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Brexit

MP to report 'misleading' Brexit campaign to advertising watchdog

By Richard Wheeler, PA Parliamentary Editor

Boris Johnson's Government faces being reported to the Advertising Standards Authority over its "Get ready for Brexit" campaign, MPs heard.

Independent Group for Change MP Chris Leslie said the £100 million campaign, including billboards, is telling people "get ready, October 31, here we come" on the UK leaving the EU.

But he branded it "inaccurate" and "misleading", telling the Commons: "Nowhere, not even in the small print, does it mention that the law of the land may prevent a no-deal Brexit.

"Shouldn't the Government be honest with businesses and consumers?

"And isn't it time - as I certainly will be writing to the Advertising Standards Authority - that the Government should be honest in its advertising and not mislead the public in that way?"

His remarks came as MPs considered compliance with the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act, which is designed to prevent the Government forcing through a no-deal Brexit on October 31.

Brexit minister James Duddridge replied: "Let's be honest, no-deal is a very real possibility even if this House extends - whether that's through this (Act) or some other mechanism - it still might be in the same position at the end and a deal might not be done, and we'd be in a no-deal position.

"It's right that every responsible business prepares for no-deal despite the fact we want a deal."