Skip to main content

Was the Referendum Fair? Who spent most in the EU Referendum? The Russia Report.

The total expenditure by the Leave and Remain campaigns is given in the Electoral Commission Report: Report on the regulation of campaigners at the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union held on 23 June 2016 .  The final spending is summarised in this graph:

Across all campaign groups Remain spent £19.3m and Leave spent £13.3m.

The lead campaigns each had a spending limit of £7m but other campaigners had their own spending limits. Remain had more campaign groups so had the higher spending limit of £31m compared with Leave's £21,500,000.

Spending of largest campaigns
Labour and Lib-Dems together spent as much as Vote Leave Limited. The In Campaign was a front for the "European Movement" and Leave.EU was a front for UKIP. The official Leave campaign was Vote Leave.

These are the Electoral Commission figures.  However, the Government backed the Remain Campaign and boosted Remain expenditure in two ways.  It directly spent over £9m on pro-Remain publications including sending a pamphlet that backed Remain to every household in the country.  It tipped off foreign contributors to Remain about the cut off date for declaring contributions, this allowed several millions to be contributed by the US Investment Banks.  As the Guardian put it: "The US banks are free to make donations now because the rules of the referendum have not been set and the campaigns are not officially registered. Once the rules are established, [foreign] businesses’ ability to contribute may be restricted." (See Guardian Article).
A strange feature of the Electoral Commission figures is that StrongerIn spent more than the official figure for the entire Remain referendum campaign but only declared under £7m. See StrongerIn(In Campaign) Accounts (Open Britain Ltd):

In Campaign (StrongerIn) spending
How could StrongerIn have spent more than the entire Remain campaign from all sources yet not be held to account for this?  According to the Electoral Commission "The two designated lead campaigners reported total spending of £13,510,049 - The In Campaign Ltd reported spending £6,767,584; and Vote Leave Ltd reported spending £6,742,466."  Some £13m has gone missing from the In Campaign declaration. The In Campaign declare in their accounts that the £13m was spent before the regulated period (ie: before 1st February 2016).

Remain spent at least £41m when the true In Campaign and Government expenditure is included.  Leave groups spent £13.3m.

A great deal of publicity has been given to Arron Banks for excess spending.  Mr Banks' donation has been covered in the media as £8m rather than £2.9m.  £8m was indeed donated but only £2.9m was spent owing to the rules for spending limits. Banks was referred to the Met for prosecution but the investigation was dropped by the Metropolitan Police.  There was no huge Arron Banks electoral fraud.  It was a feature of the EU Referendum campaign for prosecutions and investigations to be mounted that received huge publicity only to be withdrawn or fail later with scarcely a word of the withdrawal or acquittal appearing in the Media.  Darren Grimes (BeLeave) was also prosecuted and was subsequently exonerated.

Successful penalties for false declarations of spending/donations were applied against these Remain groups: The European Movement, the Liberal Democrats, Best for our Future Ltd, Unison, StrongerIn (In Campaign) and these Leave groups: Constitutional Research Council , Leave.EU, Vote Leave.

There were numerous small penalties for late filings and erroneous filings that were corrected that involved many of the scores of campaign groups.  Most of these were genuine mistakes by inexperienced campaigners.

Overall the fraudulent donations/spending that the Electoral Commission intercepted were less than 10% of spending.

Significant Supporters of Remain

The "European Movement" (President Lord Heseltine, Vice President Kenneth Clarke).  It set up StrongerIn/The In Campaign, the lead Remain campaign.

The Conservative Party and Government in 2016.

The Labour Party
The Libdems
The Green Party

The Guardian
The Daily Mirror
The Independent
Channel 4
The Times

The Bilderberg Group
The World Economic Forum
George Soros
US Investment Banks (Goldman Sachs etc).
The EU

Significant Supporters of Leave

Nigel Farage
Boris Johnson
Kate Hooey
The Daily Mail
The Express
The Sun
JD Wetherspoon

Foreign Interference in the Referendum Campaign

Far and away the greatest social media interference in the EU Referendum campaign was from Irish and EU social media campaigning.  The European Movement is a pan-EU organisation and mobilised its membership base, especially in Ireland (The European Movement in Ireland is largely financed by the Irish Government).

The EU also campaigned for the UK to Remain, fielding officials and politicians throughout the campaign and after the vote, and modulating its negotiations to disturb UK politics.  The EU industry groups such as Bilderberg encouraged their members to campaign (RyanAir, Airbus, BMW etc., Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan(Tony Blair is their International President)).

The House of Commons' "Russia Report" says that if you watched RT you would have had biased news but does not say that the Referendum was in some way fixed by the Russians. In fact the Russia Report is a damp squib.  It failed to refer to real studies of Russian involvement because they show it was minimal.  Facebook undertook an internal review and found that there was "no evidence of Russian interference" in the Referendum. Investigations of Twitter show a similar outcome.  Prof Laura Cram, director of neuropolitics research at the University of Edinburgh, found that at least 419 Russian accounts tweeted about Brexit a total of 3,468 times – mostly after the referendum had taken place... "the content of the Brexit tweets overall was “quite chaotic and it seems to be aimed at wider disruption. There’s not an absolutely clear thrust. We pick up a lot on refugees and immigration.".   About 78% of the tweets came after the Brexit vote on 23 June 2016 so less than a 1000 tweets came from Russia during the campaign. ( Guardian ).  Compare this with the millions of foreign Social Media Remain posts made during the Referendum by the Irish.
 The BBC was forced to turn the story into how it believes the government did not order a good enough investigation into Russian influence. The utter arrogance of the BBC for not understanding that people had decided about the EU long before 2016 and had made up their own minds. It was the sheer ferocity of the Remain campaign on all media channels that reduced the lead for Leave, not Russian influence that won it for them:

Given that Irish and EU interference was intense and obvious it is peculiar that a small amount of Russian interference always gets covered in the headlines.  Clearly the Remain press and broadcasters still cannot believe they lost.  If hundreds of German and thousands of Irish European Movement members  were campaigning with millions of tweets and posts on Social Media why would 4000 tweets originating in Russia  (equivalent to 4 active normal users?) be creating such a stir?  They should not have happened but are a drop in the ocean compared with foreign Remain interference.

There is also strong circumstantial evidence that the Twitter platform itself worked on behalf of Remain. (See Is Twitter a Menace?).  The use of shadow banning and direct expulsion of Leave campaigners by Twitter probably dwarfs any other foreign Social Media bias.

The democratic legitimacy of the Referendum

There can be little doubt that without massive outspending of Leave by Remain, Government interference (the failed Treasury "Predictions"), the huge US Investment Bank funding, the BBC Bias and the vast foreign Social Media campaign by Remain the Leave margin of victory would have been far higher.  However, Leave did win.  The Leave victory was confirmed in two subsequent General Elections.  There can be no doubt that the decision to Leave the EU is legitimate and entirely democratic, perhaps the most democratic decision ever made in the UK.  It was not fair because the margin should have been far higher for Leave had the biased practices and finance been removed.  It must rank as the greatest triumph of the ordinary citizen against the Establishment, especially the Corporate Elite, in British history.


The failure of the Remain Media to cover the legitimacy of the Referendum is astonishing.  The huge imbalance in financial support between Remain and Leave is never mentioned.  The failure of the Remain Media to mention the fact that Brexit will be almost impossible to reverse because Re-joining the EU is very different from Remaining is having a corrosive effect on British politics. 

It is crucial that the BBC is brought to account for its bias during the Referendum.



Popular posts from this blog

Practical Idealism by Richard Nicolaus Coudenhove-Kalergi

Coudenhove-Kalergi was a pioneer of European integration. He was the founder and President for 49 years of the Paneuropean Union. His parents were Heinrich von Coudenhove-Kalergi, an Austro-Hungarian diplomat, and Mitsuko Aoyama, the daughter of an oil merchant, antiques-dealer, and huge landowner family in Tokyo. His "Pan-Europa" was published in 1923 and contained a membership form for the Pan-Europa movement. Coudenhove-Kalergi's movement held its first Congress in Vienna in 1926. In 1927 the French Prime Minister, Aristide Briand was elected honorary president.  Personalities attending included: Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann and Sigmund Freud. Figures who later became central to founding the EU, such as Konrad Adenauer became members . His basic idea was that democracy was a transitional stage that leads to rule by a new aristocracy that is largely taken from the Jewish "master race" (Kalergi's terminology). His movement was reviled by Hitler and H

Political Thoughts

Politics is the struggle for power. The fundamental power struggle is between the people of a place and the mobile classes.  Few people would turn their own garden into a motorway or commit their next door neighbours to slave working.  The mobile classes can do these things without conscience because their garden and their neighbours are not fixed. Locality is central to politics because it separates real issues from ideological issues.  Real issues such as being unable to find work, having insufficient money to pay for the basics of life, having poor schooling and healthcare etc. are all local.  If you are mobile you can move to somewhere that has work and good wages, schools and healthcare. If the answer to any problem is to change locality then the problem is not solved, it is avoided for you personally but the problem remains for others.  If politicians must live among those who suffer the results of their political decisions then those decisions must be humane but if they can move

The Report on Racism

The " Report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities " has just been published.  The Commissioners were nearly all from BAME backgrounds and have produced a robust and fair Report. The Report identified a class divide in which the cycle of advantage maintains a section of the population in wealth and leaves the large bulk of the population in relative poverty.   The wealthy class is largely white British but the poorer class consists of large numbers of white British and other ethnic groups.  This class divide causes a bias in the crude statistics on disadvantage so that majority, poor white British are labelled as "white supremacists" etc. when it is the small wealthy class that actually creates the disparity that causes this analysis. The most striking finding is that different ethnic groups had very different experiences and outcomes.  Educational outcomes demonstrate this at a glance: Red text added for this article Most ethnic groups had better outcome