Is the UK government’s £100m ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ campaign legal?

We only ask because the UK Supreme court has ruled that most of PM Boris Johnson’s wheezes – like proroguing Parliament – are not legal (the court says Parliament is still sitting.) Johnson tried to claim he did this – suspending Parliament – to prepare a Queen’s speech (outline of the Government’s legislative programme) not to stymie Parliamentary opposition to a no-deal Brexit.

Nobody believed him although it was still a shock when the Court ruled against him unanimously.

As part of Johnson’s attempt to force through Brexit by October 31, deal or no deal, the government announced it was to spend £100m on an information campaign – including loads of ads – to make sure the country was prepared. But was this really the purpose of the expenditure, or the sole purpose?

Sky News

Or was it to muster popular support for a no-deal Brexit, if that’s what matters came to? The Supreme Court’s judgement is not popular on parts of the country that voted strongly for Brexit. Many seem to buy Johnson’s ‘People versus Parliament’ argument. Has the ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ campaign fuelled this? Will it be helpful to a Tory government led by Johnson when and if there’s a General Election? It may be partly or wholly intended to make Remainers look like wreckers.

We don’t want every aspect of politics to end in the courts of course. But mendacity is the defining flavour of British politics today and ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ is surely open to challenge.

And, in the light of what’s happened, the Government should at least stop the campaign. It’s our money after all.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.