Last week Boris Johnson likened the EU to Adolf Hitler’s plans regarding the Old Continent’s domination. The politician favoring the “Leave” campaign clearly stated that the Brussels bureaucrats are using different kind of methods to unite Europe into a single state.
Those statements led to Donald Tusk’s intervention who characterized the former London mayor’s sayings as “absurd” demonstrating political amnesia. The president of the European Council (EC) mentioned that he is not intervening into the UK political affairs but defending the EU.
On another note, the most recent poll on the UK-EU referendum was conducted by the public opinion researcher ICM on May 15. ICM had a phone and an online poll which showed opposite results. While the phone poll reveals a lead of the “Remain” campaign with 46%, the internet poll provides the same percentage to the “Leave” campaign.
UK referendum causes internal and external turbulences
Boris Johnson gave an interview to the Sunday Telegraph mentioning that there is a clear problem in the EU which lies on the fact that there is no belief of the European idea. More specifically, the former London Mayor said: “But fundamentally what is lacking is the eternal problem, which is that there is no underlying loyalty to the idea of Europe. There is no single authority that anybody respects or understands. That is causing this massive democratic void.”
Furthermore, about a month before the critical referendum, Mr Johnson is using all the weapons in the “Leave” campaign arsenal by comparing EU’s to Hitler’s goals regarding the creation of the bloc as a “superstate”. Is it a hit below the belt or everything is allowed in such political fights?
One thing is for sure though. It is going to be a very tough call between the two campaigns and the EU is doing and will keep on doing everything in its power to persuade the UK to vote in favor of staying within the EU.
Will EU officials convince UK to remain in the EU?
The EU officials, after having almost positively dealt with the Grexit for the moment, are now focusing on the UK referendum which is going to be held on June 23. Precisely, Donald Tusk couldn’t have left the bitter words of Boris Johnson unanswered. Thus, during his visit in Copenhagen, the president of the EC found the chance to comment on this critical issue.
Expressing the European voice, Mr Tusk stated that the European officials have the obligation to defend the European vision and project. What is more, the EC’s president mentioned that: “To defend does not mean to lecture anyone. The British citizens will make this decision themselves and they do not need any whisperers, especially from Brussels. I understand this very well”.
But how exactly is this not intervening with the British affairs? It is not a secret that major EU officials and most Brussels bureaucrats have been fighting to keep the UK inside the Old Continent by using all kinds of means. It is known after all that a possible Brexit will further damage the declining European economy. Thus, yesterday’s comments on the UK referendum by Donald Tusk was another attempt to persuade the British citizens to vote in favor of the “Remain” campaign.
The outcome is still unclear
The polls that were conducted by ICM weren’t clear on the outcome of the winning side. There are opposite results which are driven by the type of the polls. The phone one revealed that the Remain campaign will receive 46% showing labour supporters are probably oversampled. On the other hand, the online poll showed that the Leave campaign is leading but there are great changes that the UKIP voters are more in this type of poll compared to the phone one.
However, even if the truth lies somewhere in between, the outcome of the referendum is hard to be predicted when the differences between the two campaigns are 4-8% and the undecided votes are calculated 10-15%.
Businesses to pay the “Brexit” price
Another research (667 online interviews) which was conducted by Ipsos Mori and published on May 13 shows that 78% of international companies from seven countries believe that they will be negatively affected in the event of UK leaving the EU.
All in all, it seems that as the referendum approaches, all sides will be using any means in order to attract more voters and polarise them.
Last, the migration challenges that people are currently experiencing in the UK and in Europe generally will be one of the most critical factors to affect the British citizens, who have not yet decided whether it is better to stay or leave the European Union.