April Fool's Day, factchecked?

1 April 2016 | Jill Rutter

You couldn’t make it up.

But they just did.

April Fool’s Day is a factchecker's nightmare. Which of the welter of dodgy statistics, half-truths and misrepresentations are people making seriously? And which are simply the product of the fertile minded journalist who’s been charged with their publication’s April Fool’s Day special?

So far today the Guardian has run the royal family plot to come out against #Brexit—although this seemed to come from the same stable as The Sun’s dramatic #Brexit lunch story until a few paragraphs in.

And to further underline the perception that EU dominates everything at the moment the Express has reported EU bosses demanding European stars incorporated into the Union Jack. Investment Week has a more subtle Euro scare on compulsory French wealth managers here.

If it’s not #euref, there is still the hangover from #indyref to deal with. As Scotland becomes a country where they do things differently (they are even having a political debate about raising taxes in advance of an election), is it not so implausible that the Scots would want blockbuster films dubbed into Scots before release. It happens in Quebec and Catalonia. Wales could decide to follow suit.

The German Embassy has entered the fray with an announcement that Germany is giving up football to play rugby and win the 7 Nations. But a few years ago Italy as the 6th nation would have been bizarre—as might the Afghan cricket team beating the West Indies (which happened at the weekend).

Closer to home, the Full Fact team is rather hoping that this story about the Law Society turning into the world’s biggest Nando’s is true. And the cyclists in the office are really looking forward to the new Boris national cycle network (it worked for disused railways, so why not?).

So factcheckers may be best advised to stay under the duvet on 1st April. On the other 364 days of the year, Full Fact is here to help everyone distinguish facts from fiction.

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