The Military Army Blog

EU referendum live: remain and leave make final push in last day of campaign

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We re now closing this live blog. Thanks for reading, and for the many, many comments. We re back tomorrow from 7am UK time for full, live coverage until we finally know what s happened. Tomorrow is a big day. If you re in the UK and eligible to vote in the referendum, please do. It s a decision which could affect the country for decades to come. And it s close. Unlike a general election, where the fate of the nation hangs on a few marginal constituencies, here everyone has a chance to nudge things their way. So whatever you believe, do take part.

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EU Referendum Live: Remain And Leave Make Final Push In Last Day Of Campaign

EU Referendum Live: Remain And Leave Make Final Push In Last Day Of Campaign A celebration of the life of Jo Cox in Batley. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

Earlier my colleague Frances Perraudin was at a tribute to Jo Cox in her home town:

While tributes were paid to Jo Cox in Westminster, around 2,000 people gathered in the market square in Batley to celebrate the life of their MP. Many, including the handful of police at the event, wore white roses the symbol of Yorkshire and brought bunches of flowers to contribute to the large pile outside the town hall. Watched by her parents Gordon and Jean, Jo Cox s sister, Kim Leadbeater, thanked all those who had sent their love and sympathy to the family over the last few days. Knowing that Jo touched the lives of so many people has genuinely made a huge difference to us, she told the crowd, many of whom were in tears.

From Batley to Burma and the Spen Valley to Syria, Jo s life was centred around helping people and standing up for the causes she felt so passionately about, she said.

My sister would want her murder to mobilise people, to get on with things, to try to make a positive difference in whatever way we can, to come together and unite against hate and division and to fight instead for inclusion, love and unity. In Jo s honour, and on behalf of her grieving family, I urge you to please do so.

Ebrahim Bulsari, 43, who came to pay tribute with his wife and two small children, said that Jo Cox had achieved a huge amount for the local community in the short time she was an MP. I voted for her and she even took a picture with [my little girl], he says. It s a sad loss. She did so much for people in the community regardless of colour or creed. She was there for everyone. Martin Jones, 65, a retired special needs teacher and a member of Kirklees United Against Fascism group said that on one level he wasn t surprised by Jo Cox s murder because of what he called a persistent and low-key problem with fascism in the area.

It s important that we all gather today because of what Jo Cox said: We have more in common than that which divides us . And fascism wants to divide and rule by scapegoating migrants and refugees and Jo Cox stood up for those people. Sophie, 44, who didn t want to give her last name, said she lived around the corner from Cox s parents and that the murder hadn t changed her view of the area. It s a nice place. There are good and bad people everywhere. She is sure that the MP s death will effect the way people in the constituency will vote in the EU referendum[3]. Everyone who was sitting on the fence will probably decide to vote to stay in, she says.

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EU Referendum Live: Remain And Leave Make Final Push In Last Day Of Campaign

My colleague Amber Jamieson was outside the UN building in New York to see yet another tribute event for Jo Cox. Around 200 people gathered at the United Nations in New York to hear top diplomats, politicians and colleagues pay tribute to Jo Cox. White roses were pinned to the lapels of those who spoke, with a large display of white hydrangeas and roses on the stage at the James P Grant Plaza, part of the UN complex in Manhattan. Many who gathered were friends and colleagues from Cox s NGO and international humanitarian work.

I couldn t help but think that one day she would have made a wonderful leader here at the United Nations, said Matthew Rycroft, the British ambassador to the United Nations, who spoke of her humanitarian work in places such as Darfur and Syria and her ability to use charm and steely determination to get money and change for issues she believed in. Samantha Power, the United States ambassador to the UN, read a statement from President Obama paying tribute to Cox s life, noting that the young activist come over to the USA to volunteer on his 2008 campaign. She gave a time and passion to a country that was not her own because she believed in an idea that transcends borders and culture: the power of people to bring about change from the grassroots up, said Obama.

Justin Forsyth, the deputy director of Unicef and a long-time friend and former colleague of Cox s at Oxfam, led the proceedings. A performer from Broadway s Les Miserables, Devin Iiaw, sang Empty Chairs, Empty Tables, apparently a favourite of Cox and her husband Brendan s. Stephen O Brien, former UK MP and the UN s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, choked up as he paid tribute to Cox, along with a variety of her former colleagues at Oxfam and friends who spoke. David Miliband, president of the International Rescue Committee and former foreign secretary, spoke of how Cox s death reminded him of Anna Lindh, the Swedish politician killed in 2005, and quoted words said by then EU Commissioner Chris Patten about Lindh s death: The most beautiful symphonies are sometimes those which are unfinished

And even in Manhattan, 3350 miles away from her hometown in Yorkshire, there was another young politically active woman from Batley and and Spen. Muna Abbas, a political advisor from the House of Lords, spoke about her mentor and inspiration. She taught us that the world was our oyster but that Batley was always home, said Abbas, telling of how until last week the most famous resident of Batley was scientist Joseph Priestley, and that a statue of him mere metres from where Cox was killed has turned into a floral tribute for her. It is is as if he has passed on the baton to her as the new hero of our hometown, said Abbas. The UN choir finished the event with a performance of Amazing Grace.

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It has just been announced that Nigel Farage[7] has pulled out of tonight s debate on Channel 4, citing family reasons. Jeremy Paxman is to present the final live European Referendum debate, a 90 minute discussion including 150 handpicked guests, consisting of 50 remain, 50 leave and 50 undecided, starting at 9pm. Many of the guests are politicians, including Alan Johnson and Chuka Umunna, who will be joined by a wide-ranging panel including TV presenters Billie JD Porter and Ulrika Jonsson, and actor Leslie Ash.

Updated at 7.19pm BST

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EU Referendum Live: Remain And Leave Make Final Push In Last Day Of Campaign David Cameron speaks in Birmingham. Photograph: Andrew Yates/Reuters

What are we to make of the final remain rally outside Birmingham university? A few elements stand out.

The first is that while he was the star attraction, David Cameron[9] was arguably the least interesting speaker. It was not because he was poor he was passionate and engaged. But the message was very familiar, almost entirely about the perceived threats to the economy and to security of Brexit. These are the issues on which Cameron believes remain will win, if they do. Also on show was the breadth of the remain camp. Yes, leave have a few Labour MPs among their ranks. But this featured former or current leaders of four parties the Tories, Labour, Lib Dems and Greens as well as trade unionists. It s a broad church. And yet this weight of political opinion could still lose tomorrow. It also showed off Tim Farron to good effect. As leaders of a much-shrunk party he is a far less well-known figure than Nick Clegg. But he made a good case.

The standout turn was, however, Gordon Brown, prowling the stage in righteous fury, turning to face each side of the crowd in turn. It s probably too late to sway many voters, but it was a passionate, engaged, positive case for stating in. Here s they key passage, when he referred to the slightly tawdry debate so far:

This is not the Britain I know. This is not the Britain I love. The Britain I know is better than the Britain of these debates, of insults, of posters. The Britain I know is better as it deals with some of the great challenges of our time. The Britain I know is better than the exaggerations and overexaggerations that we have seen. The Britain I know is the Britain of Jo Cox. The Britain where people are tolerant, and not prejudiced, and where people hate hate.

Updated at 7.41pm BST

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EU Referendum Live: Remain And Leave Make Final Push In Last Day Of Campaign

EU Referendum Live: Remain And Leave Make Final Push In Last Day Of Campaign Brendan Cox speaks at the event to celebrate the life of Jo Cox. Photograph: Alastair Grant/AP

My colleague Jessica Elgot was at the Trafalgar Square memorial of Jo Cox. She sends this:

Jo Cox s murder has inspired far more love than the hatred that killed, her husband has said in an deeply emotional tribute at a celebration of the murdered MPs life on what would have been her 42nd birthday. It included tributes from Malala, Bono, Bill Nighy and Lily Allen, as well as Syria s humanitarian rescuers, the white helmets. In Trafalgar Square, more than 10,000 people gathered in the humidity, played in by the couple s favourite band, Diddley Dee, who played at their wedding and had become close friends of the pair.

Each touch at the event, named More In Common after the words of Cox s maiden speech, was intensely personal, a tribute song recorded by Bono who admired Cox s work with Oxfam, a performance by Lily Allen of Keane s Somewhere Only We Know, a song the family sang at the holiday cottage on the river Wye. Children from her five-year-old son s school sang civil rights anthem If I Had A Hammer. Brendan Cox, his voice catching, called his wife s death an act of terror designed to advance hatred against others.

What a beautiful irony it is that an act designed to advance hatred has instead generated such an outpouring of love, he said.

Among the crowd were the close knit community of Hermitage Moorings, where Cox lived on the family house boat. Wearing white roses, the goup carried a six-foot banner with a picture of their friend, designed in the style of trade union banners. Maria Carey, the couple s next door neighbour, designed the banner in a race against time to get it ready for Wednesday, sketching the design and begging firms to print over the weekend.

She was the most wonderful person, always positive, it has been a privilege to know her personally and inspiring to see her professionally, Carey said.

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Cameron ends, his voice sounding hoarse:

Let s go out there and vote remain tomorrow, Thursday. Let s go for it! And with that, the rally is finished.

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References

  1. ^ (www.theguardian.com)
  2. ^ (www.theguardian.com)
  3. ^ EU referendum (www.theguardian.com)
  4. ^ (www.theguardian.com)
  5. ^ (www.theguardian.com)
  6. ^ (www.theguardian.com)
  7. ^ Nigel Farage (www.theguardian.com)
  8. ^ (www.theguardian.com)
  9. ^ David Cameron (www.theguardian.com)
  10. ^ (www.theguardian.com)
  11. ^ (www.theguardian.com)
  12. ^ (www.theguardian.com)
  13. ^ (www.theguardian.com)

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