Thomas Mair is accused of using a dagger and a handgun to kill Cox after she got out of her car for a meeting with constituents Thursday in the small town of Birstall in northern England, on whether Britain should leave the European Union.
Jo Cox, a member of the opposition Labour Party, was actively backing the campaign to keep Britain inside the European Union’s hard-fought referendum, set for Thursday, and had also advocated better treatment for Syrian refugees.
In her political views and in her aid work, she had embraced the value of having a multi-cultural Britain, a stance that is unpopular with most Britons according to polls.
Those advocating leaving the EU also put their effort on hold, the BBC reported. Both sides in the referendum campaign shut down campaigning within hours of her death, with major rallies and speeches canceled or postponed.
Prime Minister David Cameron canceled a trip to the British territory of Gibraltar, saying on Twitter that “it’s right that all campaigning has been stopped after the terrible attack on Jo Cox.” But now 6/19, campaigning, has resume, including the distribution of leaflets, has returned and the “leave” and “in” campaign Twitter accounts. And Campaigning activities ahead of the June 23 EU referendum have resumed.
The Guardian reported an eyewitness saying Cox’s attacker had shouted “Britain First.” That’s the name of a group which campaigns against immigration and Britain’s membership of the European Union.
A video on the group’s website showed activists learning combat techniques at a “training camp” in the Snowdonia mountains of North Wales. In a statement on the site, the group said it “obviously is NOT involved and would never encourage behavior of this sort.”
Polls Have a Steady Lead For Britain Leaving the European Union
The attack came as those pushing to leave the European Union held a steady lead in opinion polls. A survey by Ipsos MORI for the Evening Standard newspaper released on Thursday showed 53 percent support for leaving with 47 percent for “Remain,” excluding those who said they didn’t yet know.
The telephone poll of 1,257 adults, the latest in a string of surveys showing a steady lead for anti-EU campaigners, was conducted from June 11 to June 14. Another poll for IG Group by Survation showed 45 percent for leaving and 42 percent for staying, with 13 percent undecided.
John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, told the BBC. “We no longer have a favorite in this referendum. There has to be a serious possibility that we will vote ‘Leave.”’
EU leaders reiterated their desire for Britain to remain a member nation. President Donald Tusk said in Helsinki quitting the EU would be “a huge mistake” and he had an “obligation to be frank and fair with our argumentation.”
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, speaking to Bloomberg on the sidelines of a conference in St. Petersburg, had a simple message to voters: “Don’t do it,” he said.
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, writing in The Guardian, said the referendum campaign had been transformed from a discussion about Britain’s role in Europe and into a forum on immigration and the people who, like Cox, support immigrants.
Campaigning activities Resume
Campaigning activities ahead of the June 23 EU referendum resumed with two opinion polls showing the ‘Remain’ camp recovering some momentum, although the overall picture remained one of an evenly split electorate.
With five days left until the ballot, the rival campaigns returned with a raft of interviews and articles in Sunday’s newspapers, covering the familiar immigration versus economy debate that has defined the campaign so far.
Cameron, who leads the campaign to stay in the EU, urged voters to consider the economic impact that leaving the 28-member bloc would have.
“We face an existential choice on Thursday,” he wrote in the Sunday Telegraph. “So ask yourself: have I really heard anything – anything at all – to convince me that leaving would be the best thing for the economic security of my family?”
Michael Gove, a senior spokesman for the rival ‘Leave’ campaign, said leaving would actually improve Britain’s economic position.
“I can’t foretell the future but I don’t believe that the act of leaving the European Union would make our economic position worse, I think it would make it better,” he said in an interview with the same newspaper.
Both men praised Labour Party lawmaker Cox, an ardent supporter of EU membership,
But! Britain’s (the) People are Telling their Leaders by the Polls, they want Want Their Country Back!
By: Johnnie Maul
Brexit Campaigns Suspended After Labour Lawmaker Jo Cox Shot
By: Robert Hutton
June 16, 2016 — 4:21 AM PDT Updated on June 16, 2016 — 8:35 AM PDT
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U.K. Labour Party Lawmaker Jo Cox Dies After Attack
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Tributes including flowers calling for a ‘remain’ vote in the EU referendum are piled in remembrance against a photograph of slain Labour MP Jo Cox in Parliament Square central London on June 18, 2016.
Brexit Campaign Resumes With Migration Debate After Cox Killing
AP June 18, 2016, 4:29 PM
Jo Cox shooting: Murder suspect puts on bizarre performance in U.K. court
Last Updated Jun 18, 2016 8:12 PM EDT
Britain’s rival EU campaigns restart as polls show momentum for ‘In’
LONDON | BY WILLIAM JAMES