Entry 1

What’s being said Europe-wide for and against Britain leaving the EU?

The question is moving up the news agendas of many member states.  Have you noticed? What do you think?

It is now centre-stage in the UK. The right wing Conservative party will rule for five years but is split over EU membership.  It will ask the UK people in two years whether they want in or out of the EU. But its leadership (mostly) wants to stay in.

The opposition Labour Party does not know what to think. Big business favours staying in Europe (mostly). So do trade unions (mostly).

The scene is set for another chapter in the centuries-old story of how Britain relates constitutionally and economically to the European land mass.

This chapter will be written by 27 other voices, for EU electorates will be asking themselves whether they tire of British shilly-shallying and want the story to end with ‘Goodbye Britain’.

Between now and late 2017, Brexit Comms Forum wants to be an academic observer of how this chapter is written – what national media, politicians, electorates and interest groups in other EU members are saying.  And why.

Here is what we have noticed in the UK media in the last week.

British big business wants to stay in. Its interest and pressure group, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), wants ‘to turn up the volume’ for a ‘yes’.

They are ‘. . . speaking out clearly, and in a language which people can understand’.

The tone of the statement is that of a re-launch of a tired public communications campaign preparing for the decisive moment of choice. The rhetorical tone is confident, with hints of impatience.

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