At a stretch, you can – if you really contort the definitions – make Britain’s EU bill add up to around £350m a week. To do so you have to overlook the portion that never leaves these shores and is covered by the rebate. Yes, that rebate has to be negotiated and locked down every time there is a new budget round. So, the whole thing requires some weasel words to get to £350m with a straight face, which is why it is standard to say that this is £350m over which the UK does not as of now have full control, a piece of sophistry used by Boris himself.

But that overblown figure was always going to get leavers into trouble, as Boris – fighting for his political life after a botched intervention at the weekend – surely knows now if he didn’t before. Incidentally, yes of course the chairman of the statistics agency should be all over Corbyn’s bogus claims too – on poor students going to university, for example. But consider this. Any Foreign Secretary (a Foreign Secretary, occupying the office of Eden, Bevin, Owen, Carrington, Rifkind and Hague!) at war with the national statistics agency over truth is in deep trouble. It might be unfair, but life is unfair and politics, so much of which is about perception, doubly so.

Back to that bogus figure. Some of us said so at the time. As a commentator, I did on the BBC, on the Westminster Hour during the campaign, and I was not alone. Wouldn’t it have been better to present a more accurate figure? £250m or £170m is still a lot every week.

The problem is that we know – it was reported ‎and later admitted – that £350m was a deliberate stretch that worked brilliantly as an insurgent campaign tactic. Vote Leave, the official campaign separate from Farage’s lot – calculated that if you could get Cameron and the Remain side denouncing it at every turn then the Establishment was doing your work for you. Voters would say: okay, it’s less than 350 but it’s still a lot of money going to the EU, an unpopular institution unloved the British for a long time.

Complicating matters for Remain, their own campaign was telling a series of exaggerated whoppers about future prospects. ‎George Osborne’s talk of a punishment budget makes for hilarious reading, and quite honestly anyone from the Treasury with the gall to get pious over the 350 figure needs to have a good hard think about what the department did during the EU referendum, and the Scottish referendum too, say Scottish Nationalists.

What do voters think of this row now? I’d like to see some detailed research, but everything points to them having moved on and a majority accepting Brexit is happening. Most tend not to believe figures used by politicians anyway in any context. They all – politicians that is – put the best possible spin on it to suit their purposes.

Of course, Boris’s real problem is in essence that the world has moved on since last year. As Matthew d’Anconna writes in the Guardian today, Boris has had his act stolen by Jacob Rees-Mogg. There’s a new PG Wodehouse tribute act in town. The whole botched intervention by the Foreign Secretary looks increasingly like a bid for relevance.