A right-wing journalist shows mountainous ignorance of Brexit on his skiing holiday

Journalist and Brexit supporter Quentin Letts
Support us and go ad-free

Whatever your opinion on Brexit, the ignorance shown by some of its most prominent media supporters is undeniable.

On 17 February, it was the turn of newspaper columnist Quentin Letts. In an astonishingly misguided tweet, Letts demonstrated he doesn’t grasp basic facts about the EU.

Don’t tweet and ski

Letts is the author of Patronising Bastards: How the Elites Betrayed Britain. Previously he wrote for the Daily Mail but he’s recently moved to work on Rupert Murdoch-owned publications including the Times and the Sun.

But while on a ski trip, Letts tweeted this Brexit themed observation:

Letts appears to believe that him skiing from an EU state to a non-EU state (Switzerland) shows that there is no need for hard borders. This is presumably a reference to Brexit’s Irish border problem.

A mountainous mistake

But the Twitter community was quick to highlight some glaring holes in Letts’s observation:

And People’s Vote supporter and socialist Mike Galsworthy wasn’t impressed:

Schengen is a reference to the Schengen Area. This is an EU agreement of which Switzerland is also a member. Schengen enables:

citizens to cross internal borders without being subjected to border checks. The border-free Schengen Area guarantees free movement to more than 400 million EU citizens, as well as to many non-EU nationals

Comedian James Felton didn’t mince his words:

A man crossing a border on skis is not the same as an 18 wheel lorry

Others pointed out that Letts’s analogy doesn’t work anyway:

And this was clarified by professor in international law Lea Raible:

When Letts tried to save the situation, he made matters worse. He even spelled Schengen as “Shengen”:

A Brexit critic summarised Letts’s tweeting nicely:

Voters ‘were conned’ by such misleading information

Other critics think Letts’s tweet was typical of misleading information that may have influenced some Brexit voters. Conservative MP Anna Soubry didn’t hold back:

Writer Tom Pride went further, suggesting Letts may have been deliberately dishonest to influence opinion:


Not the first time a Brexiteer has been caught with their trousers down

But Letts’s gaffe isn’t the first time a Brexit supporter has been exposed for lacking a basic understanding of Brexit. Spectator columnist James Delingpole made a painful attempt to justify a WTO Brexit:

Decisions such as Brexit are of huge importance for the future of our country. To see those with powerful media positions lacking a basic understanding of Brexit is disturbing. And such inaccurate information, no doubt, influences public opinion.

Featured image via YouTube – goingundergroundRT

Support us and go ad-free

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us