The Controversial Poster
During the UK's Brexit campaign, Nigel Farage, the former leader of Ukip, launched a poster campaign that sparked controversy. The billboard poster, launched in 2016, featured a line of mainly non-white men queuing up, with the words "Breaking Point" and "The EU has failed us all" in large red letters. At the bottom, it stated that the UK must break free from the EU and take back control of its borders. The photograph used was of migrants crossing the Croatia-Slovenia border in 2015.
Accusations of Inciting Racial Hatred
One trade union boss, Dave Prentis, reported the poster to the police, claiming that it incited racial hatred. Prentis, the leader of Unison, called it a "blatant attempt to incite racial hatred" and accused the Leave campaign of scaremongering and peddling racism. He argued that the poster falsely portrayed migration as only involving non-white people, perpetuating racist stereotypes.
Boris Johnson's Response
Boris Johnson, who spearheaded the official Vote Leave campaign, distanced himself from the poster. He stated that it was not part of their campaign and not representative of his politics. Johnson emphasized his pro-immigration stance and claimed that taking back control through Brexit would help neutralize anti-immigrant sentiments.
Nigel Farage's Defense
Nigel Farage defended the poster, stating that it was an accurate photograph taken in 2015 following Angela Merkel's call to accept refugees. He argued that the EU's open borders policy posed a security risk and that the poster depicted the reality of mass migration. Farage denied that the poster aimed to demonize migrants and dismissed accusations of racism.
A Jungle Debate
The controversial poster even made its way into a discussion on the reality show I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! Fred Sirieix, a contestant on the show and now a presenter for GB News, confronted Farage about the poster. He called it shameful and accused Farage of demonizing migrants. Farage stood by his position, asserting that the poster portrayed the truth about illegal border crossings.
The debate between Fred Sirieix and Nigel Farage highlighted the deep divisions surrounding Brexit. Both individuals held firm to their beliefs, with Sirieix expressing concern that the average person in the UK had lost out because of Farage's actions. Farage, on the other hand, emphasized the importance of self-governance and the ability to make decisions through elections.
Despite the disagreement, it was clear that Brexit and its implications remained a contentious topic, even in the Australian jungle.