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‘Get ready for Brexit’ Facebook adverts cost taxpayer more than £250,000

The UK Government has reportedly spent £100 million on the wider campaign, which has included billboards and electronic displays.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a speech at the Convention of the North at the Magna Centre in Rotherham.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a speech at the Convention of the North at the Magna Centre in Rotherham.

By Stephen Jones, PA Social Media Editor

The Government has spent more than a quarter of a million pounds on Facebook adverts preparing the public for Brexit, despite continued uncertainty over whether the UK will depart the EU at the end of October.

Figures from the social network showed the UK Government had spent £216,613 on the adverts between September 8 and September 14 – taking the total to £256,275 in 30 days.

The “get ready for Brexit” campaign, reportedly costing the taxpayer £100 million, has also seen the messaging placed on billboards, bus stops and other social media platforms.

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An electronic display showing a ‘get ready for Brexit’ Government advert in London (Yui Mok/PA)

Spending figures for those platforms have not been made publicly available so the total spent so far is likely to be far higher than the number outlined by Facebook.

Boris Johnson has claimed the UK will still leave the EU on October 31 “no ifs, no buts”, despite MPs passing a law appearing to bar an exit without a deal.

The Prime Minister travelled to Luxembourg on Monday for talks with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, telling reporters he was “cautious” about progress in talks on a new Withdrawal Agreement.

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An example of one of the Facebook adverts paid for by the Government (UK Government/Facebook/PA)

The latest spending figures come after the Conservative Party was accused of misrepresenting a BBC News article in a Facebook advert.

Fact-checking charity Full Fact found the Tories had been running adverts that linked to a BBC story and contained the headline “£14 billion cash boost for schools”. However, the article itself put the figure at £7.1 billion.

A Conservative Party spokesman said: “It was not our intention to misrepresent by using this headline copy with the news link, where the BBC’s £7 billion figure is clearly displayed, but we are reviewing how our advert headlines match accompanying links.”

PA

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