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12.07.2016

UK: new newspaper launches for pro-EU and ’Bregrexit’ voters

by Jane Whyatt
In a United Kingdom that is being torn apart by racial hatred and political strife, a new national newspaper has launched. It aims to represent the 18 million people who disagree with the referendum vote to leave the European Union.

The European The New European (Screenshot: Twitter)

Publisher Archant launched The New European  as a ‚pop-up paper’ in response to the Brexit vote. In just nine days from concept to news-stand, the project has been created at top speed. And the initial plan is for just four weeks, so it is seen as an experiment.

Although it is a national weekly, it will be sold at first only in regions of the UK that voted REMAIN in favour of staying in the European Union. So the capital London, south of England, Manchester and Liverpool are target areas. The New European is also available as an online subscription, priced 2.36 euros (2 British pounds).

German contributors

Editorially the NE has an eclectic range of contributors, with top commentators such as Peter Bale of the Centre for Public Integrity ( the Panama Papers investigators). Germany’s Tanith Koch, editor in chief of Bild (top selling tabloid newspaper), Wolfgang Blau, formerly of Zeit Online and the Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland are amongst the columnists.

New European has declared itself to be a ‚politician free zone’ – a wise move in the current situation, where politics is in a state of flux. The Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned. So have the leaders of the referendum LEAVE campaign Michaal Gove, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson. Prime Ministerial candidate Angela Leadson has quit the contest and Teresa May will now become Prime Minister on 13th July.

Most of the Opposition Shadow Ministers have also resigned, because Labour failed to persuade voters in its northern heartlands to vote REMAIN. But so far Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is resisting demands that he should step down.

Begrexit

The deep split over Europe runs through political parties, communities and even families, New European aims to bring comfort to those who voted LEAVE but now wish they had not registered their protest vote in this way. Their nickname is ‚Begrexit’ – regretting Brexit. Before the referendum, most British newspapers supported LEAVE and a study at Loughborough University concluded that, weighted by circulation, the LEAVE:REMAIN balance in the print media was 80:20.

Reaction to the first edition has been largely positive. Stephen White, Assistant Editor oft he Daily Mirror, comments:

It is a brave move even if only looking at a limited run."

There is a massive appetite for information on the future facing us here in the United Kingdom, not least whether we will remain united. There are probably more questions being asked now than there were in the run up to the referendum, it has required a great commitment to launch. Marketing will be their biggest challenge."

Past failures

White  knows only too well the difficulty of this chalenge. He was the Head of News at Britain’s last new newspaper, the shortlived New Day which folded after nine issues earlier in 2016.

And the last time the UK had a pro-European national newspaper was when the late Robert Maxwell, the Czech-born owner of the Daily Mirror launched a weekly newspaper called The European in 1990.

It was bought by the Barclay brothers in 1992 and they closed it in 1998 after reportedly losing £74m on the venture.



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