Entry 8

Anti-EU campaigners just getting organised

The British Establishments of politics, business, media, trade unions and universities mostly want to stay in the EU and their channels of communications are already well established.

But groups wanting ‘out’ are only now getting their campaigning voices on to the public stage.

One such is The Know EU Campaign. It claims to be ‘an independent movment that sits of the Westminster bubble (Parilament)’ and it ‘…will highlight the benefits of being outside of the EU’.

This self-description implies that it is indeed outside of the Establishment and that it will have build up popular support: it ‘…will create a mass membership movment’ in the country.

It is plugged into social media (Facebook and Twitter) and connects with a tracker poll showing public support for staying and leaving the EU, published by the Conservative-supporting newspaper ‘The Daily Telegraph’.

The Know EU campaign is funded by UKIP donor Aaron Banks, a millionaire

In a Parliament of 650 MPs, publicly declared support for ‘out’ is limited is to 50 plus Conservative MPs, a handful of Labour MPs and the one UKIP member. In June, a very small band of seven Eurosceptics from these three parties formed a group to act as a “precursor to the Out campaign.

This “exploratory committee for the EU referendum” includes former Conservative cabinet minister Owen Paterson and UKIP’s only MP, Douglas Carswell.They aim to “provide resources for crucial thinking”.

The newness of The Know EU campaign, the very small number of MPs on the “exploratory committee” point to the size of the organisational challenge facing the ‘out’ campaign.

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