The British Summer is holding back amid fears of a British exit from the EU, George Osborne has said.
In a speech to Parliament the Chancellor warned that the Summer was waiting for the referendum result to decide whether it would be worth the trouble of investing in Britain:
Britain has a proud tradition of enjoying a season called ‘Summer’, such as it is…
Eurosceptics are endangering that tradition by creating the conditions where the Summer can say to itself, “actually, is this going to be worth my while?”
The Chancellor continued:
The UK has been experiencing uncharacteristically cold weather, harsh winds and winter showers in most parts. The colder weather corresponds to moments when the Leave Camp has gained ground in the polls – a clear sign that Summer is following events closely.
The government considers that there is a distinct possibility that if Britain were to vote to Leave, the Summer might decide to stay away.
Therefore, the British people have another convincing reason for voting to remain.
Commenting on the Chancellor’s speech, Michael Gove said that it had been “unsurprising”:
The Remain camp has employed the help of foreign leaders, big banks and EU-funded NGOs to scare the British people into voting to remain. So we shouldn’t be surprised if they’re now employing the help of the elements.
Let me reassure the public that voting to leave is not a leap in the dark because whatever the result of this referendum the number of daylight hours will remain the same.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson said that he was “utterly appalled” by the speech:
Not content with standing shoulder to shoulder with foreign leaders while they blackmail the UK into voting remain, the government is now promising an eternal winter if Britain leaves the EU. It’s beyond ridiculous!
We are 65 million
UKIP Leader Nigel Farage expressed similar disbelief:
The government has said a lot of dishonest things during this campaign, but I think the suggestion that if Britain were to leave it would somehow experience another ice age must surpass them all.
And he urged for greater confidence in Britain’s abilities:
It’s simply a question of renegotiating our relationship with the Summer once we’ve left the EU.
I know the government says we’re not big enough as an independent nation. But Iceland, with a population of 320,000, has done it. So I’m confident that Britain, with a population of 65,000,000, would manage.
Winter backs Brexit
Summer was unavailable for comment.
A spokesman for Winter had a recommendation for the British public:
Vote “Leave” to enjoy cosy fires, hot water bottles and mulled wine all year round.