Leave.EU questions decision designating official status on rival in Out campaign
Apr 19, 2016 12:03 PM EDT
One of the groups campaigning for Britain to leave the European Union has publicly announced its intention to challenge its rival's designation by the Electoral Commission as official Out campaign.
It was announced recently that Vote Leave would lead the campaign - giving it access to funds and an enhanced public profile, reported by the Independent. But bitter rival Leave.EU said it would challenge the Electoral Commission decision, potentially delaying the referendum until October 23. The vote is originally scheduled on June 23.
Leading Leave.EU figure and co-founder Arron Banks said the decision did not "make sense." "I am thoroughly unsatisfied with the Electoral Commission's decision for a variety of reasons that I will be making clear in my application for judicial review," he said. The Telegraph reported that Banks called the decision political "stitch-up," promising legal challenge in a few days.
When asked if the move is merely "sour grapes," for not getting the nomination Banks said it's not fair as Leave.EU has more than a million supporters whereas Vote Leave has just a few Tory politicians behind it.
The Times of India reported that battle lines had been drawn as the nation started campaigning over Britain's "Brexit" referendum. Activists lined the streets of London Friday on the first day of the 10-week battle over the country's future in Europe.
Opinion polls suggest that the British public is evenly split on the question of whether Britain should stay in the European Union or go it alone. This spells trouble for the government of Prime Minister David Cameron and would likely plunge one of the world's leading economies into uncertainty.
The referendum is the first direct vote of Britons on the divisive issue of Europe in 41 years. It is also being watched with bated breath in Washington and Brussels, where a British exit would add to the long list of EU crises.
London Mayor Boris Johnson will lead a "Brexit blitz" on Friday and Saturday where he will try to persuade voters that they can thrive if cut from EU red tape. He compared leaving the 28-nation bloc to getting out of prison, saying the referendum was "like the jailer has accidentally left the door of the jail open and people can see the sunlit lands beyond"
Cameron stands squarely in the "Remain" corner saying that the country has a "special status" in the EU, thanks to a renegotiation he has signed in February, and that Britain will be richer and stronger if it stays in.