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BBC Scotland and Fake Brexit news – Towards Indyref2…

BBC Scotland and Fake Brexit news

Lately we’ve been become aware of several BBC Scotland broadcasts that have contained false claims with respect to Brexit.  Specifically the so-called ‘People’s Vote’ campaign and what it is seeking, and the apparent conflation of ‘No Deal’ with ‘Hard Brexit’.

Note, we do not suggest any conspiracy or deliberate attempt to mislead.  We merely give examples of demonstrably false broadcasts … fake news in other words.


Good Morning Scotland and the People’s Vote.


The broadcast above is from Good Morning Scotland on November 1st.  Presenter Gary Robertson tells listeners the ‘People’s Vote’ Campaign is “calling for another vote on whether the UK should leave the European Union…”

This is demonstrably false.  The ‘People’s Vote’ campaign is not calling for another vote on whether the UK should leave the European Union.  It is seeking a vote on the final Brexit deal.

The campaign’s official site states clearly:

“The People’s Vote Campaign is made up of over 100 grassroots groups from across the country who are actively campaigning in their area for a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.”


Reporting Scotland and the People’s Vote.

The clip above is from the 7th November edition of Reporting Scotland.  Sally McNair tells viewers: “MSPs have demanded a further referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.”

The item followed a vote in the Scottish parliament earlier that day.  The motion did not ‘demand a further referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union’.  It asked MSPs to: “… support a public vote on the final terms of the Brexit deal.”


Politics Scotland/Reporting Scotland and a No Deal

The two broadcasts above are from the October 21st edition of Politics Scotland and the November 9th edition of Reporting Scotland.

In the first, Gordon Brewer states that a failure of Theresa May to secure support for her Withdrawal Bill will lead to a “hard Brexit”.  This is false.  Theresa May is seeking a Hard Brexit deal for the UK.  If she fails, then a no deal results.

In the second, reporter Andrew Kerr claims a No Deal is also known as a “hard Brexit”.  This is false.  A ‘No Deal’ is not the same as a ‘Hard Brexit’.

A ‘No Deal’ is worse than a ‘Hard Brexit’.  Hard Brexit is the leaving of the EU with a deal but with no membership of the Single Market & Customs Union.  No Deal is exactly as it sounds … literally leaving the EU with no deal and falling back on World Trade Organisation accords.

The BBC itself defines ‘No Deal’ as: “Britain leaving the European Union with no formal agreement on the terms of UK’s withdrawal or future trade relations.”

It defines a Hard Brexit as: “A hard Brexit would be one where few of the existing ties between the UK and the EU were retained, so it would mean Britain giving up membership of the EU’s single market, and the benefits of being part of a free trade area with the EU, and setting up its own trade deals and rules. It is a phrase often used by critics of Brexit who think it will harm the UK economy.”


Kaye Adams No Deal/Hard Brexit

On November 15th Radio Scotland presenter Kaye Adams falsely described a No Deal as a Hard Brexit.


The examples above demonstrate just how easy it is for a supposedly impartial, publicly funded news outlet with enormous resource, to broadcast misinformation.  They also demonstate that there is something very wrong at BBC Scotland that these broadcasts are allowed to occur.

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17 thoughts on “BBC Scotland and Fake Brexit news

    1. Jon

      About 35 years ago it dawned on me that when I read or listened to a news report, if I knew anything about the subject in the first place, the report would contain errors. On one occasion the report covered an incident on my street. The senior journalist didn’t even get the street name correct.

      On occasions as in the above example the mistakes are genuine errors.

      When it comes to the BBC in Scotland their purpose isn’t to report news, it’s to control minds.

  1. david cox

    I fully agree, I have contacted “haveyoursay” on at least 3 occasions recently to raise concerns on their failure to report key matters but have yet to receive any response! So my queston is -how do we take the BBC and other “propagandists” to task and get this out into the mainstream/public domain where people can be fully informed and at least allow them to make up their own minds?

    1. Independent Woman

      Go to ‘Complaints’ on the BBC website, jump through the hoops to make the complaint and tick the box requesting a reply. The replies that I receive are usually bland and lacking in much meaninful response. However, I keep complaining.

      1. Cubby

        Hi, I used to do this for many years. Total waste of time. Why? Because I came to realise that it is the BBCs job to preserve the Union. They do not see it as propaganda they see it as doing the job they are paid to do. By complaining all you are doing is confirming to them that they are doing their job. They can then take the complaints to their bosses at their next performance review and say look at the brilliant job I am doing. Every response I got denied any bias or propaganda or misleading mistakes.

        If you ask the BBC about how many complaints they get on anti Scottish broadcasts and the percentage of those upheld they will not tell you. They will say we do not keep the figures.

        The media in Scotland is used to keep Scotland as a colony. It used to be the bayonet it is now propaganda that allows Westminster to loot Scotlands resources.

    2. Clydebuilt


      The BBC aren’t going to admit they are failing to report key matters nor that they are a propaganda outfit.

      How do we take them to task. Conversation by conversation.

      We don’t have fair access to broadcast media or the papers. So we have to revert to personal and collective activity.

      There are many of us, we have to make this advantage count.

  2. Clapper57

    BBC Reporting Scotland “so called”………….. news !

    BBC Reporting Scotland “so called” ……………investigation !

    BBC Reporting Scotland “so called”…………….Journalists !

    BBC Reporting Scotland weather forecast for Scotland………….so cauld !

  3. Ruaridh Fraser-Douglas

    The whole of the BBC is nothing more than a ‘Mouthpiece’ for whichever party is in control in Westminster, and always has been.
    The Government (Uk), disburses the License fee, and there fore the inflated salaries of it’s employees.
    They’re not going to go against their ‘paymasters’ for fear of losing their obscenely high pay cheques.
    Any one who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves.

  4. John

    BBC is the propaganda tool of any Unionist government, editors picked for their ability to ďistort the said word to advance the inability of the general public to grasp the true picture ! .

  5. millie

    Re Brexit Michelin-

    My own view is that the UK Governments hands are all over the ‘sudden’ Michelin closure.

    I know the accepted narrative is that the ‘sudden’ closure is about the size of tyres- and this may be true. However, it should be borne in mind that Brexit is possibly in the mix?

    Last year (2017), Mike Cole – Head of Public Affairs Michelin – (UK and Republic of Ireland) – attended a UK Government ‘negotiating objectives’ meeting re BREXIT. The meeting was held in Stoke-on-Trent, where Michelin has its remaining plant.

    The second last paragraph in the UK Government’s note is quite interesting, re the option of using 30 other Michelin sites across the rest of the EU if required.


    It does make you think.

    1. John

      This will be the UK , I mean England , looking after number one as usual , the Irish factory closed last year , this is the way Brexit will go , shut the devolved nations down , keep the work in England , we have seen it all before ! .

      1. Scott

        Something like this one where money went to the English factory..

        Young’s Seafood wins M&S contracts but plans to close Scottish factory

  6. millie

    This one from BBC UK is a cracker for basic reader manipulation using a headline.

    The headline was changed within 40 minutes- to highlight a ‘positive’ UK Gov spin. (This positive spin would never happen on BBC Scotland pages for Scottish Government news items ).


    BTW- unemployment in Scotland has fallen. – Will that be headlined at all?

  7. Rob James

    Don’t think for a minute that the BBC are solely responsible for their ‘news’ output. The security services are without any shadow of a doubt, heavily involved in controlling the constant stream of fake news, misinformation and omissions which are characteristic of any state controlled media. They never fail to remind us how the BBC’s provision of news reporting is greatly admired and respected throughout the world, but that is just another piece of propaganda. Nobody outside of Englandshire has a clue who the BBC are, let alone don their caps in respect. Having lived in three overseas countries, I can assure you that the news provision elsewhere is far superior. The only news reported by the BBC is that which supports the political agenda of the time. The war in Ukraine is still ongoing, although we haven’t heard a peep about it from our esteemed broadcaster for almost a couple of years. You can bet your boots, however, if a piece of Russian military equipment strays a couple of yards over the border, it will be headline news for weeks.

    Fortunately for us, the UK security services appear to be almost as incompetent as the current crop of imbeciles in government, and more and more people see through their thinly veiled propaganda (Salisbury Novichok attack being a prime example)

    How can we fight against it? Don’t pay the TV propaganda tax for starters, then spread the word. Don’t lecture people. Simply put the seeds of doubt in their mind by pointing out one of their obvious lies. They will do the rest themselves.

  8. Muscleguy

    I have recently stopped paying the license fee so I could not have viewed the pieces cited. Not that I would have while we had a license as I never watched BBC news. Having been fully woken up by IndyRef1 even before joining the canvassing effort I objected to being lied to.

    I think I watched one broadcast during the latter stages having heard the BBC were in full propaganda mode just to see how true it was and boy was it. The narrowness of the result and the need for the panicked Vow so late really flustered them and they are still pretty much in that mode.

    How any journalist with a single sub atomic particle of integrity left could work for them is beyond me.

  9. bringiton

    On the day when the British state lawyers are trying to have a decision of the Scottish courts overturned (Article 50 referral to the ECJ),the British state broadcaster runs a piece attacking the veracity of the Scottish legal system (Not Proven verdicts).
    The obvious intent is to plant the idea in Scottish minds that our legal system is not fit for purpose and should be brought into line with English laws.
    British laws for a one nation/country/state.

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