Grassroots Out

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Grassroots Out, Source: Grassroots Out /GO

Grassroots Out was one of the key campaign groups petitioning people to vote for Britain to leave the EU in a referendum scheduled for 23 June 2016.

It received a mixture of cross-party and national support, including UKIP leader Nigel Farage and leader of the Respect party George Galloway, as well as the Conservative Party's Peter Bone.

It was beaten by Vote Leave in the contest to become the official leave campaign for the EU referendum.

The Leave campaign won the referendum on 23 June 2016, receiving 1,269,501 votes and 51.9% of the whole vote. [1]


Tory-founded, the group was led by FTI director and lobbyist Alex Deane. It had support from PR and lobbying agency Media Intelligence Partners.

Tycoon's £1 million Brexit boost

Following a fairly disastrous week for the Leave campaign, in which President Barack Obama gave a dire warning about trade relationships following Brexit and Boris Johnson embarrassed the campaign by trawling up the President's Kenyan heritage, car distributor Robert Edmiston donated £150,000 to Grassroots Out, and another £850,000 to fellow leave campaign Vote Leave.

In response to Obama's drastic intervention, Edmiston commented:

'The idea that the American government would not want to do business with us if we left the EU is absolutely risible. It's the worst sort of scaremongering...'I have been importing and exporting for years and do not anticipate any difficulties if we leave the EU. There might be a bit of disruption but it's in America's interests to do a deal with Britain which is the world's fifth largest economy.' [2]

Brussels 'is growing threat to City and businesses'

In 2016 John Redwood, former Conservative Party cabinet minister teamed up with UKIP MEP Steven Woolfe at an event to make the case for EU regulation and Brussel's stranglehold on British growth and business.

An article in the Express reported that Woolfe, Ukip's financial spokesman, would warn of a new torrent of EU regulations being prepared to hit the city and constrain UK businesses; he would contend that the economy would stand to gain £25 billion from scrapping current EU regulations. Redwood was to echo that, 'If we remain in the EU, we will be putting our world-beating City under threat. It currently generates £45billion for the UK economy, making vital contributions in terms of jobs and tax revenue. But all of this will be put at risk by regulation from Brussels.'

The Grassroots Out event was planned to coincide with chancellor George Osborne warning of a recession on the campaign trail. The Treasury was due to release figures showing that the economy would suffer a year-long downturn with GDP 3.6% lower than currently predicted. [3]


Recorded by the Electoral Commission; For an up-to-date list of donations, search the Electoral Commission website:[4]

Date Name of donor Amount
31/03/2016 Better for the Country £1,952,374.76
08/02/2016 IM Group £150,000.00 (two donations)
18/04/2016 Richard Tice £14,000.00
18/04/2016 Peter William Bone £13,250.00
18/04/2016 Tom Pursglove £10,300.00
19/05/2016 Techtest £125,000.00



  1. 'EU referendum: the result in maps', 24 June 2016, BBC News, accessed 24 June 2016
  2. Andrew Pierce, 'Tycoon's £1m Brexit boost: Businessmen hands money to two groups in bid to get leave campaign back on track', 26 April 2016, Daily Mail Online, accessed 17 May 2016
  3. Macer Hall, 'Brussels red tape EU Brexit remain London John Redwood Steven Woolfe Grassroots Out' 22 May 2016, The Express, accessed 23 May 2016
  4. Donor Search, Electoral Commission, accessed 25 May 2016
  5. Electoral Commission, Grassroots Out Donor Search, accessed 12 May 2016