Brexit campaign wipes its homepage amid accusations of false promises

Prominent Brexiters have been backtracking on key promises made during the referendum. Now the campaign's homepage has erased links to those claims.

Katie Collins Senior European Correspondent
Katie a UK-based news reporter and features writer. Officially, she is CNET's European correspondent, covering tech policy and Big Tech in the EU and UK. Unofficially, she serves as CNET's Taylor Swift correspondent. You can also find her writing about tech for good, ethics and human rights, the climate crisis, robots, travel and digital culture. She was once described a "living synth" by London's Evening Standard for having a microchip injected into her hand.
Katie Collins
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Gone is the "Vote Leave" website as we knew it. Go to the homepage now, and all you'll see is this banner.

Vote Leave/Screenshot by Katie Collins/CNET

The pro-Brexit campaign has cleared its homepage of all the material it used to successfully make its case in the UK's European Union referendum.

The "Vote Leave" homepage -- previously with links to other pages on the site -- has been replaced by a static banner that thanks supporters for their hard work and votes, Guardian reporter Alice Ross spotted Monday. The material itself is still live but is not accessible from the homepage. If you want to find it, you'll have to be clever with your Google searches. An archived version of the site, which features all of the campaign material, also can still be seen online.

In last week's stunning Brexit referendum, 52 percent of UK voters chose to withdraw their country from the European Union, the first time a country has opted to leave the multinational economic and political alliance. The actual departure from the EU is still many months down the road, but reaction was swift and deeply unsettled. Already, an online campaign has gone viral to try to initiate a new referendum on whether the UK should go through with the separation.

Watch this: Online petition to annul Brexit vote has millions of signatures

Much work will need to be done to untangle Britain from the EU's complex bureaucratic structure and to establish new trade, travel and employment agreements. Meanwhile, the British tech industry and the foreign tech companies operating in the country face challenges in sorting out new ways of doing business in the region.

"Companies will now have to spend more time and effort to deliver products across borders and less time innovating on new customer-focused solutions," Forrester analyst Laura Koetzle said in a blog post. "CIOs will find it even more difficult to recruit already scarce developers and engineers to build customer-facing systems."

The Leave campaign had devoted much of its pitch to what it said were the costs of staying within the EU.

"On 23 June, it's safer to Vote Leave and take back control," the subhead on the website used to say. "We should stop sending £350 million per week to unelected politicians in Brussels, and spend our money on our priorities, like the NHS." That's short for the National Health Service.

Throughout the campaign, according to data from Twitter, the most discussed topic was the economy, well ahead of foreign relations, immigration and security.

The particular claim about using the savings created by withdrawing from the EU to fund the UK's health system had been front and center of the Leave campaign, and it was most famously plastered across the official campaign bus. The claim also attracted negative attention over the weekend, as it became clear that the £350 million reclaimed from the EU would not in fact be spent on the National Health Service.

Nigel Farage, head of the UK Independence Party and a member of the European Parliament, and other leading members of the Leave campaign backtracked on the promise over the weekend, the Metro reported, as it became apparent that there was no official plan for Brexit.

The claim about NHS funding still appears as the banner head on the campaign's Twitter page.

The Leave campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.