Brexit 'like a pensions mis-selling scandal', says Baroness Ros Altmann

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Pensions campaigner Baroness Ros Altmann has compared Brexit to a pension mis-selling scandal, saying: “It promises you a wonderful product… but all those promises have been proven not to be true”.

Baroness Altmann clashed with Julia Hartley-Brewer on the talkRADIO breakfast show, with the presenter disputing her assertion that voters were not made aware of the possible risks of Brexit during the 2016 referendum campaign.

“Brexit has the hallmarks of the mis-selling scandals I see so many times in pensions,” Baroness Altmann said.

“It promises you a wonderful product and says the risks are non existent or very low.

“That is part of what has been revealed about the Leave campaign in 2016 in the referendum - the British people were basically told that leaving the EU would bring a brilliant new free trade deal, all the benefits of being in the EU, but not have to abide by their rules.

“We’d have lots of extra money to spend on things that are important, but all those promises have been proven not to be true.”


'Risks not made clear'

“Hold on a minute, we haven’t left yet - what has not been proven to be true?” said Hartley-Brewer.

“We will be able to spend money ourselves and make free trade agreements.

“The high court of our land will be the Supreme Court, not the European Court of Justice. Which ones do you think were untrue?”

“The campaign said clearly that we would be better off outside the EU,” replied Baroness Altmann.

“They clearly said we’d have benefits of being in the EU without having to abide by the rules. That isn’t true. If we want to leave the single market and the customs union, that’s ok as far as not following EU rules is concerned, but we’d lose all the free trade we currently have.”

“People aren’t going to stop buying and selling things because there are any extra customs rules,” argued Hartley-Brewer.

She cited a number of sources and groups that warned of a negative financial impact of Brexit, including the Treasury, which warned a no deal exit could cause a 9.3% hit to the economy.

“You’re talking about an economic cost and trade, there are so many other ramifications,” said Baroness Altmann.

“It wasn’t presenting the truth. 17.4 million people did not vote for no deal. The risks of leaving were not made clear to anybody.”