There have been moments in the EU referendum campaign when it has almost seemed as though Stuart Rose is working for the Out campaign. Despite being the chair of Britain Stronger in Europe, the retail supremo managed to forget the name of his own campaign group four times in an interview. He also scored an own goal when he claimed that wages were likely to go up in the event of Brexit.
Now Rose appears to be at it again. The Financial Times reports that Rose made another gaffe just last week. Speaking at an event at BAFTA with former Tory health minister Virginia Bottomley, Rose did manage to remember the name of his own organisation. Alas, he experienced greater difficulty mastering which countries are EU members — and which aren’t.
Discussing the perils of leaving the EU, Rose claimed that Sweden was an example of a country that has a bad deal outside of the EU. He said that Sweden has an ‘unattractive trade deal with the EU’. While many in the Brexit camp would certainly claim that trade looks bleak for Sweden, given that Sweden is actually an EU member it’s not for the reason Rose suggests. It then became apparent that Rose had confused Sweden for Switzerland.
No wonder his media appearances appear to becoming less and less frequent as polling day approaches.