CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Sadly the BBC seems to have been cowed about Brexit

07 December, 2017

• A RANGE of polls now show opinion opposed to leaving the EU by a margin of roughly four points.

It is essential, therefore, as the implications of Brexit become clearer, that we have a meaningful public debate about its pros and cons (and not just about the form it should take or the UK’s negotiating tactics).

In that context, the government’s 58 Brexit impact assessments should be made public so that assumptions and methodologies are open to scrutiny including from the media, business, and academia.

As part of the debate it is incumbent on the BBC, in particular, to provide an adequate platform for all points of view. But to do this it must stand up to the type of bullying exemplified on Radio 4’s Any Questions? on November 24 when a pro-Brexit panellist insinuated that the BBC had packed the audience with Remain supporters.

Sadly there are signs that the BBC has been cowed by an atmosphere in which disagreement with Brexit can be labelled as unpatriotic. For example, Brexit was the subject that most animated the Any Questions? audience last week and yet the subsequent Any Answers? programme did not feature a single call on the subject.

Why not? Similarly Any Questions? on November 17 covered Brexit for over half its air time yet the subject was confined to the last two callers in the final four minutes of Any Answers?

PHILIP RICHMOND
Camden for Europe, NW5

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