Both Remain and Leave are propagating falsehoods at public expense


(The Telegraph, Opinion, 13 JUNE 2016)

 A British Union flag sits on top of a scale model of the British Houses of Parliament as a model of the Eiffel Tower stands behind, at the Mini Europe theme park, in Brussels, Belgium(The Eiffel Tower dwarfs the Houses of Parliament at Mini Europe, a Brussels theme park  Credit: Jasper Juinen /Bloomberg)

 

A referendum result is democratically legitimate only if voters can make an informed decision. Yet the level of misinformation in the current campaign is so great that democratic legitimacy is called into question.

Both sides are making misleading claims. Their official communications have been dropping through letter boxes – at taxpayers’ expense – in recent days.

Vote Leave’s leaflet purports to offer “The Facts”, yet leads with the claim that EU membership costs the UK £350 million a week – repeatedly exposed by independent authorities as a blatant falsehood.

The Remain leaflet begins by saying that “over three million UK jobs are linked to our exports to the EU”. Though this is in line with independent analyses, not all these jobs would go in the event of Brexit.

Propagating falsehoods, with support from the public purse, distorts the public communication upon which democracy depends. When the dust from this referendum settles, we must review ways to strengthen campaign truthfulness without curtailing legitimate free speech.

In the short term, broadcasters and the media must focus more fearlessly on challenging deliberate misinformation. Impartial fact-checkers are doing excellent work, but are receiving insufficient attention.

As the campaign draws to a close, an informed public decision true to the values of British democracy depends on a change of tone.

 

Dr Alan Renwick
University College London
Professor Anne Deighton
University of Oxford
Professor Matthew Flinders
University of Sheffield, Chairman of the Political Studies Association
Professor Sara Hobolt
London School of Economics
Professor Meg Russell
University College London
Professor Sir Mike Aaronson
University of Surrey
Professor Katharine Adeney
University of Nottingham
Dr Nicholas Allen
Royal Holloway University of London
Professor Chris Anderson
University of Southampton
Dr Arianna Andreangeli
University of Edinburgh
Dr Michael Bacon
Royal Holloway University of London
Professor Sorin Baiasu
Keele University
Dr Kristin M. Bakke
University College London
Professor John Barry
Queen’s University Belfast
Professor David S Bell
University of Leeds
Dr Giacomo Benedetto
Royal Holloway University of London
Professor Andrea Biondi
King’s College London
Professor Ruth Blakeley
University of Kent
Dr Adrian Blau
King’s College London
Professor Nicole Bolleyer
University of Exeter
Dr Carrie Bradshaw
University of York
Dr Jacqui Briggs
University of Lincoln
Professor Simon Bulmer
University of Sheffield
Professor Paul Cairney
University of Stirling
Professor Rosie Campbell
Birkbeck University of London, Vice-Chairman of the Political Studies Association
Dr Tereza Capelos
University of Birmingham
Professor Terrell Carver
University of Bristol
Dr Philip Catney
Keele University
Dr Clare Chambers
University of Cambridge
Dr Laura Chappell
University of Surrey
Dr Cristina Chiva
University of Salford
Dr Alexandre Christoyannopoulos
Loughborough University
Dr Alistair Clark
Newcastle University
Dr Govinda Clayton
University of Kent
Professor Ben Clift
University of Warwick
Professor Feargal Cochrane
University of Kent
Professor David Coen
University College London
Professor Alistair Cole
Cardiff University
Dr Stephanie Collins
University of Manchester
Professor James Connelly
University of Hull
Dr Liz David-Barrett
University of Sussex
Professor Gerard Delanty
University of Sussex
Dr Andrew Denham
University of Nottingham
Dr Swati Dhingra
London School of Economics
Dr Mark Donovan
Cardiff University
Dr Julie Doughty
Cardiff University
Professor Sionaidh Douglas-Scott
Queen Mary University of London
Dr Robin Douglass
King’s College London
Dr Sara Drake
Cardiff University
Professor Gavin Drewry
Royal Holloway University of London
Professor Kenneth Dyson
Cardiff University
Dr Fabienne Emmerich
Keele University
Professor Jocelyn Evans
University of Leeds
Professor Cecile Fabre
University of Oxford
Professor Steven Fielding
University of Nottingham
Dr Lucy Finchett-Maddock
University of Sussex
Professor Robert Ford
University of Manchester
Dr N. Susan Gaines
University of Leeds
Professor Andrew Gamble
University of Sheffield
Professor Amandine Garde
University of Liverpool
Dr Mark Garnett
Lancaster University
Dr Catherine Gegout
University of Nottingham
Professor Bulent Gokay
Keele University
Dr Jonathan Golub
University of Reading
Professor Cathy Gormley-Heenan
Ulster University
Dr Roberta Guerrina
University of Surrey
Dr Edward Guntrip
University of Sussex
Dr Sara Hagemann
London School of Economics
Dr Daphne Halikiopoulou
University of Reading
Dr Marit Hammond
Keele University
Dr James Hampshire
University of Southampton
Dr Chris Hanretty
University of East Anglia
Professor Shaun P. Hargreaves Heap
King’s College London
Dr Tim Haughton
University of Birmingham
Professor Colin Hay
University of Sheffield
Professor Robert Hazell
University College London
Dr Karen Heard-Laureote
University of Portsmouth
Dr Oliver Heath
Royal Holloway University of London
Dr Eve Hepburn
University of Edinburgh
Dr Isabelle Hertner
University of Birmingham
Professor Simon Hix
London School of Economics
Dr Ben Holland
University of Nottingham
Dr David Hudson
University College London
Dr Jonathan Hughes
Keele University
Dr Jo Hunt
Cardiff University
Professor Will Jennings
University of Southampton
Professor Jeffrey Karp
University of Exeter
Professor Urfan Khaliq
Cardiff University
Dr Carl Knight
University of Glasgow
Professor Elena Korosteleva
University of Kent
Professor Cecile Laborde
University College London
Professor Peter Lawler
University of Manchester
Professor Cristina Leston-Bandeira
University of Leeds
Dr Nicole Lindstrom
University of York
Professor Moya Lloyd
Loughborough University
Professor Roger Masterman
Durham University
Professor Matt Matravers
University of York
Professor Iain McLean
University of Oxford
Dr Saladin Meckled-Garcia
University College London
Dr Mario Mendez
Queen Mary University of London
Professor Susan Mendus 
University of York
Professor Jan-Hinrik Meyer-Sahling
University of Nottingham
Dr Caitlin Milazzo
University of Nottingham
Professor Frances Millard
University of Essex
Professor Neil Mitchell
University College London
Professor Surya Monro
University of Huddersfield
Dr Edward Morgan-Jones
University of Kent
Professor Veronique Munoz-Darde
University College London
Dr Jo Murkens
London School of Economics
Dr Ryan Murphy
Aston University
Dr Kyriaki Nanou
University of Nottingham
Professor Kalypso Nicolaïdis
University of Oxford
Dr Charlotte O’Brien
University of York
Professor Colm O’Cinneide
University College London
Professor Dawn Oliver
University College London
Dr Jane O’Mahony
University of Kent
Professor David Owen
University of Southampton
Dr Tanya Palmer
University of Sussex
Professor Dimitris Papadimitriou
University of Manchester
Dr Phil Parvin
Loughborough University
Professor Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos
University of Westminster
Professor Anne Phillips
London School of Economics
Professor Richard Rawlings
University College London
Professor Andrew Reeve
University of Warwick
Dr Christine Reh
University College London
Professor Dave Richards
University of Manchester
Dr Rebecca Richards
Keele University
Dr Miriam Ronzoni
University of Manchester
Dr Carolyn Rowe
Aston University
Professor Andrew Russell
University of Manchester
Professor Alan Ryan
University of Oxford
Dr Barry J Ryan
Keele University
Professor Andrew Sanders
University of Sussex
Dr Katja Sarmiento-Mirwaldt
Brunel University
Dr Ben Saunders
University of Southampton
Dr Christian Schemmel
University of Manchester
Professor Drew Scott
University of Edinburgh
Professor Joanne Scott 
University College London
Professor Roger Scully
Cardiff University
Dr Ben Seyd
University of Kent
Dr Liam Shields
University of Manchester
Dr Kathryn Simpson
University of Manchester
Dr Charlotte Skeet
University of Sussex
Dr Kaat Smets
Royal Holloway University of London
Professor Stijn Smismans
Cardiff University
Professor Graham Smith
University of Westminster
Professor Martin Smith
University of York
Professor Eleanor Spaventa
Durham University
Dr Zofia Stemplowska
University of Oxford
Professor Gerry Stoker
University of Southampton
Dr Sherrill Stroschein
University College London
Professor Adam Swift
University of Warwick
Professor Keith Syrett 
Cardiff University
Professor Victor Tadros
University of Warwick
Professor Colin R Talbot
University of Manchester
Dr Pedro Telles
Swansea University
Professor Colin Thain
University of Birmingham
Dr Sharon Thompson
Cardiff University
Professor Stephen Tierney
University of Edinburgh
Dr Patrick Tomlin
University of Reading
Dr Simon Toubeau
University of Nottingham
Dr Nick Turnbull
University of Manchester
Dr Varun Uberoi
Brunel University
Professor Cees van der Eijk
University of Nottingham
Dr Josephine van Zeben
University of Oxford
Dr Jennifer van Heerde-Hudson
University College London
Dr Ashwini Vasanthakumar
University of York
Dr Sofia Vasilopoulou
University of York
Dr Matthew Wall
Swansea University
Professor Georgina Waylen
University of Manchester
Professor Albert Weale
University College London
Professor Paul Webb
University of Sussex
Anne Wesemann
Open University
Professor Paul Whiteley
University of Essex
Professor Nathan Widder
Royal Holloway University of London
Dr Stuart Wilks-Heeg
University of Liverpool
Dr Helen Williams
University of Nottingham
Julia Winstone
University of Sussex
Professor Jonathan Wolff
University College London
Dr Kathryn Wright
University of York
Dr David Yuratich
Royal Holloway University of London
Professor Anthony R Zito
Newcastle University
Professor Lorenzo Zucca
King’s College London

 

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