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Rhetoric of Brexit Debate Bordered on Xenophobic – Scottish Tory

© AFP 2021 / Paul EllisA campaigner wears a T-shirt bearing the slogan "Believe In Britain" as he attends an Anti-EU (European Union) United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) pro-Brexit campaign event, ahead of the forthcoming referendum, in Birmingham, central England, on May 31, 2016.
A campaigner wears a T-shirt bearing the slogan Believe In Britain as he attends an Anti-EU (European Union) United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) pro-Brexit campaign event, ahead of the forthcoming referendum, in Birmingham, central England, on May 31, 2016. - Sputnik International
The tone of the debate ahead of the referendum on the United Kingdom's membership in the European Union was “bordering on being xenophobic,” the Scottish Conservative leader and a member of the Scottish Parliament, Ruth Davidson, told Sputnik on Thursday.

EDINBURGH (Sputnik) — The result of the EU referendum campaign is expected in the early hours of Friday morning.

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“I think it is right that people are asked about this because if you are under 56 years old you have never had a say but I have been concerned by the political tone of the debate. I think there have been things that have been said on both sides that can’t be unsaid,” Davidson said.

Referring to UKIP leader Nigel Farage’s controversial decision to launch a poster campaign depicting hundreds of non-white immigrants on the road under the title “breaking point” she said, “I think that when you have some people standing in front of posters that are bordering on being xenophobic that does nothing for the political discourse of this country. I think there are some people who really need to look at that."

Nigel Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) and Member of the European Parliament, holds a British Union Jack flag as he arrives to take part in a debate on the upcoming summit and EU referendum in the UK, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, February 3, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Davidson told Sputnik she believed many Brexit supporters would be unhappy with the choice of language used by Farage during the campaign.

“The disappointment for me, in terms of the way the campaign has been conducted, was the ‘Faragification’ of the ‘Out’ campaign. I think there are a lot of people who believe that our future is not within the European Union but have never been minded in the way that Farage has chosen to express himself, that found their campaign overtaken by the way he chose to express himself. I think that has been very sad.”

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According to the politician, the EU referendum campaign in Scotland had not been dominated by the same tone, due in large part to the decision by all of the main political parties in Scotland, except UKIP, to campaign for a Remain vote.

“In Scotland the campaign here has been much shorter and it didn’t really get going until after the Scottish elections and that is understandable."

“But perhaps and because beyond UKIP there were no political leaders that were fighting each other in Scotland, because we were all in one agreement with one another and decided it was in Scotland’s best interests to stay in. It was perhaps a gentler tone than that in the rest of the UK. Perhaps we have learned from our last referendum, the independence referendum, too.”

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