We did it! Decade-old Daily Express crusade comes to an end with Brexit victory

EXPRESS.CO.UK

Our call was backed by hundreds of thousands of readers fed-up with the costs and interference linked to membership. It was the fastest growing and ultimately most successful press campaign in history. Inspired by increasing public anger about meddling Eurocrats, in November 2010 the Daily Express became the first national newspaper to demand openly that Britain should leave the EU.

Nine years ago this week we went on to launch a full campaign to break the country free from the bloc.

In a special souvenir issue leading politicians, writers, economics and celebrities set out their reasons for freeing the country from the shackles of the EU.

Sporting hero Sir Ian Botham said he supported the campaign “100 per cent”, insisting it was a “no-brainer”.

Author Frederick Forsyth told of his passion for Europe but opposition to the EU political project.

He said self appointed EU mandarins and professional politicians treated voters “with the contempt they feel we deserve”.

Our crusade was dismissed by the metropolitan elite but they were forced to listen as it gathered momentum.

More than 373,000 readers filled in our coupons or online forms calling on David Cameron’s government to orchestrate an orderly withdrawal from the bloc.

In February 2011, we took the message to the heart of Government, joined by some Tory and Labour MPs brave enough to defy their leaderships, to deliver mail sacks full of coupons to 10 Downing Street.

Our coverage of the EU juggernaut of excess and its crackpot rules kept the issue at the top of the political agenda.

The crusade was given a major boost in 2012 when Boris Johnson, then Mayor of London, gave a speech calling for Britain’s relationship with the EU to be renegotiated then put to the people.

He said the public would vote to leave if they did not believe the new deal was an improvement.

Our committed coverage forced Mr Cameron to take note of the public mood and by January 2013 he had announced plans for an in/out referendum if he won a majority.

The Daily Express continued to hold his feet to the fire on the promise during the 2015 general election to ensure the public was given the vote it deserved the following year.

We kept up the pressure as his successor, Theresa May, wrestled with attempts to overturn the referendum result.

The Brexit Bill puts the country on course to leave the EU on January 31 and marks the success of this newspaper’s visionary crusade.

We did it! Decade-old Daily Express crusade comes to an end with Brexit victory

Our call was backed by hundreds of thousands of readers fed-up with the costs and interference linked to membership. It was the fastest growing and ultimately most successful press campaign in history. Inspired by increasing public anger about meddling Eurocrats, in November 2010 the Daily Express became the first national newspaper to demand openly that Britain should leave the EU.

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