No surprise, but Johnson’s election lies are falling apart

Boris Johnson
Fréa Lockley

Boris Johnson’s 2019 election victory was based on lies. This is something many of us knew. But his lies are falling apart so fast, it’s tricky to keep up with them. Certainly, promises of an ‘oven-ready Brexit’ look half-baked already.


As he launched the Conservative manifesto, Johnson promised:

We’re going to get Brexit done with a deal that is pre-cooked, ready to go, oven-ready, as I keep saying, approved not just by our friends in the EU but by every single one of the 635 Conservative candidates standing at this election.

In the manifesto itself, he pledged to “get Brexit done in January”. And “get Brexit done” was repeated over, and over, and over. Turns out, only halfway through January, that’s not quite true.

On 14 January, in his first major interview of 2020, Johnson shifted the goalposts. As the Financial Times reported:

Johnson said during the December election campaign that the chance of no deal being concluded were “absolutely zero”, but in his first major media interview of the year he appeared to concede for the first time that he had some doubts.

When asked about an EU deal by December, he said it was “enormously, epically likely”.

Liar liar

The Independent reported on 14 January that the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier had confirmed a system of:

“checks and controls” between Britain and Northern Ireland under the agreement that will govern the UK’s exit from the EU.

Again, this totally undermines promises made by Johnson in the election. The Independent noted it’s not clear if Johnson “misunderstood the agreement” or lied “to the public”, but the deal signed in November always included these checks.

Labour’s David Lammy made the point that we can’t “trust a single word Boris Johnson says”:

And according to Bloomberg, Brexit’s already left the UK economy smaller than it would have been by £130bn, with another £70bn estimated in 2020. This, Business Insider suggested, means that:

Brexit may soon cost the UK more than its combined total of payments to the European Union budget over the past 47 years.

One Twitter user felt these figures should go on a bus:

No shit…

Finding out Johnson lied is really no surprise. But with an election allegedly won over Brexit, the implication of these lies unravelling is truly devastating. Anyone who voted Tory to “get Brexit done” betrayed every homeless person, every child living in poverty, anyone on Universal Credit, and everyone who relies on the NHS. Slow hand clap all round.

Featured image via ©UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us