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    Sputnik has discussed with Joe Quinn, internet essayist and researcher, reports of meetings between Brexit donor Arron Banks, the millionaire co-founder of Leave.EU, and Russian officials in the lead up to the Brexit referendum in 2016.

    Sputnik: What are your thoughts on the latest coming out about the Banks and Wigmore affair?

    Joe Quinn: This has been going on. This is just part of, as most people aware, of an ongoing campaign by Western governments to essentially blame Russia for everything bad that’s happening in the US and and in the European countries. Obviously there was the so-called Russian infiltration, or meddling or hacking of the American election a couple of years ago which is ridiculous on the face of it, but apparently it flies and then it’s not surprising that you’d have allegations that the Russians are involved in Brexit, for example, and that the Russians are also involved in some grand conspiratorial plot to break up the EU by encouraging or empowering right-wing groups or anti-EU sceptic groups in Europe.

    But what’s very interesting is that just a month or so ago there was a scandal such as it was when the new US ambassador to Germany publicly stated that he was interested and had been meeting with right-wing groups in Europe and he was very much interested in empowering those right-wing conservative groups in Europe all of whom are mostly Eurosceptic. So what is it I mean at this point Russia’s been accused of trying to dismantle the European Union and then suddenly we have this evidence that it’s actually Donald Trump who wants to dismantle the European Union. 

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    It’s hard to take any of this seriously as I said, in the context of this ongoing and obvious, at this point 6-7 years, defamation campaign by Western countries against Russia. It’s almost a joke and I think a lot of people in European countries at this point know that it is a joke and that Russia is blamed for everything. There are even memes on the Internet going around the world, like any scenario or anybody has something wrong in their lives, it’s like the answer is Russia did it. When it’s got to that level where the average person on Facebook sees it as a joke you realize that you really shouldn’t take it seriously.

    Sputnik: Let’s get back to the main gist of this affair. Who are Banks and Wigmore and do you believe they did play a role in the Brexit vote?

    Joe Quinn: No, the point is there’s no evidence that there was any kind of rigging of the vote or any kind of manipulation of the British public. The Brexit vote happened as a result of two or three years of the British government and Western governments terrifying the British population and European populations as well. But it seemed to particularly take hold of the British mind, terrifying them about waves or hordes of immigrants coming into Europe and radically changing the demographic of Europe and taking our jobs and “our women.”

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    And there was this ongoing campaign for at least 2 or 3 years before Brexit that terrified the British public and obviously led to a situation where a majority of the people decided, actually if there’s this kind of existential threat to our sense of Britishness or more particularly Englishness because when we talk about Brexit we really have to focus on the four different constituents of the United Kingdom and because it was really only in England that you had this overwhelming majority of people who voted to leave. That was where the big percentage was. It really took hold of the English mind. And there’s a history of little Englanders, there’s Rule Britannia and Britannia Rules the Waves that is focused in England. And it was these people who had been propagandized against by their own government and by the American government as well.

    Ok, well not so much the American government, but we’re talking about the British government and certain people in Europe, that there were hordes of immigrants and there were a lot of immigrants coming in over the past few years prior to Brexit. And I think that was the decisive factor that really swung, along with a kind of entrenched sense of nationalism within the English mindset that led to Brexit. And all other discussions about what led to Brexit or what conspiracy was behind Brexit are complete nonsense.

    And what’s really funny right now is to see that the British government, actually the Conservative government at the time, under David Cameron who allowed this Brexit referendum to go forward. The only conclusion is that the Conservatives under David Cameron were absolutely sure that the vote would be no. That the answer would be that they don’t want to leave the EU and they were massively shocked that a majority of the British public decided that they wanted to leave and they’ve spent the last three years attempting to pretend or to find some way to negate that vote and some way to stay within the EU. The whole thing is a farce and to be honest, I’m sorry to be so dismissive of it, but I just don’t take any of it seriously and in this case you can just take this as a referendum that happened; an open question that people said we want to leave for the reasons I outlined and that’s all there is to it. And everything else around in terms of conspiracies and people manipulating or Russia manipulating it or even some Americans manipulating the vote is all just an attempt to cover up a reality that the British establishment doesn’t want to accept.

    Sputnik: You mentioned a little bit earlier that a lot of populist propaganda really preceded Brexit and the actual Brexit vote. What started that? Who was behind that and what was the push for this propaganda telling people that we’re giving all our money from the healthcare to European countries and we’re taking all of these migrants and we have to get our borders back. What really started that?

    Joe Quinn: I think it was a series of things but in terms of obviously, the migrant issue is a result of, it goes back to 2011 and the NATO UK French-led attack on Libya that destroyed Libya. Libya was at the time a kind of bottleneck. There was an agreement, effectively where Libya controlled the waves of immigrants from further south in Africa that would want to come into Europe and Libya was doing a very job of putting those immigrants up in Libya and then NATO as I said led by the UK and France bombed the hell out of Libya and destroyed the country and just basically opened those doors for immigration into Europe.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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