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George Galloway "Strongly Supported" The UK Staying In The EU Two Years Ago

In 2014, ahead of the Scottish referendum, Galloway told an audience the EU "will not be made better by coming out of it".

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George Galloway, one of the most prominent figures backing a Leave vote in June's referendum, said he "strongly supported" the UK's continued membership of the European Union just two years ago.

During his "Just Say Naw" tour in the run-up to Scotland's independence referendum in 2014, Galloway delivered an impassioned speech in defence of the EU, saying that "none of the things that are wrong with it" could be solved by leaving.

He also criticised UKIP leader Nigel Farage – with whom he shared a Grassroots Out platform last month – as a man who blames the UK's problems on "Johnny Foreigner" and "fools people" into believing other people are to blame for the country's faults.

In the Coatbridge leg of his tour at St Andrew's High School on 23 June 2014, Galloway said: "I strongly support the European Union. There's many, many things wrong with it but none of the things that are wrong with it would be bettered by withdrawing from it.

"It's actually a mirror of the issue we're discussing here now about Britain. I mean, Farage and Salmond are two sides of the same coin because they both try to fool people into believing that the problems we have are somebody else's fault. Them, over there.

"Farage shouts at the channel ports 'boo' at Johnny Foreigner, and Salmond metaphorically stands at Carlisle or at Berwick and shouts 'boo' at the English.

"In fact, both are wrong. Our problems are not because of the people in Europe and Scotland's problems are not because of the people in England. So I support the idea of a European Union though it needs many, many, many changes and reforms, just like Britain does. But it will not be made better by coming out of it."

He concluded: "If you like the idea of the European Union, you better say No, you better say No in September [in the Scottish referendum], because otherwise you'll be out the pound and out the European Union."

A spokesperson for Galloway told BuzzFeed News that the London mayoral candidate changed his mind on the EU last year: "As George has stated many times, for him the final straw was the crushing of Greece after its referendum last summer. This proved that the EU is beyond democratic reform," said the spokesperson.

"As proud Europeans and internationalists we cannot endorse an organisation which is crushing the weaker economies of Europe for the benefit of global finance. We believe that by leaving the EU Britain is not walking away, but showing that another way is possible."

Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.

Contact Jamie Ross at jamie.ross@buzzfeed.com.

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