There is now a war of manoeuvre between two rival Brexit groups competing to be the lead campaigning body for leaving the EU. This competition is important because only one body will get state funding when the official referendum campaign starts shortly.
Vote Leave launched today as a cross-political party group made up of Conservative, Labour, UKIP MPs and donors. It claims to be a “unifying force” for Eurosceptics.
It is competing with a rival group, the UKIP-backed Leave.EU (not accessible 9.10.15), as the lead ‘Out’ campaigning body that was lunched in September (see blog 9).
The state body controlling public funds for both sides of the Brexit campaign is the Electoral Commission.Their choice of lead group for each side will benefit from spending limits of £7m during the campaign period; campaign broadcasts and a free public mail outs.
They will also get access to public meeting rooms and to the electoral register, and are entitled to public grants of up to £600,000.
These benefits are worth fighting for in this war of manoeuvre.