LONDON, United Kingdom- Britain’s biggest selling newspaper, The Sun, has backed the campaign for the UK to leave the EU in next week's referendum. Tomorrow’s front page reads “BeLEAVE in Britain,” the word 'leave' is written using the union jack.
An editorial on the front page read: “We must set ourselves free from dictatorial Brussels. Throughout our 43-year membership of the European Union it has proved increasingly greedy, wasteful, bullying and breathtakingly incompetent in a crisis.
“Next Thursday, at the ballot box, we can correct this huge and historic mistake. It is our last chance. Because, be in no doubt, our future looks far bleaker if we stay in.
“Outside the EU we can become richer, safer and free at long last to forge our own destiny — as America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many other great democracies already do. And as we were the first to do centuries ago.
It continued: “Remain has conducted a deceitful campaign. It has been nasty, cynical, personally abusive and beneath the dignity of Britain. Our country has a glorious history.
“This is our chance to make Britain even greater, to recapture our democracy, to preserve the values and culture we are rightly proud of. A vote for leave is a vote for a better Britain.”
The backing of The Sun will be seen as a major triumph for the Leave campaign, which has struggled to get the celebrity endorsement grabbing the headlines for Remain. The Sun is considered so powerful an influence on British voters that the paper was credited with winning the 1992 General Election for the Conservatives.
It comes after the polls began to show Leave pulling ahead. The movement started with a poll last week of 2,000 people by ORB which found 55 percent wanted to leave and 45 percent were in favor of staying.
Subsequent polls have shown a smaller lead for Leave but that work was undertaken by pollsters with stronger reputations. All of the recent polls have showed a significant improvement for the Leave camp - all of them now have the campaign ahead of Remain.
The spread betting firm Sports Index said its customers were starting to bet on Leave to win. Ed Fulton said: “If the trend of the past week continues right up until polling day, it wouldn’t surprise me to see our markets at 50-50, or even showing a slim Leave lead, as voters head to the polls.”
Pundits in the UK attribute the lead to the failure of Remain to persuade working class white communities their concerns about immigration will be addressed.
The Sun has been on the wrong side before though - the paper backed ‘Yes Scotland’ in its campaign to withdraw from the UK. It is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who is widely acknowledged as being anti-European.