The leader of the campaign to keep the UK in the EU was accused of “massive complacency” today after claiming his side would romp to victory in the referendum.
Lord Rose predicted the Remain camp would win the vote “by a substantial margin” during a lunch with journalists in Westminster this afternoon.
His comments were immediately seized upon by those campaigning for the UK to leave the EU, with Ukip leader Nigel Farage tweeting: “Massive complacency from In Campaign's Lord Rose who says Remain will win by "substantial margin". He may be in for a shock.”
Massive complacency from In Campaign's Lord Rose who says Remain will win by "substantial margin". He may be in for a shock.— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) February 4, 2016
During the lunch, Lord Rose said: "A win's a win. If we get 50.001 it's a win. I want to win, but we'll win by a substantial margin.”
The Britain Stronger in Europe chief’s optimistic tone comes despite a slew of negative headlines for David Cameron’s draft deal with the EU – announced on Tuesday.
A Sky News poll of just over 1,000 viewers showed that just 31 per cent thought the proposals were a good deal for Britain.
Almost half - 44 per cent - said they were now less likely to vote to stay in the EU.
However, 37 per cent said it made no difference, and 19 per cent said they were more likely to vote to stay in.
Lord Rose’s comments have taken the attention away for the increasing rancor between the rival Leave campaigns: Vote Leave and Leave.EU.
Yesterday, it was announced former Chancellor Lord Lawson would be taking over as chief of Vote Leave after concerns were raised about how the group was being run.
Leave.EU – a group backed by Mr Farage and formed by Ukip donor Arron Banks – indicated that the changes in the group might pave the way for a merger of the two bodies.
However, this afternoon Mr Banks put out a statement attacking Vote Leave and said: “I am angry that this group is jeopardising this historic referendum through their dishonesty and unwillingness to embrace and work with all the Brexit groups.
“It's time they and the Conservative MPs associated with them decide if it's their career or their country which matters most to them, and then they can either fit in with the rest of us or quite frankly disappear."
A Vote Leave spokesman said the group would not be responding to the latest attack from Leave.EU.