PM warns that leaving the EU would be ‘damaging’

06 April 2016
Prime Minister David Cameron has stated that leaving the European Union would be a harmful move and would not benefit the British service industry. In a recent statement, Cameron warned that leaving would be an “act of economic and political self-harm.”
However, London Mayor Boris Johnson has argued recently that the UK could establish the same relationship with Europe as Canada has. Johnson also said that leaving the EU would allow “more freedom to rescue the British steel industry.” The British steel industry has been in the media recently due to the on-going crisis in Port Talbot; however, Cameron has said that leaving the EU would do nothing to salvage this situation. In fact, Cameron said that separating from Brussels would severely impact the service industry overall. Therefore, he disagreed with Johnson’s concept of a Canadian-style trade agreement with the EU as being an alternative to remaining a part of the 28-member bloc.
Cameron said: “If we take the Canada free trade deal as a guide, we know it would be damaging for agriculture and manufacturing.” He stated that the government would continue to all in its power to assist the British steel industry during these challenging times. Cameron pointed out that more than half of the UK’s steel exports go to Europe, so the idea that leaving Europe is counterproductive is a dangerous myth.
Critics have labelled this approach by Downing Street as Project Fear. A recent poll for the Telegraph has shown however that this has been successful, with the Remain campaign now at 51% and Leave trailing behind with 44%. This poll also found that around 5% of the British public said they are still undecided with regards to which campaign they will back. However, even among those who have stated that they still have not decided, overall most are more likely to vote to remain on 23rd June.
Once the undecided number has been removed from the data, the campaigns are virtually the same. The Leave campaign sits at 48%, while Remain holds 49%. Another factor is the percentage of those who say they will definitely turn out to vote in June. The Leave campaign have said that 70% of their supporters are certain to vote, while 61% of Remain backers will turn out to cast their ballot. Sir Lynton Crosby, the election expert who spearheaded Cameron’s return to Number 10, said that mobilising voters would be crucial to either camp’s chance of success.
Crosby noted: “The fact that the Remain campaign are turning out a smaller proportion of the voters that support their cause, while current voting intention remains neck and neck, shows that the remain campaign holds greater potential for success if it can effectively identify and motivate its supporters.” According to Crosby and other commentators, the recent poll suggests that the Remain campaign has had more clarity of purpose and a stronger message overall. The poll shows that 39% of the British public now believe that the Remain campaign is “more credible and trustworthy,” whereas only 32% feel the same about the Leave campaign.


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