In a sign of rising panic amongst Tory Brexiteers, fatcat donors and a cosy relationship with business are being pushed out the window in a scramble to trash business warnings about a Brexit disaster. From “fuck business” to accusations of collaboration with the Nazis, here are five Tory attacks on British business.
1 Boris Johnson
Johnson had already raised eyebrows with an attack on the CBI earlier in June, lecturing the business group that it “makes no sense” to “keep calling to stay in the customs union”. But it appears that was just a warm up, responding to a later question about corporate concerns over Brexit with “fuck business”. Any decent Prime Minister would sack him for the remarks, but this is Theresa May we’re dealing with.
2 Michael Gove
Let’s not forget that Michael Gove was trashing business before it was fashionable, way back in the referendum. In a now-infamous interview in the referendum Gove railed against businesses “who have done very well out of the European Union” and declared that “people have had enough of experts”. That’s set the tone for future Brexiteer attacks on business.
3 Iain Duncan Smith
It might be quiet man Iain Duncan Smith who has really turned up the volume with an article claiming that business groups collaborated with the Nazis. In his crackers rant against Airbus, BMW and half of British industry, IDS raises the stakes by claiming that the forerunner of the CBI supported “the appeasement of Nazi Germany”. Strike up another victory for Godwin’s law…
4 Jeremy Hunt
When he wasn’t trashing his own views on the Brexit dividend, Jeremy Hunt used his appearance on the Marr Show to slam the Brexit concerns of Airbus and BMW. In what sounded a lot like a threat, he told said “it’s completely inappropriate for businesses to be making these kinds of threats” and told them “we need to get behind Theresa May”.
5 Liam Fox
Fox patronised the CBI back in February, telling them they were wrong to back a policy of remaining in a customs union. In a bizarre reversal of fortunes, the Tory minister attacked big business for looking after their own interests by backing Labour Party policy.