Date
24 March 2017
Participants hold a British Union flag and an EU flag during a pro-EU referendum event at Parliament Square in London on June 19. Photo: Reuters
Participants hold a British Union flag and an EU flag during a pro-EU referendum event at Parliament Square in London on June 19. Photo: Reuters

Britain’s rival EU camps resume campaign

Campaigning for Britain’s vote on EU membership resumed on Sunday after a three-day hiatus prompted by the killing of lawmaker Jo Cox, Reuters reported.

Both sides sought to adopt a more measured style, paying their respects to Cox but sticking closely to the immigration-versus-economy debate that has defined the campaign, it said.

Opinion polls ahead of the June 23 vote showed the ‘Remain’ camp recovering some momentum, but the overall picture remained one of an evenly split electorate.

“I hope, because of the tragic death of Jo, we can have a less divisive political debate in our country,” Finance Minister George Osborne, a leading ‘Remain’ campaigner, said in a TV interview.

Cox, 41, a Labour Party lawmaker and ardent supporter of EU membership, was shot and stabbed in the street in her electoral district in northern England on Thursday.

A 52-year-old man appeared in a London magistrate’s court on Saturday, charged with her murder.

Both ‘Remain’ and ‘Leave’ halted their campaigns until Sunday morning.

But the heated nature of the debate, which has so far seen ‘In’ campaigners accused of scaremongering on the economy and the ‘Out’ campaign’s immigration focus criticized as divisive, soon resurfaced after the temporary truce.

Osborne criticized as “disgusting and vile” a poster unveiled by ‘Leave’ campaigners last week showing a line of refugees under the slogan “Breaking Point”, saying it was reminiscent of literature used in the 1930s.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the poster was an attempt to scare voters.

UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, who was pictured in front of the poster, said the EU had failed to control immigration properly and had compromised safety in Europe by allowing in religious extremists who wanted to attack Western states.

“Something that is true can’t be a scare, can it?” Farage told BBC radio when asked about the poster. “It was a comment about us being part of a European Union that is failing.”

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RC

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