George Osborne admits that Brexit vote was down to Tories ‘getting things wrong’ during referendum debate

·Freelance Writer
<em>George Osborne (right) believes mistakes made by the Tories led to Britain voting for Brexit (Getty)</em>
George Osborne (right) believes mistakes made by the Tories led to Britain voting for Brexit (Getty)

Former Chancellor George Osborne has blamed mistakes by the Government during his time in office for the outcome of the Brexit vote.

Appearing on BBC’s Newsnight on Tuesday, Mr Osborne admitted the Conservative Party ‘did get things wrong’ in the lead-up to the referendum.

The now editor of the London Evening Standard was a prominent figure in the Remain campaign.

EU membership supporters explained the benefits of EU membership ‘too late in the day’, he said, and failed to communicate the value of immigration.

<em>The former Chancellor said that not enough had been made of the value of immigration during the referendum debate (Getty)</em>
The former Chancellor said that not enough had been made of the value of immigration during the referendum debate (Getty)

He said: “I think we were wrong to play into the debate that everything that Brussels did was a challenge and a battle and was wrong.

“On immigration we were promising targets that we couldn’t deliver and that then led to a debate about how you might deliver those targets… we definitely contributed to that argument.”

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Mr Osborne said he had worked hard ‘in the national interest’ during his time in office in the face of a hung parliament and faced with the ‘gigantic financial crash’.

He said: “Ultimately the country grew and jobs were created and we avoided the calamitous situation that a lot of European countries found themselves in this period.”

The former Chancellor was a key ally of David Cameron, but has previously admitted he was not in favour of an EU referendum and only supported it out of loyalty to Cameron.

<em>Remain supporters had been ‘too late in the day’ in explaining the benefits of EU membership, according to Mr Osborne (Getty)</em>
Remain supporters had been ‘too late in the day’ in explaining the benefits of EU membership, according to Mr Osborne (Getty)

Labour MP Barry Sheerman criticised Mr Osborne and former Prime Minister David Cameron for ‘running away from their responsibilities’ when they lost the EU referendum.

Speaking during the Commons Budget Resolutions debate, the MP for Huddersfield said: “I know that what we’re moving towards is a disaster for their living standards, their health standards and everything else that touches their lives over these coming years. This is a year of crisis…

“This is going to be the next crisis where we need people there at the Despatch Box who actually take on their role as leaders.

“Not people who were there as Prime Minister and Chancellor and when they lost the referendum ran away from their responsibilities, ran away from the leadership.

“Where are they now, in the Evening Standard I suppose, in their man cave writing their memoirs.”

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