The Brexit Bashing Corporation

The BBC’s anti-Brexit bias is spinning out of control.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill


Since Boris Johnson became PM, Brexit Derangement Syndrome has worsened across the country. Well, not the entire country – primarily in the Westminster bubble and the commentariat cocoon where the middle-class malady of BDS is most potent. No sooner had Boris crossed the threshold of Downing Street than these people were ramping up their guff about Brexit being the harbinger of unprecedented national doom and the causer of a Cormac McCarthy-style dystopia in which Brits have will have no food, no Pinot Gris, and no drugs to treat the super-gonorrhoea that will of course explode across the land if we leave without a deal. Plagues and pestilence! They have genuinely taken leave of their senses.

Nowhere has this Boris-era intensification of BDS been more in evidence than at the BBC. I’m not usually a fan of Beeb-bashing but, wow, its longstanding anti-Brexit bent has intensified enormously over the past two weeks. It’s palpable. Unavoidable, in fact. From morning (the Today programme) to night (Newsnight), the BBC treats its audience to a ceaseless diet of panic and terror over No Deal. Every Remoaner who sees No Deal as a hellish prospect is being trotted out to scare / bore the populace.

The BBC has informed us that food will run out. No Deal could cause months of disruption and mayhem in our food-supply chain, two food-industry capitalists intoned on the Today programme this week. Tim Rycroft of the Food and Drinks Federation said there will be disruption that will last ‘weeks or months’, which may necessitate the ‘stockpiling’ of food. Cue the whole of Hampstead hurrying cheese and crackers into the Brexit bunkers they’ve no doubt built. Northern Foods chairman Lord Haskins warned of a ‘wartime situation of… food rationing’. There could be ‘panic-buying’, he said. Well, there could be now, after this latest promotion of fear about what No Deal will do to poor Blighty.

There was no counteracting voice on Today – to ask, for example, why on earth there would need to be huge, food-obstructing delays at Dover after we leave the EU. Just these two Brexit-sceptical voices gabbing about hunger and panic. The BBC news team can’t seem to make up its mind, though. Will the No Deal Terror involve too little food or too much? Brexit Britain will have ‘no room’ for all its excess meat, the Beeb also reported this week. There will be hundreds of thousands of tonnes of unsold lamb. So we’ll have too much to eat. Nice. Transport all that meat to the Remoaner zones of the country (unless they’ve all foresworn meat at the behest of Extinction Rebellion) and they’ll have nothing to panic about.

And don’t get the BBC started on chicken. ‘How would a No Deal Brexit affect your chicken dinner?’, it asked this week. Let me guess – it will ruin it? Of course it will. White chicken meat will become more expensive, while dark chicken meat will be okay. As with every food-fear story, this is treated as gospel, immovable fact, something that cannot possibly be avoided through taking certain decisions or making certain deals. It’s enough to make you turn to drink. Quick, before drink is ruined too. ‘Could Brexit change the taste of whiskey?’, the Beeb asked this week. Well, it is going to cause sexual disease and floods, so I’m sure it will screw up whiskey too.

The fear over Brexit has become unhinged. For three years we’ve been bombarded with ever-more loopy stories about the nightmares that leaving the EU – just leaving the EU! – will unleash. ‘Brexit could lead to spread of infectious diseases such as super-gonorrhoea’ – Evening Standard. Brexit could lead to more ‘severe flash floods’ – the Guardian. We just need locusts now and we will have completed Biblical bingo. ‘No Deal Brexit means no food Brexit and no medicines Brexit’ – Alastair Campbell. (Though given he once told a lie so huge it led to the deaths of thousands of people, I’m going to take that with a pinch of salt. If there’s any salt left after Brexit.)

The BBC really needs to be more impartial. It’s the public broadcaster. It should at least try not to let its establishment leanings become so clear. With its now incessant fearmongering over No Deal, it has fully become the media wing of an elite that despises the idea of leaving the EU and the stupid people who voted for it. The politics of fear is the lowest form of politics. It speaks to moral exhaustion. Bereft of any inspiring or simply solid arguments for remaining in the EU, Remoaners instead try to terrify the rest of us into changing our minds. Lacking their own convictions, they use fear to try to destroy ours – primarily our conviction that the EU is a rotten, undemocratic institution that the UK, and every other European country, should leave.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

Picture by: Getty.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.


Patrick Clarke

13th August 2019 at 1:39 pm

Let’s be clear. If any of these unhinged doomsday scenarios come about after leaving the EU, they will have been deliberately engineered by flagrant acts of economic warfare on their part. Which begs the question, why would we ever want to be friends, partners of or a member of such an organisation ….

Norman Grieve

10th August 2019 at 12:37 pm

“Nick is a dick” : That’s from a so-called girly drama on BBC 3, a digital channel whose sole aim is to indoctrinate school girls and young women against boys and men.

We’ll see you in the High Court, BBC! (note: that’s separate from

Marvin Jones

16th August 2019 at 2:13 pm

Just a look around ourselves, and we will notice the deluge of this female surge of momentum to all aspects of high office in this land. Every new series of any genre has females at the top ordering us men around in the most likely and possible areas of life, all the way through media, TV presenters of political programmes, to Sci Fi films, leaders of a SWAT team all the way to forming a female only political group that will sort out the Brexit problem. This tsunami of the weaker sex taking over in such a vast and speedy way, could be the disaster of disasters coming down the track.


9th August 2019 at 10:14 pm

I’m far more concerned about the corrosive effects of the vote-manipulating and agent provocateur activities of shady organisations such as Vote Leave… The BBC is not great but at least its bias is plain to see. Slogans such as ‘Take back control’ or ‘an extra £350m for the NHS’, however, are lies of Goebbelesque proportions.

Norman Grieve

9th August 2019 at 11:15 pm

BBC’s every fear-mongering fake-news article about Brexit is in itself aimed at voter manipulation. But it is really wasting its breath as Brexiteers completely ignore BBC’s dumb news and blatant anti-Brexit bias.

BBC is just a narrow-minded, liberal, feminist echo chamber that has no effect on the Brexit vote as the last two by-election results have clearly confirmed.

Jerry Owen

10th August 2019 at 10:58 am

Why is ‘ taking back control ‘ a lie ?

Neil McCaughan

11th August 2019 at 7:34 pm

“vote-manipulating and agent provocateur activities of shady organisations such as Vote Leave”
Twaddle made up by unhinged remaintards.
Even Nick Clegg admits that the 2016 vote was perfectly straight.

Peter Jenkins

9th August 2019 at 6:14 pm

Blame the media! Where have we heard that before during this century and last? You can find just as many arguments that the BBC, that great British liberal elite establishment etc. etc. is FOR Brexit EG

Jerry Owen

10th August 2019 at 11:00 am

Ah yes.. the ‘ New European ‘ your satire is quite funny !

Amelia Cantor

9th August 2019 at 1:05 pm

The BBC “bashes” Brexit in the same way as the NHS “bashes” cancer and infectious diseases.

The BBC has a statutory duty to be an impartial purveyor of truth and decency, and a champion of the public interest. If it didn’t “bash” Brexit it would be failing in its duty to purvey truth and decency, and failing to protect the British public.

Furthermore, the BBC is staffed by educated, intelligent, and progressive people. Precisely the kind of people who see Brexit for what it really is: a toxic tantrum in which unintelligent, uneducated low-information racists and xenophobes threw their toys out of the pram as they realized that their white privilege and male privilege would no longer cut it in the vibrant rainbow future that awaits the UK.

Jerry Owen

9th August 2019 at 4:27 pm

A Cantor
You omitted the people of colour who voted brexit.. you do pick and choose don’t you ? .. So inconsistent it’s laughable.

Amelia Cantor

10th August 2019 at 12:00 pm

I didn’t “omit” anyone. Some misguided individuals of colour voted for Brexit. They were a small minority in their own communities. If only people of colour were allowed to vote, we would have a) have a Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn; b) no Brexit.

That also applies if only educated and intelligent whites were allowed to vote.

gershwin gentile

12th August 2019 at 2:22 pm

“Some misguided individuals of colour voted for Brexit” And if they still are misguided after your emotional incontinence fails to persuade them? Do like those Black Panthers? Remember when the Black Panthers said they’d “Off” Uncle Toms? Do you think that the “Uncle Toms” should be “off’d” they don’t have the same beliefs as you?

BTW how’s the racism and nonce apology thing going?

Norman Grieve

9th August 2019 at 10:58 pm

BBC bashing and panic of Brexit is caused by the perceived loss of feminist privileges endowed upon fiery misandrists by the EU. That’s what BBC’s feminist news executives are acutely concerned about.

And finally, the BBC’s non-existent impartiality will soon be tested and judged upon in Court:

Peter Friel

10th August 2019 at 5:05 am

I presume your comment is surely meant to be satirical, as no-one with any sense could take it as being anything else. However, you are right about one thing; the vibrant future the UK will have once it leaves the EU.

I think Amelia Cantor is a nom-de-plume for a Newsnight presenter – take your pick!

Hana Jinks

10th August 2019 at 10:00 am

He works in the orifice. We were in an argument until he was allowed to insult me, but l wasn’t allowed to return serve. They perceive me to be FAAARRR-RRIIIGGGHTTT, and so they think the counter to that must be someone far-left. This is the level of maturity and political literacy that we’re dealing with.

Norman Grieve

10th August 2019 at 12:44 pm

>> “…the vibrant rainbow future that awaits the UK”

The bad news is, Brexit is here to destroy your “rainbow” dreams.

Mike Arthur

10th August 2019 at 5:12 pm

Absolutely brilliant satire upon Remoaners! Congratulations!

Mike Arthur

10th August 2019 at 5:17 pm

‘AMELIA CANTOR’, you are Titania McGrath, and I claim my £5.

Bri Fullerton

9th August 2019 at 12:01 pm

A report [by Civitas in 2018], The Brussels Broadcasting Corporation? – How pro-Brexit views have been marginalised in the BBC’s news coverage, can be read in full here:

The key findings, which show that supporters of withdrawal from across the political spectrum have been severely under-presented, include:

[1] Of 4,275 survey-period guests talking about the EU on BBC Radio 4’s flagship Today programme between 2005 and 2015, only 132 (3.2 per cent) were supporters of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
[2] In 274 hours of monitored BBC EU coverage between 2002 and 2017, only 14 speakers (0.2 per cent of the total) were left-wing advocates for leaving the EU, and they spoke only 1,680 words.
[3] In the same period, Tory pro-EU grandees Kenneth Clarke and Michael Heseltine made between them 28 appearances, with contributions totalling 11,208 words – over nine times the amount of airtime allocated to all left-wing supporters of Brexit.
[4] In “Today’s” business news covering the six months after the EU referendum, only 10 (2.9 per cent) of 366 speaker contributions were from supporters of withdrawal from the EU.
[5] More recently, in October-November last year, of 68 non politically allied speakers in the Brexit-related coverage on on Today, 52 were anti-Brexit or pro-EU, and only 16 were pro-Brexit or anti-EU, an imbalance of worse than 3:1 – despite the Leave vote.

Alexander Allan

9th August 2019 at 9:50 am

Support David Keighley’s Crowdjustice campaign to “Help us Stop BBC Bias. He is seeking a judicial review of the BBC on the basis that it is breach of its obligations under its Charter and Framework Agreement.

Paul Weston

9th August 2019 at 9:44 am

The establishment is on very very thin ice here. In order to rule over us and advise us, it needs to be believed, but if we look back on all their pronouncements (especially the Bank of England) and none are even remotely right, why should we believe anything they ever say in the future? If the BBC makes itself into a standing joke at best and a pathologically biased liar at worst, what happens next?

Jerry Owen

9th August 2019 at 10:59 am

It’s the last roll of the dice for the BBC to try and stop Brexit.
Personally I think they are trying to whip up mass hysteria and street riots. Truly repulsive and undemocratic.
In a way we should enjoy the fact that it is the odious BBC that is on the losing side again !

Puddy Cat

9th August 2019 at 7:34 am

And on top of all that we are going to be force fed chlorinated chicken?

Bri Fullerton

9th August 2019 at 11:12 am

What ever (your lack of self awareness is stunning)

Ven Oods

9th August 2019 at 6:38 pm

Even us vegetarians? If only I’d known that in 2016…

John Hamilton

9th August 2019 at 12:21 am

I agree that the Beeb is biased and (even more) rather rubbish at genuine investigative journalism, but the point about stockpiles of unsold (and possibly unstoreable) Welsh lamb is a serious one. If industries and farming are not to be wiped out by losing their overseas markets then we need to consider something that I fear the libertarians on spiked are allergic to, namely protectionism. Average living standards would be lower, but a wider proportion of the populace would enjoy real jobs with proper pay, proper conditions and job security, rather than relying on McJobs, and the welfarism that comes with various forms of hidden unemployment (pointless university courses, Working Tax Credit to subsidise low producitivity jobs, etc).

Jerry Owen

9th August 2019 at 10:55 am

‘Unstoreable Welsh lamb’ . I don’t know about Wales but we have geezers in England !
‘Protectionism’.. the EU are the biggest protectionist racket going , do you have no idea of how the EU works?

Jerry Owen

9th August 2019 at 11:00 am

‘ freezers ‘ of course !

John Hamilton

9th August 2019 at 6:01 pm

If you do some research, you’ll find that the industry don’t believe we have the storage capacity for the quantity of lamb the government will be buying. There is a risk of having to incinerate the meat.
I don’t think the EU is hardly “Protectionist”. They are, after all, wedded to neoliberalism.

Jerry Owen

10th August 2019 at 11:02 am

Don’t kill that which you are not ready to eat.

Good Gosh

8th August 2019 at 10:49 pm

Good article. Informative, funny, not to mention true. The BBC are beyond a joke. Anyone who swallows their fake news out to be ashamed of themselves. I haven’t paid the telly tax for more than 10 years now and will never pay it again ever. Spiked gives me all the news I need, and it comes without any brainwashing or spin.

Hana Jinks

8th August 2019 at 9:47 pm

The British Brainwashing Corporation is the propaganda-arm of Deepstate, the backers of diversity-communism. They promote lawlessness and the climate-hoax.

Everything of the left is fake news.

Hana Jinks

8th August 2019 at 9:50 pm

The further left you are, the more jarring the truth can be. You’re either a fan of propagandist lies, or it needs to be defunded. It’s no good just turning up your nose at criticism of it.

Frank Sutton

8th August 2019 at 9:22 pm

Why on Earth would Brexit mean shortages of food imported and medicines? Will EU producers be forbidden to export them, or would the UK prevent imports? Yet these claims go unexplained and unchallenged on the BBC.

Jerry Owen

9th August 2019 at 8:48 am

The BBC are the font of all BBC news speak :-
The BBC has understood….
The BBC has received information…
The BBC has a letter from an un named source …
How can the BBC not know everything when they can improvise guess and scare ?

Billy Smith

8th August 2019 at 8:18 pm

I absolutely agree Brendan, but I don’t think forcing the BBC to become yet another commercial channel – in all likelihood controlled by an American multinational – is the right solution. It still makes some excellent programmes (like Jim Al Khalili’s series on planes, cars and rockets), and its ability to do this should be protected, perhaps through some more effective arrangement for democratic accountability. Clearly the Select Committee. One early step might be to look at the remit, composition of and recruitment processes for the BBC Board whose remit includes overseeing impartiality.

Jerry Owen

8th August 2019 at 8:41 pm

You give one example of a good BBC programme !
That makes it appalling value for money.

Ed Turnbull

9th August 2019 at 8:05 am

Though Al-Khalili’s programme is not without its typical Beeboid biases. I watched the first episode about flight and how did it kick? By telling us about some muslim ‘scholar’ in the 8th century who was in the habit of donning fake wings and chucking himself of cliffs and tall buildings. The clear impression was that human flight was an islamic idea.

So…did we get any mention of Daedelus and Icarus – doubtless the inspiration for our muslim scholar – who did the whole flying thing many centuries earlier? (Yes, I know Daedelus and Icarus areb mythological characters, but are there really any reliable historical records for our 8th century muslim scholar’s existence ot activities?) Of course not. That would’ve queered the Beeb’s narrative, and we must never dissent from The Narrative, must we? Good old al-BBC, never missing a chance to shill for islam.

Being forced – under threat of criminal prosecution – to pay for the Beeb’s propaganda is morally no different than the Chicoms sending the bill for the fatal bullet to the families of those who’ve been executed.

Philip Humphrey

8th August 2019 at 7:31 pm

Study the prejudicial language used in BBC news. “Trump lashes out”. Translation: “President Trump criticizes”. Endless other examples of their anti-Trump, anti-Brexit and anti-conservative bias, and this from a broadcaster that is supposed to neutral as a condition of its TV tax funding. The BBC is a disgrace and about time it was privatized, stripped of the licence fee and made an optional subscription service like Netflix. Then it can be as biased as it likes.

Jerry Owen

8th August 2019 at 8:44 pm

You are right.. Trump ‘denies’ is another.
Insert any name of course.
‘There is public outrage’
‘The controversial…’
‘Admits’ is another loaded word

Rod Conrad

8th August 2019 at 6:58 pm

LOL so “Free Speech” don’t count here … screen shot taken .. LOL
Moderation to ensure “Group Thought” …

Captain Scott

8th August 2019 at 7:49 pm

A fascinating and thoughtful insight. Is there an English translation available?

Jerry Owen

8th August 2019 at 9:17 pm

Just read your post.. conclusion , free speech here !

Ven Oods

9th August 2019 at 7:31 pm

Who’s this Lol chap? He seems to be everywhere nowadays.

Marvin Jones

16th August 2019 at 2:17 pm

He’s taken over from “INNIT”.

Rod Conrad

8th August 2019 at 6:56 pm

The BBC must be OK as it is hated by extremist Left and Right (spiked)
Hated by Remainers and Brexiters

And Question time is so right wing brexit BS with Fromage on every week …

So be careful what you wish for …

Anyway who watches TV anyway .. Gammons ?

Jerry Owen

9th August 2019 at 8:51 am

Dream on. Studies show that Brexit guests in the panel are in a tiny minority. There are statistics and there are wishful people like you.

christopher barnard

8th August 2019 at 5:54 pm

The BBC is has the full range of establishment approved PC attitudes.

It would be remarkable if it was not enthusiastically pro-EU.


8th August 2019 at 6:42 pm

You say ‘pro-EU’ as if it were a bad thing’!

Captain Scott

8th August 2019 at 7:50 pm

It shouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing or a good thing on the BBC. It should be unbiased.

Jerry Owen

8th August 2019 at 8:45 pm

Yes it is … We the public pay for the BBC … Wakey wakey!

Eric Praline

8th August 2019 at 5:40 pm

In fairness, last night Newsnight had a remainer who was saying there wasn’t anything to worry about on the food front.

I complained to the BBC, the only time I have, about the lack of leaver representation on Question Time; the gist of their reply was that it didn’t matter now that the referendum was over.

Jerry Owen

8th August 2019 at 8:47 pm

But if course the BBC isn’t accepting it’s over till the fat lady sings… The BBC is flat out hysterical .

Peter Friel

10th August 2019 at 4:38 am

True, he did say that there wouldn’t be a food problem, unfortunately this didn’t fit the agenda, as shown by Emma Barnett’s attack on him, interrupting every answer and asking stupid questions, a technique used by that other rottweiler, Emily Maitlis. why they are allowed to get away with their sheer animosity and bias unchallenged is a mystery.

Marvin Jones

16th August 2019 at 2:21 pm

Maitlis a Rottweiler, the only defence, protection and claim to intellect is her gender. Some myopic people even thinks that she is beautiful.

Peter Friel

10th August 2019 at 4:52 am

I got so carried away bitching about Newsnight’s presenters I didn’t get to Question Time which, on its return, will be renamed as The Fiona Bruce Show. She starts the show as if she was modelling this week’s M & S offering, then proceeds to make sure that nobody on the panel gets to say much, certainly not if they’re of a leave persuasion. Her smugness as a presenter knows no bounds and extends to the other programmes she present, all with a look-at-me attitude.

(I’m well aware that, given she is paid, not earns, £800,000+ a year, it’s highly unlikely she shops at M & S but she makes the clothes look as if she does.)

Jerry Owen

10th August 2019 at 11:04 am

She has single handedly destroyed antiques roadshow.

Hana Jinks

10th August 2019 at 1:21 pm

Jerry Oven-Kraut

I find it far more offensive for you to be supporting farking ARS than anything that Wattie has ever done.

Jerry Owen

8th August 2019 at 5:11 pm

‘ I’m not usually a fan of beeb bashing’.. just what is there about the BBC news output that is remotely unbiased from AGW / ER , Brexit , Trump, Farage , Johnson, Islamic terrorism ( the worst in my view ) fox hunting, environmentalism, anti meat eating bias .. the list is endless ? It’s unbelievably woke ‘One Show’ to it’s right on dramas complete with 9 stone female coppers in high heels that can outrun and grapple a six foot giant to the ground without even smearing her mascara.. or breaking a finger nail.
It’s disgusting behaviour towards Sir Cliff, and it’s reportage over ‘Nick’ is another disgrace. Anyone that thought ‘Nick’ was credible from the off is gullible beyond my comprehension. The BBC that is losing so many viewers it now has to screw OAP’s again ( yes Brexit voters more likely which is why they are screwing them no doubt ).
I recommend an excellent book analysis of the BBC :-
David Sedgewick – BBC : Brainwashing Britain ?
It even opened my cynical eyes !
The BBC has not once since the referendum said one positive thing about the EU.
It is time for the BBC to become pay per view. We will all then see just how liberal left the populace outside of the metro bubble really are.
BTW .. you forgot the shortage of Belgian sperm !

#NotmyBBC !!

Jerry Owen

8th August 2019 at 5:16 pm

The BBC even went on and on about American chlorinated chicken, yet failed once to mention horsemeat burgers from the EU !
The BBC if it weren’t so seriously dire would almost be Monty Pythonesque !

James Knight

8th August 2019 at 5:10 pm

And they said twice on the flaghship news that the EU would be “forced” to put tariffs on UK exports.

Who is doing the “forcing”? Are there tanks parked on the lawn at the EU commission in Brussels?

It seems that the once prestigious BBC news has entered the “post fact” era.

Jerry Owen

8th August 2019 at 5:32 pm

James Knight
Then presumably we’ll just have to ‘force’ ourselves to put tarifs on those nice shiny German cars… I know who will win this one don’t you !!

steve moxon

8th August 2019 at 5:10 pm

Never pay the Boob’s poll tax. Write to tell ’em you’d love to see them in court to give ten reasons why, under no circumstances, will you pay a bean; starting — now get this — with the EU directive that no government must interfere with the receipt of free broadcasting. Well, even the EU has to have SOME use, eh? The Boob really doesn’t want to broach that one. They never ever visit, for all the hundreds of threats. Not for 35 years anyhow.

Hana Jinks

8th August 2019 at 10:05 pm

It sure would be interesting if somebody raised that point with them on live broadcasting, and I’m surprised it hasn’t been done.

Neil McCaughan

8th August 2019 at 4:29 pm

Why does anyone attach any importance to the BBC? This is the company of East Enders and Jimmy Savile (and a number of other convicted sex offenders). Sure you can count on them if you need narcotics for a chemsex session in a hurry I suppose if you are completely devoid of talent it’s an astonishingly generous employer, but that’s scarcely a consideration for those who are forced to pay for this trash.

It’s twenty years since the Corrupt Corporation broadcast anything worth watching. Like all parasites the BBC may be extremely rudimentary in many ways – think intestinal worms – but one can’t deny it’s success at bleeding poor people dry to subsidise the existence of its favoured coterie of privileged metropolitan liberals.

We shouldn’t have any compunction in closing it tomorrow – and stripping its worthless drones of their unearned pensions.

Hana Jinks

8th August 2019 at 10:14 pm

Yes, strip them. 🤣🤣🤣

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