured nation” terms) but it’s unlikely that the deal with be on a par or better than what’s currently offered. And it would hardly be a swift, cut-and-paste deal anyway, according to Roberto Azevêdo, the WTO director-general.
- The other big question is how many businesses would move their operations from the UK or reduce investment as Airbus has warned. Brexit supporters discredit the opinions of big business leaders arguing that they only care about the access to cheap labour they would lose within the EU. We should also be clear about the difference between the single market and a free trade area. The former is an attempt to create a limitless level playing field on which a business can move money, products and people without taxes, tariffs and quotas. In a free trade area there would probably be no taxes but that’s about it. You would also be subject to the laws of the country you are selling in. This difference could persuade businesses to invest elsewhere.
- Brexit requires a bigger crystal ball, as the Financial Times explains: “Some Eurosceptics say Britain stands a better chance of growth in future years if it looks beyond the sluggish economies of the EU to more dynamic parts of the world. But such an argument is a claim about the future, predicated on trading relationships that do not yet exist, rather than an analysis of the past."
- Finally, a word on the Common Agricultural Policy which puts at least €2bn a year into farmers’ pockets according to the NFU, in addition to the €5.2bn made available for rural development between 2014 and 2020. Would the government be able to pick up that shortfall if we left the EU? Farming Minister George Eustace is convinced. I’m not so sure. Especially when he also thinks there will be enough money from the EU contribution savings to distribute to towns and cities in place of the (admittedly bureaucratic) EU regional development fund. The North East receives twice as much European cash than any part of England according to the local Chronicle. Would there be as much investment if the Conservatives were in charge of the purse strings?
The economic case to leave is simply not convincing enough. If the public did vote to leave, a tense and hard-fought negotiation (under article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty) would commence over the next two years at least, resulting in something between the current EEA Norway-type agreement and what some commentators have dubbed “single market lite”. That might cost somewhere between €340m and €600m as currently paid in contributions by Norway and Switzerland respectively. And at what price to the consumer? Also, this referendum is not just about trade.
- “We are full.” “Britain is a soft touch.” We've all seen the headlines. Last week we heard that net migration had risen by 20,000 between December 2014 and December 2015, further fuelling the fire. The ONS figure of 2.1 million EU nationals working in the UK (224,000 higher than the previous year) will also infuriate British jobseekers. In addition, there are more than three million non-EU nationals in the UK for the first time on record. What is unclear is how this influx is impacting the social housing sector…
- Migration Watch, an independent non-political body campaigning for tougher border controls, found that migration cost the UK £1.2bn last year (a net figure calculated by deducting the cost of benefits and public services consumed from the amount of money migrants contributed to the Exchequer through tax). In the same Daily Telegraph article we are told that migrants over the previous 15 years have been “cost neutral”.
- A Bank of England report last year on the impact of migration on wages found that “the biggest effect is in the semi/unskilled services sector, where a 10 percentage point rise in the proportion of immigrants is associated with a 2 percent reduction in pay.”
- Leaving the EU would mean the UK could reclaim control of its borders, imposing working visa restrictions similar to those facing non-EU employees.
- More than 300 business leaders including Superdrug founder Steve Dowdle and cheapflights.com founder John Hatt are pro-Brexit, arguing in an open letter that Brussels red tape “stifles every one of Britain’s 5.4 million businesses”.
- On the website fullfact.org there is a reference to data collected between 2001 and 2011 by the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CREAM) at UCL. They claim that during that time EU migrants contributed £1.34 for every £1 they took out.
- A recent report by the Centre of Economic Performance at LSE found that areas with high immigration do not have higher rates of unemployed British people than other areas with less immigration. They also contribute more in tax than they use in public services.
- 63% of CBI members and 48% of SMEs, say that the ability to recruit and transfer staff from across the EU has been positive for business.
- In the Guardian, The Institute of Directors (IoD) also criticised the quality of public debate on immigration. Seamus Nevin, its Head of Employment and Skills, said, “If Britain voted for Brexit, there would still be a big skills gap, especially in areas which require science, maths or engineering degrees, where we just don’t have enough UK graduates.”
- About 24% of doctors in the NHS are foreign nationals (audit 2014) and the BMA confirms that “without them many NHS services would struggle to provide effective care for patients”.
- Restricting free movement of persons would mean a loss in low-cost labour for agriculture, food processing and construction, presumably jobs that migrants are more willing to do. Some question whether leaving would make a huge difference. Marley Morris, of the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR), commenting on their paper in March said that: "If the UK continues to participate in EU free movement as part of a new trade deal with the EU [similar to Norway] then Brexit is unlikely to have an impact on EU migration to the UK."
- The hundreds of thousands of Brits living in Spain, France and other parts of Europe might have to apply for visas and follow integration rules. And even pay for access to healthcare. Or return home, join the scramble of housing and put pressure on a creaking NHS. Is this the most efficient way of resolving the situation?
- Cameron has negotiated the following controls on immigration and welfare:
UK can limit non-contributory, in-work benefits for up to four years (phased in after initial exclusion). This emergency brake would be in place for a maximum of seven years.
Child benefit being sent back home will be linked to the cost of living in the countries where the children live. These rules would apply immediately for new arrivals and from 2020 for existing claimants.
New EU arrivals will be banned from claiming jobseeker’s allowance for three months. If they haven't found a job within six months they will be asked to leave the UK.
If workers lose their job through no fault of their own, they will be entitled to six months of jobseeker’s allowance and housing benefit, just like the rest of us.
The undeniable fact is that the Government has lost control of our borders. Like a deluded company that takes on staff it can neither safely accommodate nor fairly pay. Reform is urgently required and Cameron’s deal is a bare minimum. However, the anti-immigrant rhetoric is shameless. One example: #VoteLeave campaigners (and Defence Minister Penny Mordaunt in particular) are scaremongering regarding the possible influx from accession states such as Turkey and Albania, should they join the EU. As an LSE professor of EU law confirmed to the BBC, each member state does have a veto and it will be “many many years” before Turkey is let in. (Read a brief case history here.) The reports above say the majority of those coming to the UK are contributors to society.
Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of Vote Leave, is also wrong to claim that, "The EU is speeding up the process of Turkey joining and we are paying nearly £2 billion to help make it happen." According to BBC Reality Check: "Over a seven year period, £1.2bn of the UK's contributions to the EU Budget will go to seven candidate states. The UK committed another £250m towards helping Turkey support Syrian refugees for two years and might commit more in the future."
Consider, also, that immigration is not just an EU issue. Leaving will not solve the problem. So, security threats notwithstanding, unless there is full and comprehensive audit showing that the majority of EU migrants bleed public resources and exploit the welfare system, this is not a clear justification to leave.
- Good luck trying to calculate the number of pieces of UK legislation originating in Brussels. (It's somewhere between 15% and 60 according to this Daily Mirror article.) What we do know is that the EU is exerting a greater influence year after year.
- The UK currently has only 8.4% of voting power ‘say’ in the EU, and the Lisbon Treaty ensured the loss of Britain’s veto in many more policy areas.
- Britain’s 73 MEPs are a minority within the 751 in the European Parliament.
- With further enlargement (Croatia, Turkey’s 79 million citizens), British influence would be further watered down.
- The BBC reports that the UK’s influence in Brussels in on the wane and a recruitment drive is needed to get more UK representatives working in the Commission.
- We would have far more leverage outside EU as an independent sovereign nation and the world’s fifth largest economy.
- #VoteLeave will often tell us we can’t sack the commission. The EU is fundamentally undemocratic. MP David Davis argued this at a recent Institute of Ideas debate I attended. But it's not true, as journalist Jon Danzig explains here. “We elect MEPs to represent Britain in the European Parliament. The European Commission comprises 28 Commissioners, one from each member state [who propose candidates to the president]. The choice of president has to be agreed by a vote of the European Parliament. In the UK, we don’t get to vote for who sits in the Cabinet or holds ministerial positions. We don’t directly elect our Prime Minister. We don’t elect our Civil Service. We have an unelected second chamber, and an unelected ‘head of state’. Only one third of the British electorate actually vote in the European Parliament elections. Maybe that’s why so many believe the EU is not democratic.”
- A restriction on sovereignty can have its advantages. For instance the European Court of Justice and the European Parliament provide important checks on our government and judicial system. Take tax avoidance:, for example. David Cameron reportedly wrote to the EU to exclude offshore funds from a proposed clampdown. Yes, it’s arguable that the single market has encouraged multinationals to shift funds to low-tax countries such as Ireland but European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici’s proposals imply things are about to change. But back to the Conservatives: should a government be doing deals with the likes of Google?
- A story doing the rounds a few days ago was that the European Commission had “ordered” the UK to build more homes. Not so. They were basically recommending that the government follow through with their plans. No mention of immigration. No order. Recommendations are not legally binding, in other words.
- Cameron’s deal means the UK can effectively block EU commission proposals if it has the support of 55% of other national parliaments (the so-called “red card system”). We are also exempt from “ever closer union”, whatever that means. Finally, there is a commitment to strengthen the internal market and improve competitiveness through reduced red tape.
Nick Clegg argued on a Jeremy Paxman documentary that exercising sovereignty requires an element of pooling. “Sovereignty has been extended, it hasn’t been restricted,” he said. “It’s a trade off. It’s something you share with others to do the things you can't do on your own.” One example is workers’ rights (see below). Another would be climate change, as this open letter to the Guardian explains (signed by from former Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne and Greenpeace Executive Director John Sauven, among others): “It was a British diplomat who led the European negotiating bloc at the UN climate conference in Paris last year, persuading the EU to champion a long-term goal and a commitment to raise the world’s ambition on carbon emissions reduction every five years. This was agreed by all 194 countries in the final Paris agreement. The UK could not have exerted this influence acting alone.”
If Cameron’s agreement is honoured this should be an adequate check on overbearing Brussels but it would be good if the UK had a stronger role in drafting and discussing legislation rather vetoing laws we don't like. The UK joining a federation of European states would not be in our interests. Some argue this is the logical conclusion of the European project. Sovereignty is probably the strongest argument in favour of Brexit but that’s only if you believe sovereignty is possible in first place. Dr Davor Jancic, a Senior Researcher at the TMC Asser Institute Center for European and International Law, hits the nail on the head: “Sovereignty, of the sort advocated by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, is illusory. In the highly interconnected digital age with unprecedented levels of socio-economic and political interdependence, having ‘more’ sovereignty could actually mean harmful isolation rather than greater self-rule, because many factors that critically determine such self-rule operate outside of the UK.”
- It is NATO that has been the bedrock of peace, not the EU. One example is Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Brussels’ plodding in the Ukraine dispute with Russia is hardly encouraging. Julian Lewis, Chairman of the House of Commons Defence Committee, wrote in the Daily Telegraph: “In order to deter, collective security must combine adequate power with a high probability of its use in response to attack. On both grounds, NATO succeeds and the EU fails as a collective security organisation. Since the US does not belong to the EU, the latter can muster only a fraction of NATO’s deterrent military power.”
- Britain could soon be asked to contribute to a EU Army, with reports suggesting Angela Merkel may demand the Prime Minister’s approval in return for other concessions (probably under Article 42 of the Treaty on European Union, which provides for substantial military integration within the institutional framework of the union). That would erode the UK’s independent military force and should be opposed.
- Justice Secretary Michael Gove, citing experts such as former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove and ex-Interpol boss Ron Noble, claims that the EU's "open borders" policy makes us less safe in the UK. Commenting in the Daily Mail he said: “I know that the European criminal records information system (Ecris) doesn't allow us to know whether or not criminals come into this country. We only find out whether or not people have criminal records after they have already committed an offence in this country."
- The hub of Western intelligence today is actually Five Eyes, a network comprising Britain, the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Our partners might not be happy about us sharing with countries such as France, “ a move Washington will countenance", according to City AM.
- The UK Defence Journal notes that, “Integration is an option that requires unanimity from the governments of member states. For now it remains politically infeasible considering the critical stance of the United Kingdom’s government.”
- Lord Evans of Weardale, the former director general of MI5, and ex-MI6 chief Sir John Sawers, said the UK benefited from the exchange of information with other EU countries. “Intelligence work today relies on the lawful and accountable use of large data sets to reveal the associations and activities of terrorists and cyber-attackers. As an EU member, we shape the debate, we push for what we think is the right balance between security and privacy and we benefit from the data that flows as a result. An agreement reached without us would probably be too restrictive for our needs … and could undermine our ability to protect ourselves.”
- Fullfact.org clarifies the EU army situation: “The EU treaties do allow for ‘the progressive framing of a common defence policy that might lead to a common defence’. But this 'common defence’ will only come about “when the European Council, acting unanimously, so decides”. That means that the UK effectively has a veto. UK law also states that no such common EU defence powers can be handed from the UK to the EU without the approval of parliament and a referendum on the decision. So the government would need the support of both the public and MPs before they could make such a decision.”
- Withdrawal from the European Arrest Warrant could mean it takes longer to extradite suspects from other European countries.
As the UK’s Strategic Defence and Security Review made clear, terrorists do not respect borders. Surely wider co-operation and intelligence exchange across several networks is the best way to safeguard national security and fine-tune policy? As Sir Jon Day, former Chairman of the UK government’s Joint Intelligence Committee points out, “There are European countries who will talk to us more frankly [than Five Eyes members] because we are EU partners.” Those relationships could exist between European countries outside the union, as former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove claims, but I think they would be weaker without a explicit political commitment. Yes, the bigger the network, the greater the possibility of leaks, and border control is another big factor but there is little to be gained from leaving the EU on these grounds.
- Sarah O’Connor from Financial Times observes that the EU has not been as crucial to employment rights reform as we think. “The UK implemented the Equal Pay Act in 1970, before it even joined the EU. It already had sex and race discrimination laws too, according to the TUC, while its maternity leave exceeded the EU minimum of 14 weeks when that directive came in. It is true that the EU has strengthened, expanded and updated these rights over the decades … adding the right to holiday pay, unpaid parental leave and equal treatment for part-time workers. Yet two of the biggest EU directives — the maximum 48-hour week and the agency workers’ regulations — contained big loopholes or opt-outs for UK employers.”
- Specialists GU Employment Law say that workers’ right will be under threat in a post-Brexit world even if Britain manages to secure a Norway-type single market agreement. “Leave campaigners such as the free-market group Economists for Brexit, say they want complete withdrawal from the single market so that employment laws can be repealed. The TUC says that this would allow a government with a deregulatory agenda to make much more sweeping changes to employment law, such as reducing paid holidays, parental leave entitlements, and discrimination protections for pregnant workers.” A view echoed by Jeremy Corbyn. You can read more about potential threats to workers’ right here.
How much do you trust the Conservatives? Admittedly, it would take a brave government to withdraw paid holiday leave or equal treatment of workers but profit often seems to be their primary concern. Zero-hours contracts are on the rise, justified as offering both employee and employer flexibility. In reality, they offer low wages and poor job security and penalise those on reduced tax credits. As the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, an independent social research institution, state in their report: “Given the UK’s record of seeking to weaken EU employment legislation, both in the EU decision-making phase and the implementation phase, it is highly unlikely that most EU-inspired employment law would survive the withdrawal: the Working Time Directive and the Temporary Agency Work Directive, in particular.”
Sane remain campaigners are not suggesting that Britain would collapse if we left the EU but the benefits of remaining and working towards a stronger bargaining position at the table have been carelessly dismissed. The days of "Spendid Isolation" are history. Some say that voting to remain is a vote for the status quo and a red carpet for Brussels to govern even more of our everyday lives. Make no mistake, the union is bloated, too close to big business and choked by red tape. However, it still has a major role to play as a foundation for freedom, harmony and prosperity, safeguarding everything from employment rights and opportunities to a clean environment. The analysis above shows that the benefits of leaving do not outweigh the risks.
Some Brexit advocates do have strong arguments but too often the notion of control is overplayed and support is built through a combination of anger and blind hope. Maybe it's the British way. Rip it up and start again from a position of dominance, as if the Empire still existed and all others were our subjects. I have very little confidence in the Conservatives to act in the interests of the general public and tackle issues that make for a fairer and healthier society. Instead, give me collaboration and the prospect of 27 other member states holding the government to account. By leaving, we don’t simply absolve ourselves of the need to compromise.
The hardest thing about making this decision is that we can't accurately predict the nature of relationship the UK will have with the EU, whether in or out. Can a member state make the EU more democratic and efficient from within? Will we be able to pursue trade agreements with non-EU countries such as China, India and the US? That does not mean you should be a 'reluctant remainer'. Vote for progress and the side you feel has the best chance of achieving it.
Young voters especially might grasp at more practical, tangible benefits: lower international roaming rates or flights; a cheaper shopping basket (in store or online); the opportunity to work anywhere within the EU without a visa or study abroad on the Erasmus programme; the ability to own a home, if they believe EU immigrants are to blame for the housing shortage. But the referendum requires that we all look further into the future, a future of uncertainty where allies will be harder to come by. Why? Because everyone is increasingly out for themselves. Diplomacy is now more important than ever.
Artist Wolfgang Tillmans and his team created a series of posters to raise awareness of the key arguments pro-EU and to encourage young voters to register before 7 June. His words struck a chord: “I feel that we have reached a critical moment that could prove to be a turning point for Europe as we know and enjoy it. The weakening of the EU is a goal being actively pursued by strongmen like Vladimir Putin and European parties on the far right. The EU a flawed and problematic institution, but on the whole it stands for a democratic world view, human rights and favours co-operation over confrontation.”
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
2 June – David Cameron faces questions from journalists and live audience on Sky News at 8pm
3 June – Michael Gove faces questions from journalists and live audience on Sky News at 8pm
7 June – deadline for voters to register; David Cameron and Nigel Farage separately take questions from a live studio audience on ITV1 at 9pm (register before 31 May here)
21 June – BBC Wembley Arena debate, probably featuring Boris Johnson and Defence Secretary Michael Fallon among other
22 June – Jeremy Paxman hosts a live debate on Channel 4. Panel tbc
23 June – the big day