Monday , June 14 2021
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BBC Brexit Editorializing

Summary:
On Monday at 6.45 on the BBC News Channel, Ros Atkins asked “whether the pledges made by the Leave campaign have been borne out by reality across fishing, trade, Northern Ireland and divergence - and whether some of the warnings made by Remain about Brexit have come to pass” (quote from BBC Website).I recall four segments of more or less equal length: fishing, Northern Ireland, trade and warnings. To quote the BBC website, Mr Atkins failed in his pledge to discuss divergence, neglecting the vaccine/nimble/speed-boat story, which most would see as divergence’s headline fruit, indeed the headline post-Brexit story so far.He admitted that fishing was trivial but proceeded to devote one quarter of his time to it. He could have disposed of the matter summarily by saying that fishing is unique:

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On Monday at 6.45 on the BBC News Channel, Ros Atkins asked “whether the pledges made by the Leave campaign have been borne out by reality across fishing, trade, Northern Ireland and divergence - and whether some of the warnings made by Remain about Brexit have come to pass” (quote from BBC Website).

I recall four segments of more or less equal length: fishing, Northern Ireland, trade and warnings. To quote the BBC website, Mr Atkins failed in his pledge to discuss divergence, neglecting the vaccine/nimble/speed-boat story, which most would see as divergence’s headline fruit, indeed the headline post-Brexit story so far.

He admitted that fishing was trivial but proceeded to devote one quarter of his time to it. He could have disposed of the matter summarily by saying that fishing is unique: for a few years, we must balance EU access to our waters with access to the EU markets which take almost all of our catch. He failed to ventilate the medium-term solution: investing in supply chains (and negotiating access) to other markets. Instead, three months in, he chose to editorialise it as a failed promise.

He dealt with the facts of Northern Ireland accurately enough. Even so, he failed (a) to identify as an underlying cause the EU’s insistence that its single market obliged the countries of the British Isles to accept either a border across the Irish Sea or a border within the island of Ireland; and (b) to identify as an error the negotiators’ sole focus on the risk of Nationalist disaffection. Instead, once again, he editorialised a failed promise

His treatment of trade agreements was accurate in saying that the UK’s 60-odd novated agreements follow the EU’s paperwork. He failed to note that pre-Brexit, the EU was only able to make agreements with marginal economies and that none of them matter. If he mentioned Australia, India or Japan, I missed it. Once again, an editorialised failed promise.

He treated the mistaken warnings fairly but gave them only equal time with any one of the other three points. Most would see them as a bigger story. He was silent on our biggest industry, financial services, where jobs have conspicuously failed to move to Europe.

What we got felt like sectarianism from Mr Atkins. Has the BBC no time to broadcast other views?

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