#Brexit: ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’ groups make their official nomination to get state funds

| March 31, 2016 | 0 Comments

BREXIT-TEA-BAGThe EU referendum’s debate is to enter a heated phase as groups hoping to front the official In and Out campaigns make their pitch to be allowed to spend up to £7 million.

The Electoral Commission is expected to decide the official groups by 14 April. They can select one designated lead campaign for both the ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’ sides ahead of the referendum on EU membership on 23 June.

The chosen campaigns will get access to a grant of up to £600,000, an overall spending limit of £7m, campaign broadcasts, free mailshots and free access to meeting rooms. The Electoral Commission will judge each applicant’s merits on the basis of a range of criteria, such as level of cross-party support, campaign tactics and organisational capacity.

The chosen campaigns will get access to a grant of up to £600,000, an overall spending limit of £7m, campaign broadcasts, free mailshots and free access to meeting rooms.

On the ‘Remain’ side the situation is rather simple: Britain Stronger in Europe is expected to be the only group seeking the formal In designation. The campaign says it has the backing of five political parties, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and three Northern Ireland parties – the Alliance Party, the Green Party and the SDLP, and Prime Minister David Cameron to make the case for the UK’s continued EU membership.

Cameron, who has become the overall figurehead of the In campaign, says he fully backs the application, saying it draws support from “every corner of the UK” and that its opponents are “divided into at least two camps who can’t agree on very much”.

The only important defection in the Britain Stronger in Europe is that of the Scottish National Party. The SNP supports the ‘Remain’ campaign, however is running its own separate campaign in Scotland. Similarly, the Green Party of England and Wales has affiliated itself to Another World Is Possible – a different group formed by Labour MPs on the left of the party.

‘Leave’ campaigners said that key individuals backing Britain Stronger in Europe were past supporters of joining the euro while several organisations supporting the campaign group received EU funding.

The ‘Leave’ side is more divided, however the major group should be Grassroots Out, which has Nigel Farage among its backers.

The Grassroots Out application will be submitted by Farage and Tory MPs Peter Bone and Tom Pursglove. It says it has the support of Tory, Labour, UKIP and DUP politicians.

The other group backing Brexit is Vote Leave. It seems that it will submit its application at a later date.

This division in the ‘Leave’ campaign can have deep repercussion. Political parties and other groups can run their own campaigns but they will be limited to a spend of £700,000 if they register with the watchdog and will have to report the source of donations. If they don’t register with the Commission they will be limited to spending less than £10,000.

Given these limitations, it is pivotal to be the chosen group by the Electoral Commission in order to have access to more funds and more media space.




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Category: A Frontpage, Brexit, Conservative Party, EU, Greens, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Nigel Farage, Plaid Cymru, Scottish National Party, UK, UKIP

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