In a statement emailed to supporters this afternoon (Wednesday), Will Straw said: "Although we lost the referendum, there are more than 16 million of us in this country (the 48 per cent) who passionately believe in maximising Britain’s strength through our relationship with Europe. Let us come together in these troubling times and resolve to keep the fight going."
The campaign group is asking supporters to provide ideas for its future in an online form, while in the email Straw outlined four key goals for the Stronger In campaign to continue focusing on:
- Helping shape the debate to seek the best possible deal for the UK’s new relationship with the EU
- Making a positive case for close co-operation with the EU and its member states in the future
- Ensuring public discourse maintains the values of tolerance, openness and inclusivity
- Holding Leave campaigners to account for the promises they made during the referendum campaign
With Straw saying he will step down from his role later this year, his yet-to-be-appointed successor faces a tough task to salvage the remains of the movement, which was comprehensively outmanoeuvred by the opposition.
In a sign of things to come, the campaign got off to an inauspicious start, with chair Stuart Rose struggling to remember the name of the campaign during an early public appearance – calling it 'Better in Britain'.
Perhaps the biggest flaw of Stronger In's strategy was the focus on the negative consequences of leaving the EU. This led to the campaign ultimately being labelled as 'Project Fear' by those backing 'leave', a catchphrase that was ruthlessly exploited by pro-'leave' media outlets such as the Daily Mail and The Sun.