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Campaigning on European Union vote in Britain resumes after hiatus

By Allen Cone
Campaigning on European Union vote in Britain resumes after hiatus
Resident in the United Kingdom go to the polls on Thursday for a referendum on whether the UK should leave the European Union. Photo by TILLFX/Shutterstock

LONDON, June 19 (UPI) -- Brexit campaigning, interrupted by the slaying of British lawmaker Jo Cox, resumed Sunday, four days before U.K. voters determine their status in the European Union

After Cox was stabbed and shot to death Thursday, the main groups on both sides of the issue halted all national activities through Saturday night. Cox was a member of the opposition Labor Party and supporter of the pro-EU campaign.

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Both sides resumed television and newspaper interviews. Prime Minister David Cameron and Treasury Chief George Osborne explained the economic risks of leaving the EU. On the other side, Justice Secretary Michael Gove of the Conservative Party and Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, spoke on how immigration can be controlled with Britain's departure from the EU, also known as Brexit.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Cameron said a vote to leave the EU would be a bad decision.

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"Once you have jumped out of the aeroplane, you can't scramble back through the door," he said. "There is no way back in. This is an irreversible decision with very bad consequences for the British economy."

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Gove told the Sunday Telegraph, "There are economic risks if we leave, economic risks if we remain. I don't think there will be a recession as a result of a vote to leave."

Britain Stronger In Europe, the official pro-Remain campaign group, distributed leaflets on the streets. A spokesman said it was the biggest day of cross-party campaigning in the country. Vote Leave, the main group seeking U.K. to leave the EU, held a rally in London attended by Gove and former London Mayor Boris Johnson.

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The Remain campaign is leading after the first polls since Cox's death.

A survey by YouGov for the Sunday Times conducted Thursday and Friday said 44 percent wanted to remain and 43 percent wanted to leave. Two-thirds of the responses were received after Cox's death.

A survey of 2,000 voters on June 8 and 9, conducted by ORB for the British newspaper The Independent, showed 55 percent of voters favor Britain leaving the EU, while 45 percent favor staying in the union.

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The Economist Intelligence Unit predicted the British economy would sink into a crisis, including shrinking 1 percent next year, if the country votes for Brexit.

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