A former economic adviser to the President of the European Commission has identified one of the reasons why the Leave campaign in the European Union (EU) referendum is gaining momentum, saying: “It’s official: Vote Leave has gone all UKIP.”
Philippe Legrain — a Visiting Senior Fellow at the London School of Economics’ European Institute — was not intending to promote the Brexit cause when identifying the change of direction recently undertaken by Vote Leave, but did stumble upon the reason many have given for the recent gains they have made.
Contributing to CapX, the news website owned and produced by the Centre for Policy Studies think tank, the former adviser to ex-European Commission President José Manuel Barroso stated: “It’s official: Vote Leave has gone all UKIP.” He said this is because it is now “focusing its campaign on immigration.”
Mr. Legrain explained:
Yesterday, leading Leave campaigners pledged that a post-Brexit Britain would curb EU migration in a specific way: “by the next general election, we will create a genuine Australian-style points based immigration system.” Nigel Farage was cock-a-hoop. “Pleased that Boris Johnson & Michael Gove now support same policy I’ve advocated for years,” the UKIP leader tweeted.
The author is not a fan of Australian-style points based immigration, far from it. He concludes that “voting Leave would not result in a liberal, global, outward-looking Britain. It’s a vote for pulling up the drawbridge, sabotaging the economy and letting UKIP in by the back door.”
Nevertheless he is out of step with public opinion on this matter, something which Vote Leave has belatedly recognised but from which it is now benefiting.
As Breitbart London reported earlier this week, the Tory election strategist Sir Lynton Crosby says the shift to Leave can be explained by the campaign’s “increasing focus on lack of control over immigration and associated message discipline.”
Mr. Legrain may disapprove, but opposition to the sort of open borders approach to immigration which he advocates is proving popular with British voters.