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""Leave.EU logo.svg
Formation July 2015 (2015-07)
Founders "Arron Banks, "Richard Tice[1]
Purpose "United Kingdom withdrawal from the European Union
Headquarters "Millbank Tower, London
Region served
United Kingdom
Key people
Formerly called
The Know

Leave.EU is an organisation that campaigned for "Brexit in the June 2016 "United Kingdom European Union membership referendum.[2] Founded in July 2015 as The Know,[7] the campaign was relaunched in September of that year with its present name[8] to reflect altered wording in the referendum question.

The following month, the campaign announced it had registered the support of over 270,000 people, including over 1,000 local councillors from all major political parties.[9] In February 2016, the campaign announced that it had over 500,000 supporters.[10]

The campaign, along with rival organisation "Vote Leave, aimed to be formally designated as the lead campaign for the "Leave" referendum vote by the "Electoral Commission;[11] however, on 13 April 2016, Vote Leave was designated by the "Electoral Commission as the official campaign in favour of leaving the European Union for the "United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016.[12]

In the referendum held on 23 June 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union by 52% to 48%.[13]



The campaign was co founded by "Bristol-based businessman and "UKIP donor "Arron Banks, with property entrepreneur "Richard Tice.[1] It initially set about bringing together a range of different "Eurosceptic groups under the "umbrella of The Know. Banks stated a belief that the campaign could not be won from within the "Westminster Bubble and that he would build a 'truly cross party campaign for the people and not dominated by politicians.'[5]

As the campaign was being renamed Leave.EU, UKIP leader "Nigel Farage gave a public endorsement at the party's annual conference in "Doncaster.[11] Farage later clarified that he backed both Leave campaigns as they targeted 'different audiences.'[14]

The campaign was then reportedly refused access to the "Conservative annual conference and the "TUC annual congress, while being allowed to attend the "Labour and "Liberal Democrat conferences.[15] American political strategy firm Goddard Gunster was appointed for its expertise in winning referendums.[16] In November 2015, Banks wrote to the Vote Leave group proposing that the two groups should merge. He cited his concern that having two rival Eurosceptic groups was damaging the chances of a campaign victory.[17]

The campaign has petitioned the "BBC, "ITV and "Sky over their alleged "conflation of the "European Union with the continent of Europe in their output, which it claimed to be an example of "media bias.[18]

In March 2016, financial supporter, "Peter Hargreaves,[19][20] wrote to 15 million householders in the United Kingdom asking them to support the leave campaign.[21]

When rival organisation Vote Leave was designated by the "Electoral Commission on 13 April 2016 as the official referendum campaign in favour of leaving the EU, Andy Wigmore said that Leave.EU would apply for a judicial review of the decision. He suggested that the referendum could be delayed until 23 October 2016 while the review took place.[12]

However, the next day (14 April 2016), chairman Arron Banks announced that Leave.EU would not be pursuing the judicial review any further. While the campaign states that "according to legal experts" it is clear they would win, they have decided that it is time to turn their focus fully towards "the real opponents in this campaign: those who are repeatedly trying to scare the British public".[22]

After Nigel Farage was not included in a referendum debate, Leave.EU retaliated by publishing the private contact details of BBC officials and Vote Leave members including UKIP MP "Douglas Carswell and former UKIP deputy "Suzanne Evans.[23]

Referendum spending investigation[edit]

On 21 April 2017, the "Electoral Commission announced that it had launched an investigation into the electoral spending of the campaign group at the "EU Referendum, saying that there were reasonable grounds to suspect that potential offences may have been committed. The investigation will focus on whether impermissible donations were taken and whether the group's spending return was complete. "Arron Banks said the group "...will be vigorously defending" the allegations.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Millionaire Jim Mellon backs £20million 'anti-politics' campaign to leave EU as name revealed". The Daily Telegraph. 11 July 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Our Campaign". Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Tim Ross (3 October 2015). "EU Referendum: grassroots 'out' campaign wins business and Tory backing". The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Key players in the EU referendum debate: Who wants to stay and who wants to leave?". ITV News. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Britain's Major Anti-EU Pressure Groups Unite Behind £1m UKIP Donor". Breitbart. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  6. ^ "The Campaign Against Euro Federalism (CAEF) supporting the Leave.EU Campaign". Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  7. ^ "Nigel Farage to Eurosceptics: Stop bitching and start campaigning". BBC News. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  8. ^ "Leave.EU goes live and goes big". Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  9. ^ "Our Supporters". Archived from the original on 9 April 2017. 
  10. ^ "Leave.EU on Twitter". Leave.EU (Twitter). 24 February 2016. 
  11. ^ a b "EU referendum: Who's who guide to the UK exit campaigns". BBC News. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  12. ^ a b Jon Stone (13 April 2016). "Vote Leave designated as official EU referendum Out campaign". 
  13. ^ Hunt, Alex; Wheeler, Brian. "Brexit: All you need to know about the UK leaving the EU". BBC News. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  14. ^ "UKIP's Nigel Farage: I support both EU 'Out' campaigns". BBC News. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  15. ^ Macer Hall. "Why union bosses are walking into a trap". Daily Express. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  16. ^ "Suddenly, leaving the EU looks within reach". The Daily Telegraph. 26 September 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  17. ^ Faulconbridge, Guy (24 November 2015). "British EU 'out' leader proposes merger with rival to boost campaign". London. Reuters. Retrieved 24 November 2015. 
  18. ^ "BBC accused of 'dishonesty' and bias over EU referendum coverage". The Daily Telegraph. 19 October 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  19. ^ Michael Yong (31 March 2016). "Bankrolling Brexit: How two Bristol businessmen put in millions of pounds". Bristol Post. Retrieved 1 April 2016. 
  20. ^ Howard Mustoe (18 March 2016). "EU referendum: Founder of FTSE 100 broker backs EU exit". BBC News. Retrieved 1 April 2016. 
  21. ^ Damian Fantato (23 March 2016). "Peter Hargreaves signs 15m letters backing Brexit". FTAdviser. Retrieved 1 April 2016. 
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ Jim Waterson (24 May 2016). "Anti-EU Campaign Publishes Private Phone Number of Rival Eurosceptic MP". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 24 May 2016. 
  24. ^ "Electoral Commission launches investigation into Leave.EU referendum finances". The Independent. 21 April 2017. 
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