British government officials are worried about the continued images and events unfolding as a result of the migrant crisis, and may rush the European Union (EU) membership referendum as a result.
From drowned toddler Aylan Kurdi to the mass rape and sexual assault of over 500 women in Cologne, key events and imagery have shifted public opinion from pro migrant and pro EU to an increasingly more skeptical view on both, according to the Telegraph.
“All you need is to start seeing the Greek islands being overwhelmed again with too many people, the pictures of boats arriving or bodies being washed up, another Aylan Kurdi, an image of people tearing down fences at the borders,” the source said as they explained that officials fear these images will turn voters away from wanting to remain in the EU.
While negotiations are currently underway for a “deal” to keep Britain in the EU, this new pressure will likely ensure a conclusion of negotiations in February, in order to have the referendum as early as possible.
Officials have stated that at least four months are required after the end of negotiations in order to facilitate the referendum – though some had hoped for a six month referendum time table.
Breitbart London’s Editor in Chief Raheem Kassam predicted the timing of the vote last week when he wrote: “…this would effectively mean a referendum of the British public this summer, perhaps as early as June,” in response to comments made by Prime Minister Cameron on BBC’s Andrew Marr show.
Earlier this week Europe Minister David Lidington echoed the establishment fears that the migrant crisis was harming voter opinions on EU membership when he told AFP: “I think that there was a definite connection between closer opinion poll findings about EU membership and what we saw with immigration”.
Governments fast tracking votes or legislation to get the result they want is not a new phenomenon, and the EU has a very shaky past when it comes to referendums.
In 2008 the Irish referendum regarding the adoptation EU Lisbon treaty was met with a 53.2 per cent ‘no’ vote. This ‘no’ merely delayed the EU as they had the Irish people vote again the following year, and received the ‘yes’ they required.
Breitbart London’s continued coverage of the migrant crisis has revealed the realities warned about by European leaders like Viktor Orban months ago.
UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage summed up why the EU handling of the migrant crisis has turned more people skeptical of EU membership when he appeared on BBC’s Sunday Politics programme this weekend, warning that, “in three years time all these people will have EU passports and will be able to come to Britain.”
While winter has barely slowed down the flow of migrants, EU Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans said at a meeting in Ankara earlier this week, “the numbers are still way too high in Greece, between 2,000-3,000 people every day,” and that they were not “satisfied” with the current rate of arrivals. This news comes despite the €3bn EU inducement to Turkey, as well as the promises of visa liberalisation if the country helped stem the migrant flow.
Richard Tice of the eurosceptic Leave.EU campaign told Breitbart London today: “With the latest poll showing the leave side six points ahead, it matters not when the Prime Minister calls the referendum, the sooner the better as far as we are concerned.”
He went on to add, “this latest fear is not that surprising,” and that, “the British public can see the truth and will not be fooled by the Prime Minister – control of our borders is the number one concern, and the only way we can control that is to vote to leave the EU at the referendum – hopefully in June”.