EU Referendum

Snakes alive! Threats about Calais, ex-pats being rounded up and doom-mongering about the City. How long before the Remain campaign suggests giant rats will invade, asks RICHARD LITTLEJOHN

Towards the end of the 1975 European referendum campaign, someone produced a spoof political broadcast warning of the dire consequences if we voted to leave.

Britain would be invaded by poisonous snakes, many of them millions of miles long, who would creep into our homes in the dead of night and eat our children in their beds.

I seem to remember that it was a flight of fancy from the surreal imagination of the late, great Peter Cook — one of the driving forces behind Private Eye magazine, and half (with Dudley Moore) of the comedy double-acts Pete and Dud, and the spectacularly filthy Derek and Clive.

Even if it wasn’t Cookie, it should have been. He specialised in taking the mundane and stretching it into an hilarious symphony of absurdity. As polling day approached in ’75, the war of words became increasingly alarmist and therefore ripe for Cook’s unique brand of ridicule.

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Every single day we are drip-fed a diet of apocalyptic horror stories by the scaremongers at Stronger In Europe, writes Richard Littlejohn

I can only assume that someone at this year’s Remain campaign has stumbled across this sketch in the archives, failed to realise it was a joke, and has taken it as a blueprint for scaring us to vote to stay in the EU.

After all, as the Mail pointed out yesterday, how long before Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond declares that if we have the audacity to vote Leave, a plague of giant rats will immediately be unleashed, visiting upon us a Doomsday scenario of disease and destruction?

Every single day we are drip-fed a diet of apocalyptic horror stories by the scaremongers at Stronger In Europe.

Admittedly, they haven’t got round to the giant rats just yet, but give it time. The latest spine-chilling threat is that France will expel British border guards from Calais and we will be flooded with thousands more illegal immigrants from Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and beyond.

Call Me Dave floated this canard a couple of weeks ago, even though he knew perfectly well that the bilateral Anglo-French treaty which covers border controls at the Channel ports has absolutely nothing to do with our membership of the EU.

Even so, he’s now enlisted the help of a French government minister to repeat this fairy tale — raising the spectre that the Garden of England will soon be carpeted with squalid Calais-style camps, overflowing with violent, testosterone-filled, knife-wielding young migrants hell-bent on rape and robbery.

Are we really going to be held to ransom by pipsqueak French politicians? If we are, I can think of no better reason for voting Leave.

The latest spine-chilling threat from Stronger in Europe (pictured, Lord Mandelson speaking at Stronger In Europe campaign event) is that France will expel British border guards from Calais

We’re an island and we’re perfectly capable of deciding who lives here, merci. Indeed we should have the absolute right to do so.

Is our own elected Government trying to say that it will be powerless to protect our borders if we become an independent country once again? In which case, it’s time they fell on their swords and made way for someone who is prepared to stand up for Britain.

Foreign Secretary Hammond is just one of the spineless turncoats who have cynically elevated their own political ambitions above the interests and wishes of the people who put them into office. Once a prominent Eurosceptic, Phil the Creep now wields dodgy dossiers that even Alastair Campbell would disown as he attempts to bully us into voting to stay.

This week he was painting a picture of millions of British expats on the Costa del Boy being rounded up and sent home. He knows, under international law, it’s not going to happen but trots out this trash anyway.

Then there’s thick-as-Bisto Theresa May, another alleged Eurosceptic, who is trying to convince us we will be at the mercy of foreign murderers and terrorists if we’re outside the EU.

Does she have any idea how ridiculous she sounds? I’m assuming, as Home Secretary, she realises that while we are still members we can’t stop anyone from the EU settling in this country? Probably not.

And as for ‘safer and stronger’, do our security services really have anything to learn from the Clouseaus who failed to stop the Paris terror attacks?

Is Theresa really admitting that she couldn’t protect us from terrorists and illegal immigrants if we were to become an independent nation once more? If so, she should resign immediately and take a job more suited to her talents — in a nail bar, perhaps, or selling kitten-heel shoes in Russell & Bromley.

The In campaign have also claimed the UK will be flooded with thousands more illegal immigrants from Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and beyond (pictured, refugees at Greek-Macedonia border)

 ‘Please open the border!’ Child refugees plead in Greece

The whole tone of the political Remain campaign is depressingly defeatist, devoted to telling us how weak and powerless we are — despite our being the fifth biggest economy in the world and the fourth greatest military power.

‘We shall fight them on the beaches, provided they’ve got an EU blue flag, certifying safety, water quality and sustainability.’

Don’t panic!

As far as the economic case for staying in Europe goes, that, too, is based on a narrative of lies, cowardice and fear. They’ve even enlisted companies such as (German-owned) Rolls-Royce to threaten their employees with losing their jobs if they vote to Leave.

This is despite the fact that the Indian owners of export-led Jaguar Land Rover say the effects of Brexit on their business would be negligible. The idea that all trade between Britain and the EU would end tomorrow if we quit is patronising nonsense.

This country is the EU’s single biggest export market. They’ve got far more to lose than we have.

Is BMW going to refuse to sell cars to Britain in a fit of pique? Will the French and Italians stop selling us wine, or buying Scotch whisky?

Don’t be so absurd.

Despite the doom-mongers, the City of London is fairly relaxed about Brexit. Unlike Cameron and his self-serving cronies — who are scared stiff of losing their ‘influence’ in Brussels and are effectively admitting they can’t run Britain on their own — the financiers and hedge-funders have every confidence they can prosper outside the EU straitjacket.

London was a world financial centre long before anyone had ever heard of the European Union and will continue to be so whatever happens.

Unlike David Cameron (pictured) and his self-serving cronies, the financiers and hedge-funders have every confidence they can prosper outside the EU straitjacket

As for the French minister who claims bankers and businessmen who deserted Paris for London will be desperate to return home in the event of a Leave vote, he must have been hitting the pastis over his petit déjeuner.

The 250,000 French citizens who moved here did so to escape the sclerotic, socialist, high-tax, inward-looking French economy and embrace Britain’s more dynamic, lower-tax, lower-regulation global market place.

Tout le monde back sur l’Eurostar? Somehow I don’t think so.

Those financial institutions who want Britain to stay are motivated not by national interest but by considerations of their own convenience. When push comes to shove, I’m prepared to bet they won’t relocate.

Ignore the scaremongering of Northern Rock, now owned by Richard Branson, a euro-fanatic based in the Virgin Islands. Northern Rock wouldn’t even exist had it not been for the British taxpayer bailing out its bad loans division after the 2008 crash.

That worldwide crash was caused by greedy banks such as Goldman Sachs, knocking out worthless sub-prime mortgage packages to mug punters who couldn’t afford the repayments.

Goldman Sachs is the Bond villain of finance, known as the Vampire Squid because of its blood-sucking tentacles which stretch across the world. It made 450 million euros out of crashing the Greek economy.

So when it tells us Britain should stay in the EU, you know it’s time to head for the fire exit.

Speaking of Vampire Squids, could there be a better description of the EU itself? No aspect of our lives is immune from EU interference, as I keep explaining, from banning us catching our own fish to telling us what kettles we can buy.

Cameron (pictured) and his followers are scared stiff of losing their 'influence' in Brussels and are effectively admitting they can't run Britain on their own, writes Richard Littlejohn

Cameron: Britain can hit net migration target and remain in EU

The latest idea is bringing taxes on life-saving e-cigarettes in line with those on tobacco, in the name of ‘harmonisation’. This has long been the goal of Big Tobacco, which has been losing sales to e-cigs.

The tobacco industry is among those giant corporations who maintain an army of 30,000 lobbyists in Brussels. Instead of making their case to dozens of different governments, they only have to convince one lot of bureaucrats in the EU. No wonder the ruthless multi-nationals are all backing Remain.

For what it’s worth, I accept that there is an honourable, respectable argument for staying in the EU. But this isn’t it.

Not that I’d ever vote to Remain. And I’m sure that Daily Mail readers can see through the intelligence-insulting daily barrage of scare stories about dearer holidays, food and phone charges, millions of jobs lost, second homes in Europe being confiscated at gunpoint, and so on, and so on and scooby dooby dooby.

There’s still another four months of this drivel to go. They seem to think we’re all as stupid as they are. We’re not.

But it can only be a matter of time before they threaten to bring on the dancing snakes, many of them millions of miles long, to slaughter us all in our beds.

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