Two ‘UKIP to Stay’ Twitter accounts have emerged amid bitter arguments over which Euro-skeptic group should officially lead the Brexit campaign.
UKIP, whose vehemently anti-EU stance won them 3.9 million votes in the 2015 general election, claim both accounts are fakes.
But surprisingly 28% of supporters of the anti-immigration UK Independence Party would in fact vote to remain in the European Union, a Times poll found.
In one tweet, UKIP to Stay wrote:
The leave campaigns are just squabbling amongst themselves now! Time to change sides! #StrongerIn #EU #NoBrexit
While another for UKIP voters to STAY read:
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Over 2.2m Brits have taken advantage of EU freedom of movement, and now live and work in other EU nations. #Brexit #EUref
— UKIP to Stay (@StayUKIP) January 18, 2016
— UKIP voters for STAY (@UKIPforStay) January 9, 2016
Ahead of Britain’s referendum on EU membership, Leave.EU, Vote Leave and Grassroots Out all argue they should be chosen as the authentic voice of the Brexit campaign.
The Electoral Commission will pick one official group from each side to fight the referendum, which David Cameron has said could take place as soon as Thursday 23 June.
Campaign broadcasts, free mailing, a grant worth up to £600,000 and a relaxed spending cap of up to £7 million will be awarded to the official nominee.
But an acrimonious row has broken out over which anti-EU group is best positioned to lead the campaign to victory, leaving the Euro-skeptic bloc in disarray.
The war of words between these groups could lead to none of them being designated as the official ‘out campaign’, it has been claimed.
The prospect of no official designation for the ‘out campaign’ has become a “huge worry”, said co-founder of Leave.EU Arron Banks.
He said a non-designation, which the commission confirmed is within the rules, could leave the campaign at a disadvantage.
If it is bitterly contested, and if designating is going to be controversial, the commission has a right to choose not to designate.
Conversely, the David Cameron-backed Britain Stronger in Europe seems certain to be designated as the official ‘in campaign’ group – because it has no rivals.
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