The British Government is to spend almost £10 million of taxpayers’ money sending leaflets to every household in the country setting out their case for Britain to stay in the European Union.
The move has been described by leave campaigners as “disgraceful”
Boris Johnson said it was wrong to try to “stampede” voters while Nigel Farage said the document was “full of lies”.
Downing Street signed off on plans to spend £9.2m printing and distributing a 16 page glossy leaflet outlining why Britain would be better off in the EU.
Environment Secretary Liz Truss today defended the spending by pointing to independent polling indicating 85 per cent of voters wanted more information to help them make a decision.
But backers of the Brexit-backing campaigns expressed outrage at the move to flood the country with pro-EU ‘propaganda’ just weeks before the June 23 poll.
Ms Truss said: ‘This referendum will be a huge decision for our country, perhaps the biggest we will make in our lifetimes and it is crucial that the public have clear and accessible information.
‘Independent polling carried out on behalf of the Government made clear that 85% of people want more information from the Government to help make an informed decision.
‘The document makes clear why EU membership brings economic security, peace and stability.
‘It also sets out that if the UK voted to leave, the resulting economic shock would put pressure on the value of the pound, which would risk higher prices of some household goods.’
Tory MP Steve Baker, a leading member of the Vote Leave campaign, told MailOnline: ‘The Government is about to spend more taxpayers’ money propagandising for the pro-EU Britain Stronger in Europe campaign than Vote Leave will be allowed to spend from voluntary donations during the formal period.
‘This David and Goliath fight demands the support of everyone who wants to take back control so we can spend on our priorities, like the NHS.’
Andrew Rosindell, another Tory eurosceptic, also dubbed the leaflet ‘propaganda’.
Peter Bone, a co-founder of the Grassroots Out campaign, said: ‘This is an outrageous way to spend hard-working taxpayers money.
‘Many recent polls have shown that the majority of the UK public are actually in favour of leaving the EU so to spend their money on a pro-EU propaganda exercise is an inexcusable waste.
‘This is a major error of judgement given the lack of funding for vital public services.’