A fractured society and a setback to race relations could be the result of the EU referendum warned Liberal Democrat party leader Tim Farron.
“The deployment of the Muslim card, the race card against Sadiq Khan in the London mayoral election has carried itself over into the European Union referendum,” said Farron.
Speaking at a pro European meeting last week (8) Farron singled out Boris Johnson and the Conservative party for running ‘the most racist campaign’ against Khan and said this would set the tone if the “leave” campaign was successful.
“I do worry that the atmosphere created by the European referendum, whatever the result in the end, potentially, might set back by some years the work on integration, on diversity.” said Farron.
Farron said that he had personally seen what had happened in Scotland during and after their referendum and that it had lead in his view to a split in society, bitterness and the ‘kind of place that you dare not declare that you are for or against independence’. He added that he thought Scotland had ‘become a less pleasant united country as a result of the referendum’ and that the United Kingdom ‘could become a fractured society.’
The Liberal Democratic leader spoke of how he wanted a society that was not assimilated and where everybody was the same. He said that the ‘great glory about Britain is that it is diverse’ and criticised the current government and the New Labour government in the 1990s for singling out certain communities and pushing through ‘anti extremism legislation’.
“There are many positives about Britain when it comes to racial diversity but many areas where it is too easy for certain people in high positions in politics and the media to resort to the dog whistle”, said Farron.