Emotions a key factor as the British EU referendum looms

Madrid, June 22 (IANS) With the EU referendum looming, the UK reflected Wednesday on an emotional campaign as vigils for murdered MP Jo Cox took place around the world.

Family, friends and colleagues of Cox are to gather in Trafalgar Square, London, to commemorate the life of the Labour MP who was shot and stabbed to death June 16 on a street in the constituency she represented in Parliament. The suspect gave his name as “death to traitors, freedom for Britain” during his first court appearance.

Vigils are also due in Brussels, New York, Washington D.C. and Nairobi.

The commemorations come a day after the BBC released an interview with Cox’s widower, Brendan Cox, in which he said his late wife died “for her political views”, EFE reported.

He said public support in reaction to his wife’s death had been overwhelming.

The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, on June 20 recalled Parliament to pay tribute to Cox.

Bercow said, “an attack like this strikes not only at an individual but at our freedom.”

The death of Cox has affected the referendum as political leaders intensified their campaigning.

The Remain faction, advocating for a vote to stay in the EU, harnessed influential celebrities and business leaders in a bid to boost their poll standings relative to the Leave camp.

Prominent politicians such as PM David Cameron, Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, are to due spend the final day promoting the benefits of the EU.

A British exit from the EU is known commonly as “brexit.”

Rock group U2 today told Irish citizens with the right to vote in the UK “don’t go, we would miss you”.

Over a thousand business leaders signed an open letter in “The Times” newspaper urging voters to opt to remain in the EU.

Entrepreneur Richard Branson and former Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg featured on the list of signatories.

“Leaving the EU would lead to uncertainty for our companies, less trade with Europe and fewer jobs”, they said. “The smallest businesses and their employees are particularly vulnerable to any sudden change that could occur in the economy.”

Vote Leave campaigner and leader of the UK Independence Party UKIP, Nigel Farage, said Thursday’s referendum represented the struggle between the “people and the Establishment.”

“The established power is very, very afraid of this vote.” He said it would do “everything it can to win.”

Farage said Britain “can improve, tomorrow we can vote for real change, we can vote to take back our country, we can vote to take back our borders.”

The Leave campaign has faced criticism in recent days after the unveiling of its ‘Breaking Point’ poster which showed migrants queuing up at the Slovenian border. It was criticized as xenophobic.



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