373,000 people have signed a petition saying that they want the U.K. to leave the European Union. That does seem like quite a lot, but the petition was organised by the Daily Express, which carries a rather triumphalist story involving their political editor and a few MPs delivering the signatures to Number 10.
Let’s leave aside for one moment the arguments against such a move and focus instead on the story itself. I must take exception with Tory MP, Philip Hollobone, who is quoted in the article as saying:
“Congratulations to the Daily Express for saying so clearly what most of Britain actually feels.”
Now last time I checked 373,000 does not represent a majority of the British voting public. Given that this was a campaign run by the Express for quite a while, it might be worth pointing out to Mr. Hollobone that it’s well under two-thirds of the Daily Express readership, whose circulation is around 640,000.
Given that, I’m not sure on what authority Mr Hollobone can say anything about “what most of Britain actually feels”.
It isn’t much of a surprise that Daily Express readers are not too fond of the EU, given that particular publications penchant for publishing sensationalist, under researched and often downright wrong information about the European Union. They are famously one of the most prolific peddlers of the ‘Euromyth‘.
Leaving the EU would be absolutely disastrous for our economy. At a time when we are looking for ways out of a serious financial crisis, cutting ourselves off from, or at least severely damaging links with, our primary export market seems like wanton madness. It would also ruin the lives of many British workers currently with jobs through-out the EU and the many people from other member states currently contributing to the UK economy.
I don’t believe this is what most people in the UK want as they are generally a sensible bunch. It clearly isn’t even what all the Daily Express readers want either.