EU Referendum

GO Movement seeks official 'Leave' campaign designation

(L-R) Conservative MPs Peter Bone and Tom Pursglove and UKIP leader Nigel Farage will be on the group's board Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption (L-R) Tory MPs Peter Bone and Tom Pursglove and UKIP leader Nigel Farage will be on the group's board

Anti-EU campaigners have formed an umbrella group, GO Movement, which will bid to become the official 'Leave' campaign in the EU referendum.

It is made up of Eurosceptics from the cross-party Grassroots Out campaign, UKIP and Leave.EU - but not Vote Leave.

It follows infighting between the rival groups pushing for an EU exit, notably between Leave.EU and Vote Leave.

It is up to the Electoral Commission to decide who becomes the official remain and leave campaigns.

The campaigns chosen by the elections watchdog will get access to £600,000 in public funds, TV broadcasts, free mailshots and a spending limit of £7m.

Cross-party support

GO Movement's board members will include UKIP leader Nigel Farage and Conservative MPs Peter Bone and Tom Pursglove. Businessman Richard Tice, from Leave.EU, is expected to be chairman.

It said its application for official designation had the support of Conservative, Labour, DUP and UKIP politicians.

"Each of these groups is represented with their own GO groups, headed up by the David Davis MP, Kate Hoey MP, Sammy Wilson MP, and Nigel Farage MEP, respectively," it said.

However, the DUP denied it was involved in the group, accusing GO Movement of "utter codswallop" for saying it was.

"We are appalled with them. This is not the way people who want to cooperate to achieve Brexit should behave," a DUP spokesman said.

The UK's EU vote: All you need to know

GO Movement claimed that Vote Leave - a rival umbrella group which includes business leaders, Tory MPs and UKIP MP Douglas Carswell among others - was considering whether to join, but it is believed there have been no formal discussions.

A Vote Leave spokesman said: "We wish this new campaign well and are willing to work with anyone who wishes to campaign to leave the EU."

Previous merger attempts between Leave.EU and Vote Leave were scuppered by what appeared to be personality clashes and differences on tactics.

Mr Farage, Mr Bone and Mr Pursglove are expected to attend a Grassroots Out rally on Friday following the conclusion of the key Brussels summit.

Britain Stronger in Europe, which campaigns for the UK's continued membership of the 28-member bloc, is the main group vying to become the official 'Remain' campaign.

The Electoral Commission will make its decision after the PM calls the poll, which could be held as early as June 2016 if a deal on the UK's renegotiation is agreed at Thursday's summit of EU leaders.

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