Sunday 17 December 2017

British Press wanted Brexit - even in their Irish editions

The Sunday Times’s Irish edition ran a lengthy editorial last weekend, calling for Britain to leave the EU. Stock photo: PA
The Sunday Times’s Irish edition ran a lengthy editorial last weekend, calling for Britain to leave the EU. Stock photo: PA
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Britain's divorce from the EU has the potential to derail our economic recovery, but many of the UK newspaper titles that publish Irish editions were unashamedly in favour of Brexit.

The Sunday Times's Irish edition ran a lengthy editorial last weekend, calling for Britain to leave the EU.

Though Britain leaving the EU may have a profound impact on trade, currency, travel, health and even the peace process, the newspaper made no reference to the knock-on effects of Brexit on this island.

"This Thursday, Britain should vote to leave. Yes, it must be prepared for a bumpy ride, but this vote may be the only opportunity to call a halt to the onward march of the centralising Europe project. Such a state would be neither in Britain's interests, nor Europe's," the editorial said.

The newspaper is owned by the media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Murdoch's tabloid title, the Sun, also campaigned heavily for a Brexit, with a front-page lead article headlined "BeLEAVE in Britain".

The newspaper dismissed economic forecasts as "nonsense", urging Britain to avoid being engulfed by a "relentlessly expanding German-dominated federal state".

It was also forced to issue a correction for a story headlined "Queen backs Brexit."

The Eurosceptic British press, many of whose titles also publish somewhat adapted Irish editions, were firmly pushing their readers towards Leave.

In fact, research by Loughborough University's Centre for Research in Communication and Culture suggested that eight out of 10 articles in the mainstream British press were pro-Brexit in the run up to Thursday's landmark vote by the British people.

The Daily Mail and Daily Express were both virulently in favour of a Brexit, but the Daily Telegraph also weighed in heavily in the final week of the campaign.

However, the Daily Mirror, Guardian and Financial Times backed Britain staying in the European Union.

The Times, the daily paper that is also owned by Mr Murdoch, ultimately did support the EU status, saying on the front page: "Why remain is best for Britain."

Yesterday the Financial Times editorial, headlined "Britain cuts itself adrift" summed up the newspaper's position, opening: "The British electorate has rejected the advice of its own government, most economic experts and international allies and backed the Brexit campaign 'to take back control.'

"The sovereign wish of the people must be respected.

"Britain is now scrambling to reconstruct a government that can exit the European Union in a way that best preserves the country's stability and prosperity."

Sunday Independent

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