Richard North, 18/05/2005  

Just to confuse everybody, the "Vote-No" campaign launched today or, to be more accurate, relaunched.

Described by The Guardian as "the well funded no campaign", it seems that this "relaunch" has been brought about by an amalgamation of the business campaign, previously called "Vote-no" and the Campaign for a Social Europe.

This "group of left wingers, greens and trade unionists opposed to the constitution on the grounds that it is too pro-market and undermines the principles of social Europe" was in fact a front organisation, founded and funded by the same backers who launched "Vote No". Thus, the merger of the two organisations amounts to little more than an internal reorganisation and, presumably, some savings on office costs. No longer will the fiction have to be maintained that they are separate organisations.

The "new" organisation has managed to recruit former Blair's former economics advisor Derek Scott, although strangely, its own website seems neither to have recognised the new recruit, or even the fact of the relaunch.

The relaunch was covered this morning by The Guardian and the BBC Today programme, and while the organisation claims to be a broad-based, cross-party campaign, its website still bears the phrase "We support membership of the EU…", which rather limits its appeal.

Needless to say, we wish it well in its efforts, and look forward to seing one or more of its representatives at the launch of the People's "No" campaign next week.

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