Brexit campaigners have complained that europhile universities and student bodies in the UK are “stepping in deliberately to stifle a free and fair exchange of ideas.”
As Breitbart London previously reported, the pro-Brexit student group ‘Students for Britain’ was denied acceptance as an official university group at Keele University because the word “Britain” in its title might have negative connotations for foreign students.
According to the ratification body, the Societies Executive, “the semantics behind the name of the group could be interpreted negatively on first glance, particularly with our internationally diverse student body.” In the end both Students for Britain and its pro-remain counterpart were granted permission to operate as “temporary campaign groups”.
Now Students for Britain have highlighted several other instances when student bodies have prevented groups from campaigning for the UK to leave the European Union (EU). They even allege that university lecturers are telling their students to vote for the to remain in the June 23 referendum, reports The Express.
Students for Britain chairman Tom Harwood said: “We have been seeing example after example of student bodies and university authorities stepping in deliberately to stifle a free and fair exchange of ideas.”
Plymouth University announced a pro-EU ‘debate’, hosted by a lecturer in social science methods, Dr. David Brockington of the Plymouth School of Government. Titled ‘Another Europe Is Possible’, invited speakers included:
- Molly Scott Cato MEP (Green Party), speaking about the ‘Green Yes’ campaign;
- Councillor Jonny Morris (Plymouth Labour Party) speaking about the ‘Labour in’ perspective; and
- Sam Lowe (Friends of the Earth) giving the views of a leading pro-EU environmental organisation.
Brexit campaigners say they were denied the same opportunity because the university only hosted “fair and unbiased” events.
A Students for Britain activist at the University of Leeds has said the group was not allowed a stall at the students’ union because it was a “single issue campaign” rather than a society. The ‘Better Stronger in Europe’ group was, however, granted permission to host a stall under the umbrella of the Labour Party.
When still in office, the former National Union of Students’ president, Megan Dunn, became a board member of the ‘Stay In’ referendum campaign. In doing so she did not consult the NUS’s national executive committee, let alone the nation’s seven million students which she claimed to represent.
Mr. Harwood said that Students for Britain do not want special treatment, explaining “all we want is parity.”