Cam­paign­ing for EU vote re­sumes af­ter MP’s mur­der

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

LONDON—Cam­paign­ing for Bri­tain’s EU ref­er­en­dum re­sumed Sun­day fol­low­ing a pause af­ter the shock mur­der of MP Jo Cox, with the lat­est opin­ion poll av­er­age putting the ri­val camps neck-and-neck.

Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron warned there was no “turn­ing back” if Bri­tons vote to leave the Euro­pean Union, say­ing it would be a “hu­mil­i­a­tion” for the na­tion.

As polls showed the Re­main camp gain­ing ground just four days from Thurs­day’s crit­i­cal in-or-out vote, lead­ing Brexit cam­paigner Nigel Farage said Cox’s mur­der had cost the Leave cam­paign mo­men­tum.

Her al­leged killer, 52-year-old Thomas Mair, shouted “Death to traitors, free­dom for Bri­tain”, when he ap­peared in court on Satur­day.

Prayers were said for Cox, a 41-yearold mother of two, at a church ser­vice Sun­day less than a kilo­me­tre away from the scene of her mur­der in the north­ern English vil­lage of Birstall.

Cox, an ac­tive Re­main cam­paigner, was stabbed and shot on Thurs­day in an at­tack that shocked the coun­try, the first mur­der of a sit­ting Bri­tish law­maker since 1990.

“Her hu­man­ity was pow­er­ful and com­pelling and we would do well to recog­nise her as an amaz­ing ex­am­ple: a 21st cen­tury Good Sa­mar­i­tan,” Rev­erend Paul Knight said at the church ser­vice.

Af­ter a three-day pause, po­lit­i­cal lead­ers hit the stump again on their fi­nal push for votes in a ref­er­en­dum that will shape not only the fu­ture of Bri­tain but also the EU.

The What UK Thinks web­site’s av­er­age of the last six polls, con­ducted be­tween June 10 and Satur­day, put the Re­main and Leave camps level at 50-50, ex­clud­ing un­de­cided vot­ers.

The Leave camp had been a few per­cent­age points ahead in re­cent polling, but fresh sur­veys show­ing a rise in sup­port for re­main­ing brought the av­er­age neck-and­neck.

A Sur­va­tion poll con­ducted on Fri­day and Satur­day put Re­main at 45 per­cent and Leave at 42 per­cent — the re­verse of its find­ings on Thurs­day.

UK In­de­pen­dence Party (UKIP) leader Farage said Cox’s killing had halted Leave’s up­ward tra­jec­tory.

“We did have mo­men­tum un­til this ter­ri­ble tragedy,” he told ITV tele­vi­sion.

The Sun­day Mir­ror news­pa­per said there was a “dra­matic swing in ‘mood’”, call­ing it “The Jo ef­fect”, cit­ing its own ComRes polling. - ‘Ex­is­ten­tial choice’ Cameron said Bri­tain was fac­ing an “an ex­is­ten­tial choice” from which there would be “no turn­ing back”.

“If you’re not sure, don’t take the risk of leav­ing. If you don’t know, don’t go,” he wrote in The Sun­day Tele­graph news­pa­per.

“It would be a one-off and per­ma­nent diminu­tion in our stand­ing in the world; an ab­ject and self-im­posed hu­mil­i­a­tion for a proud and im­por­tant coun­try like ours.”

His fi­nance min­is­ter Ge­orge Os­borne told ITV tele­vi­sion that Bri­tain would be “a lot poorer” out­side the EU, say­ing the econ­omy could shrink by at least five per­cent to six per­cent.

“You can’t pre­dict the enor­mous un­cer­tainty that ex­it­ing the EU means for Bri­tain.”

While the Re­main camp has tried to fo­cus on the econ­omy, the Leave cam­paign has made a key is­sue out of EU mass im­mi­gra­tion to Bri­tain in the in­creas­ingly di­vi­sive cam­paign.

Main op­po­si­tion Labour leader Jeremy Cor­byn, who backs the Re­main cam­paign, hit out at the EU’s “ap­palling” treat­ment of Greece and told BBC tele­vi­sion “I don’t think you can have” an up­per limit on mi­gra­tion “while you have the free move­ment of labour”. - Psy­chi­atric re­port Os­borne said he hoped Cox’s death would lead to “a less di­vi­sive po­lit­i­cal de­bate in our coun­try” with “less base­less as­ser­tion and in­flam­ma­tory rhetoric and more rea­soned ar­gu­ment and facts”.—AFP

KUNMING, China: Jour­nal­ists from South Asia and South­east Asia in a group photo on the eve of visit of Stone For­est Mu­seum. Stone For­est in known since Ming Dy­nasty as the First Won­der of the World.

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