Referendum looks set to ‘light fires of democracy’ across EU: DUP MP

DUP MP Gregory Campbell
DUP MP Gregory Campbell

A DUP MP has said that the sheer closeness of the result on the EU referendum is likely to inspire anti-EU sentiment across Europe, and could spark similar votes.

Gregory Campbell said he had no indication of how the tally is going from his East Londonderry constituency so far – except that it is a high turnout.

Couting at the Titanic Count centre in Belfast in the EU referendum.
Photo Declan Roughan
 Presseye

Couting at the Titanic Count centre in Belfast in the EU referendum. Photo Declan Roughan Presseye

However, nationally the last poll by YouGov, released at 10pm, suggests that the result may be 52 per cent Remain, 48 per cent Leave.

Nigel Farage and Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers have sounded pessimistic notes as far as the Leave campaign goes.

But Mr Campbell was asked, if Remain wins, whether he could foresee another such referendum in his lifetime.

“I can’t,” he said.
“What I can see is not another referendum in the UK – but if there’s a very close vote... I can see the fires of democracy will burn across Europe.

”Because people who are Euroskeptics across the continent will see there is hope.

“Whether we win or lose. If it’s anything over 42 or 43 per cent for Leave, it sends an Exocet [missile] to Brussels.”

He said it would “hopefully” inspire other referenda, but added if the vote went heavily against Leave, then it would “not just bury the question in the UK, but probably bury it across Europe as well.”