By Laura Cohn
June 21, 2016

With the Brexit vote just two days away, another top woman from the Conservative Party has changed her position to backing those who want Britain to stay in the EU.

Baroness Sayeeda Hussain Warsi, the party’s former co-chair, told the Times of London she was switching sides to protest the “hate and xenophobia” of those campaigning to leave the EU. The move follows that of Sarah Wollaston, one of Britain’s top Conservative MPs, who made waves last week when she altered her position.

Warsi said she was moved to change her view after seeing a poster depicting migrants lining up on the border of Slovenia with the slogan: “Breaking Point. The EU has failed us all.” “This kind of nudge-nudge, wink-wink xenophobic racist campaign may be politically savvy or useful in the short term but it causes long-term damage to communities,” she told the BBC. The poster has been withdrawn.

Criticism of the tactics of the “Vote Leave” campaign has picked up since the heartbreaking murder of British MP Jo Cox. It is tragic that it took the death of someone like Cox to force the political classes to grapple with the coarsening of the political discourse. But given that Cox herself was gearing up to alert the public about a rise in attacks against Muslim women, perhaps it will serve as her legacy.

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