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UK Names Official Leave and Remain Campaigns for EU Referendum

Britain\'s Electoral Commission today announced the official \"Leave\" and \"Remain\" campaigns for the June 23 referendum.

Published: 13th April 2016 09:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th April 2016 10:34 PM   |  A+A-

Borris Johnson-AFP

London Mayor Boris Johnson (C) delivers a statement to the media regarding his position on the forthcoming EU referendum outside his home in London on February 21 , 2016. | File AFP

By PTI

LONDON: Britain's Electoral Commission today announced the official "Leave" and "Remain" campaigns for the June 23 referendum on whether the UK should stay part of the European Union (EU).

The "Vote Leave" group, backed by Indian-origin minister Priti Patel and London Mayor Boris Johnson, will be the official "Out" campaign.

It beat competition from the rival campaign "Grassroots Out", backed by UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage.

Britain Stronger in Europe, chaired by former Marks and Spencer boss Stuart Rose and backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, was the only campaign to apply for "Remain" designation under its registered title of The In Campaign Ltd.

"After careful consideration, the commission decided that 'Vote Leave Ltd' better demonstrated that it has the structures in place to ensure the views of other campaigners are represented in the delivery of its campaign," the Electoral Commission said in a statement. Grassroots Out has said it plans to appeal against the decision.

The official lead campaign groups will benefit from a higher spending limit of 7 million pounds, free distribution of campaign materials to voters, campaign broadcasts and a grant of up to 600,000 pounds to be used for administrative costs.

Electoral Commission chief executive Claire Bassett said: "We received two high quality applications on the 'Leave' side, from 'Vote Leave Ltd' and 'The Go Movement Ltd'. After careful consideration, the Commission decided that 'Vote Leave Ltd' better demonstrated that it has the structures in place to ensure the views of other campaigners are represented in the delivery of its campaign."

"It therefore represents, to a greater extent than 'Go Movement Ltd', those campaigning for the 'Leave' outcome, which is the test we must apply. We encourage all campaigners to now focus on engaging voters on the historic decision they will have to take on 23 June," he said.

A spokesperson for Vote Leave, which is calling for a so-called Brexit from the EU, said it would work constructively with the other campaigns which did not secure the designation.

"Our focus has always been the real campaign and the 350 million pounds we send to the EU every week which we want to spend on our priorities like the NHS," he said.

In February, Cameron announced a referendum to be held on June 23 on whether UK to stay in the 28-nation bloc.



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