MP’s criticism of “remain” campaign after Britain votes to leave the EU

Photo credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Photo credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire - Credit: PA

'Remain' leaders took a 'step too far' in negative campaigning and failed to emphasise the positive benefits of the European Union (EU), an East Anglian MP has said.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous backed the remain campaign during the EU referendum.

But after Vote Leave won both in the UK and in Waveney - with a vote for Brexit of 63 per cent to 37 per cent in the district - Mr Aldous criticised the way campaign was run at a national level.

'During the campaign, we probably failed to emphasise the positive,' he said.

'Clearly the electorate are getting disillusioned with negative campaigning.

'Perhaps this was a step too far.

'I think there are things we could have highlighted that came out of Europe but we didn't make enough of that.

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'I think people are fed up and people are looking for hop and opportunity out there.

'We probably failed to articulate that vision and that was a factor.'

Mr Aldous said he was 'personally disappointed' with the result 'because I believe Britain has gained a lot from its membership'.

He said that in Waveney 'the remain campaign did fight a good campaign' and that Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives worked well together.

However, he said they 'couldn't stem the tide', highlighting how politicians had perhaps helped engender a negative feeling towards the EU over many years.

'Over the years, politicians have blamed the EU when it's probably been the way the British government has implemented policies,' Mr Aldous said.

Earlier Mr Aldous had said that politicians of all parties must respond to East Anglia's concerns about the EU, regardless of how the country voted.

Polls by the EDP and the EADT throughout the EU referendum campaign have shown that Norfolk and Suffolk have been largely Eurosceptic.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous said: 'The prime minister has started a process of reform and there's pressure for that here in Lowestoft and across the whole of the EU.

'There's that message that the EU needs to work better for us.

'From my perspective, as someone who strongly believes Britain is best placed remaining in the EU, it means we've got to be taking that message from the electorate.'

Mr Aldous said Mr Cameron's renegotiation with the EU earlier this year had also been misunderstood.

'I always saw the renegotiation as one step of continuous reform of the EU,' he said, adding there was 'too much emphasis on what that deal was'.

He added: 'The message should've been, right from the start, that this is a step in the right direction but it is not the endgame.'