Nigel and the 'No's

Ah the British - how we do hate to say 'no.' Yet that is precisely the task faced by Eurosceptic MPs across the political spectrum: galvanise the British public into a 'no' vote to leave the EU. In itself, this would be a formidable trial. Us British fear upsetting proverbial apple carts (let alone baguette stands and bratwurst stalls), and the thought of the sort of shake-up a Brexit would incur, for a lot of us, sours the milk in our morning tea. 'What of the economical ramifications?' we cry; 'Who will we trade with?' we wail; 'What what will become of my charming gîte on the continent?" a minority bemoan.

So there you have it, folks, but it was always going to be an uphill battle. Changing the public perception, however, is going to be more problematic than just convincing them that our economy can support itself without the EU, with the question on the ballot paper designed with the 'stay-in' option as the psychologically superior 'Yes'; the nefarious rumblings of how much more the pro-Europe camp can spend on campaigning than the 'No's; and David Cameron's sharp initial rhetoric towards Tory ministers planning on leading the charge for an exit.

However, despite the campaign already having more obstacles than one of those loony 'tough mudder' races, possibly the main impediment Team 'No' find obstructing their path is one Nigel Paul Farage. Whilst one can't argue with his political record and accomplishments in dragging his ragtag collection of misfits to 13% of the national vote, Farage, unfortunately, finds himself in the emotional range between disliked and despised when it comes to the remaining 87%. Couple that with the constant muttering from the left wing press (and Jeremy Corbyn) that he and UKIP are COUGH-RACISTS-COUGH, and it's clear to see why he might not be the best person to feature heavily in 'No' campaign literature.

The problem they face though is that to many of the public, Farage is synonymous with a European exit - something that they will need to counteract with strong figures from other parties taking the baton for a united, cross-party effort. If Farage really believes in the Brexit, then he should cede airspace, visibility, and control of the UKIP contribution to the excellent Douglas Carswell. Yes, it would rile some of his former Tory pals, but he defected precisely because he felt the party wasn't strong enough on this issue. Carswell is an astute politician, strong orator, and passionate yet reasonable about his belief in a Brexit: pair him up with whomever comes forward from the other parties and the 'No's may just stand a chance.