Campaigners looking to keep Britain within the European Union have been oddly quiet over the last few weeks as their opponents jostle for position as the main Brexit advocates.
All that changed today with the launch of Britain Stronger in Europe, a campaign backed by the three living former prime ministers and a host of senior business figures, including West Ham vice chair and Tory peer Karren Brady, easyJet chief executive Carolyn McCall, and Richard “Beardy” Branson, founder of Virgin.
The slickness of the campaign video is to be expected given its establishment backing, but more interesting is their sneaky substitution of the word “Europe” in place of “EU”.
Unless somebody creates a technology that can haul the British Isles across the Atlantic, Britain is doomed to remain adjacent to Europe until tectonic plates make it otherwise. What the europhiles want to convey is the sense that the cultural and trade benefits of Europe and the EU are one in the same.
This will no doubt be countered by cries of “Love Europe, hate the EU” from their opponents, but the move also stands in contrast to attempts by Stuart Rose, chair of the “In” campaign, to advertise EU membership as a patriotic option.
Expect much more on this as both sides dig their respective trenches and prepare for a long war.
Image Credit – EU Grunge Flag, April 2012 by Nicolas Raymond