Former BP chief executive Lord Browne is urging traditional energy businesses to embrace change

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The wrong John Browne

Thank you, Fox News, famous for claiming that parts of the UK were “no-go zones” for non-Muslims. Its business network scored an interview with “Lord John Browne”, who spent five minutes advocating Brexit.

Unfortunately it had managed to confuse former Conservative MP John Browne with former BP chief executive Lord John Browne. “This man is not me and — I do not support Brexit!” the real Lord Browne protested, on seeing the clip. Fox News or BP, who does America trust more?

Better late than never
Humility has arrived in Brussels. “Whatever the UK vote is, we must take a long hard look on the future of the Union,” European Council president Donald Tusk said on Monday.

Compare that with how EU bigwigs have viewed past referendums. “I cannot accept the idea that because there is a referendum in one country, the commission cannot continue with our own work programme,” José Manuel Barroso, then European Commission president, said as France prepared to reject the EU constitution in 2005. “The French public has its concerns, but at the same time there are other states in the EU.”


Wheels off

Monday was also car day for Remain — Ford wrote a pro-EU letter to its 14,000 employees, and former Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson and James May produced an “amusing” pro-EU video. This comes days after Toyota threatened to sue Vote Leave for using its logo without permission. Meanwhile Nissan, which says it would prefer Britain to remain in the EU, has said it is taking legal action against the Leave campaign to stop the group for using its logo in pro-Brexit leaflets.

But the Leave campaign does have its own four-wheeled friends. Last month Boris Johnson visited the Ginetta sports cars factory whose owner, Lawrence Tomlinson, wants to leave the EU. “You can feel the [EU] restrictions we get, things like state aid, the number of times that businesses are refused funding due to European state aid law,” complained Mr Tomlinson, who made his fortune in care homes and other businesses.

Why would a maker of world-class sports cars need state aid? Perhaps because Ginetta has not recorded a profit at least since Mr Tomlinson bought it a decade ago; last year it made a pre-tax loss of £3.5m, on revenues of £4.8m.


UK’s EU Referendum: How people would vote

For a more detailed summary of opinion polling visit the FT’s Brexit poll tracker page



How to hedge your bets

“Wouldn’t be at all surprised if Remain do significantly better than their best final week poll,” said pollster James Morris, leaving no hostage to fortune.


Thatcher effect

Somebody has decided to remake the jumper that Margaret Thatcher wore at a pro-European Economic Community rally in 1975. This fetching number — black with nine national flags — is yours to own for £45 from www.common-market.co. But in an election where Labour supporters are the key swing voters, deploying Margaret Thatcher is, to put it politely, a bold move.


Quotes of the day

“The United Kingdom — birthplace of The Beatles, and yet very much the world’s Ringo.”

HBO comedian John Oliver tries to explain Brexit to Americans


“The #Leave line up — BNP, Le Pen, Donald Trump, Geert Wilders, Farage, Gove. I wouldn’t get on a night bus with them would you?”

Former Tory chair Baroness Warsi, Brexiter-turned-Remainer, goes personal


UK’s EU referendum: full coverage and analysis

View the FT’s comprehensive guide to the vote on whether Britain should stay in Europe, with all the latest news, analysis and commentary from both sides of the debate. See more 


Henry Mance will be writing his daily referendum briefing until the EU vote. Sign up to the email at ft.com/countdown

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