A vet campaigning for a hard Brexit has ended up in the dog house over an anti-EU poster – which says Europe has already “raped” Britain over a deal.
Trevor Dixon, 69, donned the slogan in big black lettering on the window of his veterinarian practice in Goole, East Yorks.
The poster reads: “Britain has been raped by Europe! Now, she is about to be ridiculed!”
Mr Dixon, who once stood for the Brigg and Goole parliamentary seat as an Independent, has been campaigning for Britain to leave the EU for several years.
But the veterinary veteran has been scrutinised after plastering his surgery with the slogan – which some say could “be viewed as a hate crime”.
Richard White, of Goole, East Yorks., believes the sign is not only offensive to victims of sexual assault – but could also stir up xenophobia.
Mr White, a Geography lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “I came across the message walking with my family down Pasture Road.
“My immediate response was one of disgust.
“The disgust was felt on two related levels, one being the out-of-context use of the word ‘rape’ as a verb, and the thought of how distressing it would be to see that word written in that context for passers-by who are rape survivors, and or other victims of gratuitous violence and abuse.
“The other was about the message itself. It’s a statement that makes little literal sense – countries don’t abuse or ridicule each other – and the reader is left to apply the small but obvious connection: “no, but people do”.
“This is what, in my mind, makes this message so incredibly disturbing, destructive, reckless and irresponsible.
“The only rational conclusion to be drawn from this is that we, as British Citizens, should fear European individuals and families in our community.
“I say in our community deliberately for who else is the message – which is written on a physical banner and looks out onto the street – written to be seen by, if not primarily Goole residents, a good proportion of which will be European.
“Indeed, British people should not only fear, but loathe and hate Europe(ans), who would treat them so degradingly.”
Mr White says he has reported the sign to the council and police.
But the vet says he thinks the sign is justifiable and the use of the word ‘rape’ is adequate for getting his message out about his strong views on Europe.
Mr Dixon responded : “I have put up lots of signs previously to demonstrate how Europe has destroyed our country.
“Britain has suffered at the hands of the EU, economically and from a loss of sovereignty, we are no longer a self-governing country.
“I feel the use of ‘rape’ is justified as we have been taken advantage of – we have been footing the bill in terms of taking on an unfair burden.”
Mr Dixon added that many people have supported the sign he has put up, and that he felt the council would not be interested in asking him to take the sign down.
Adding: “There will always be some who take extreme views – but it’s up to us to stand up and get a back bone.
“It’s not against particular people, but the system of the EU – it is not a democratic institution.”