EM UK: Pro-Remain voters urged not to “sleep through” the EU referendum
The European Movement UK launches on May 9 a concerted effort to mobilise up to more than six million potential Remain voters, with turnout a key issue in the June 23 referendum. Its mobilisation campaign is being launched on Europe Day (May 9), which marks the anniversary of the declaration that led to the creation of the EU.
Believing that there is a silent majority of voters inclined to stay in the EU, it has established a wide range of campaign groups aimed at persuading special interest voters to register and cast their vote.
“There is a danger that pro-Europe voters assume Britain leaving the EU just can’t happen and so don’t bother to vote. They could sleep through the whole thing and wake up to find Britain has left the EU on 24 June,” said Laura Sandys, chair of the European Movement UK.
Founded in 1947, the European Movement UK is the longest established campaigning group for British membership of the union. It has branches across the country and 10,000 followers. Former LibDem leader Paddy Ashdown is its President.
It has created several special interest groups for the referendum with appeal to over six million voters including Students for Europe, Environmentalists for Europe, Irish For Europe and Creatives For Europe. More details are below.
Each campaign represents a demographic group that could prove crucial in deciding whether Britain stays in or out of Europe. They have their branding and set of messages appealing to the specific issues of interest to each group.
“There is a kaleidoscope of people out there who may see faults with the EU but who appreciate the good that membership has brought us and want us to stay in the European Union” continued Laura Sandys, “the key is to get people registered to vote and then mobilise them on 23 June.”
A former Conservative MP for Thanet South, Laura is available for further comment and interview.
Campaign groups operating under the European Movement umbrella include
Students for Europe
Targeted at the country’s 2 million higher and further education students, this is a crucial campaign to ensure they register and go out and vote on June 23. Young people are concerned that the over 50s will make their decision for them and that their voice will be under-represented. All social media links available from twitter @students4europe
Irish for Europe
The campaign will mobilise the 600,000 Irish-born people now living and working in Britain with a vote, as well as three million UK citizens who identify as Irish. The Irish are keen Europeans who appreciate the EU’s role in the peace process. All social media links available from twitter @Irish4Europe
Environmentalists for Europe
Led by Stanley Johnson and Barbara Young, this will target 4.5 million people who are members of environmental organisations, and work to drive home the message that the environment is safer within the EU. All social media links from twitter @Env4Eur
Creatives for Europe
With over 2.8 jobs in the creative industries – larger than the automotive sector – there are few in the sector who do not value the relationship with Europe, This group will be organising events throughout the country working with Equity, the NUJ and others. All social media links from twitter @creative4europe
For more details, please visit the European Movement UK website.