15:14 GMT20 February 2020
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    The British government’s so-called “Get Ready for Brexit campaign” has come under fire from the UK’s National Audit Office. The adverts were widely circulated on social media, in the run-up to October’s initial Brexit deadline day, a date that ultimately proved to mark yet another extension to Article Fifty.

    The Audit office claims that around 46 million pounds were spent on the campaign, and that it did not necessarily lead to the public being better informed about the potential impact that Brexit could have on their day to day lives.

    But just how much will leaving the EU, either with a deal in place or under WTO rules, affect Britain’s economy?

    Gavin Felton, Party Chair for the Democrats and Veterans Party, offers his views on the matter.

    Sputnik: Is the British public fully aware of the potential impact that Brexit could have on the UK?

    Gavin Felton: Do I think people are aware of the implications of Brexit good and bad? I think most people are because it’s been that debated now over the last five years, that people are aware of the downsides and the upsides.

    The full scale of the good or bad; I believe that people don’t really know until it happens to be honest, and that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be bad, there are going to be a lot of upsides to it, as long as Boris Johnson doesn’t go back on his word, whether it’s fishing rights especially in Scotland and down in Cornwall and the coastal areas obviously.

    It will all depend on whether Boris Johnson stands firm, or whether he buckles quite frankly because obviously we are heading to the next stage of Brexit, which is the trade talks, which is arguably the most important phase.

    Sputnik:  Was the social media campaign launched by the Conservative government, which aimed to inform the British public about leaving the EU before October’s initial Brexit deadline day, ultimately a waste of money?

    Gavin Felton: Social media can potentially reach millions of people, but I personally think that the campaigns were a waste of money; I think our money is better off spent in other areas, especially when we have got people queuing in hospitals, who can’t get appointments, can’t do this, can’t do that, there’s a long list of where taxpayers’ money could be better spent, but again It’s about people promoting their own agendas quite frankly.

    Sputnik: Will Boris Johnson and his team be able to negotiate a free trade deal with the EU?

    Gavin Felton: This is the crunch time for Boris Johnson, the general election was not. It was obvious to anybody that was on the doors speaking to people, that Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party were going to win, it was pretty obvious really.

    I don’t see that as a test for him, and that’s certainly not an endorsement of Boris Johnson; people were voting for the Tories because they disliked Corbyn more, so that’s not an endorsement by any stretch of the imagination.

    The Labour Party are quite frankly not particularly great and are not a viable option to vote for, certainly not where I live, so the real test for Boris Johnson is now, does he stand firm? Does he go for a free trade agreement? Does he deliver on the promises that he has made? Or does he think “well, I’ve got a majority, I was schooled in the EU, my dad was an MEP, my brother and my sister are ardent pro-EU remainers, do I rear back to my family alignment.”

    Ultimately I don’t know, these are questions that we all need to watch out for, but I do know one thing if he does go against what he has promised; he will rue the day, because people voted for him for many reasons, and one of them was because he was saying that he was going to get Brexit done and get a free trade agreement with the EU.

    Boris Johnson said that in his general election campaign, hence why Nigel Farage stood down so many candidates because he said those words, so it’s going to be interesting to see what happens, and I would suggest that only Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings know what’s going to happen.

    I hope Boris Johnson goes and delivers what he said he was going to deliver, and that’s a free trade agreement, but if he goes for a softer alignment in the single market and customs union, which is a no-no for various reasons; then he will have problems definitely.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Boris Johnson, Scotland, World Trade Organization (WTO), economy, United Kingdom, Brexit
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