David Cameron urges voters to listen to Brexit experts and warns against untruths

Voters are ‘being conned into taking a leap in the dark’ says prime minister

Prime minister David Cameron:  “it’s time that the Leave campaign was called out on the nonsense that they are peddling.” Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas

Prime minister David Cameron: “it’s time that the Leave campaign was called out on the nonsense that they are peddling.” Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas

 

David Cameron has urged voters to “listen to the experts” about the risks to the UK of quitting the European Union, as he accused pro-Brexit campaigners – including some of his cabinet colleagues – of lying about Britain’s prospects outside the EU.

In a hastily arranged press conference in London, the prime minister listed six key Leave claims which he said were “complete untruths”.

He accused the Brexit side of “complacency and nonchalance” about the consequences of EU withdrawal, after spokesmen including justice secretary Michael Gove suggested voters should dismiss economic experts’ assessments.

Mr Cameron said warnings about repercussions of Brexit from experts including the World Trade Organisation, the chairman of the US Federal Reserve and the Institute for Fiscal Studies amounted to a “reality check” for voters ahead of the June 23rd referendum.

He highlighted a warning from Hitachi chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi, who told the Daily Mirror that international investors would “hold back” on investment in the UK during the period of uncertainty which would accompany the renegotiation of Britain’s relations with the EU, at the cost of jobs.

Mr Cameron said: “Credible experts warning about risks to our economic security on one side and a series of assertions that turn out to be completely untrue on the other.

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“A Leave campaign resorting to total untruths to con people into taking a leap in the dark. It’s irresponsible and it’s wrong and it’s time that the Leave campaign was called out on the nonsense that they are peddling.”

In the past few days alone, he said, Vote Leave had made untrue claims that Britain could be liable for future euro zone state bailouts and could lose its rebate and veto powers; could be forced to increase its contribution to the EU budget and be powerless to stop the creation of an EU army.

Estimates

He said estimates of the money that could be saved were contradicted by “every credible economic organisation”.

In a swipe at Vote Leave leaders including Mr Gove, he added: “They say people have had enough of hearing from experts, had enough of experts. Would you say that if you were building a bridge or if you were buying a house? I don’t want an expert opinion on the mortgage, on the building survey? Of course not.

“Why would you say it about one of the most important and complex decisions that this country will have to take in our lifetime?”

Last week Mr Gove said he was “glad” a wide range of independent economic organisations were against Brexit, because they had been wrong on subjects including the global crisis and the euro in the past.

Mr Cameron rejected suggestions that his intervention was a sign of panic over polls suggesting public opinion is swinging towards a Leave vote. But he said he wanted to ensure that voters did not make their decision on the basis of incorrect information. Mr Cameron was last night set to join Ukip leader Nigel Farage to face a grilling from a TV audience in a live ITV referendum special.

It comes after Brexit campaigners claimed Brussels laws meant British judges were unable to return offenders to their EU countries of origin.

Vote Leave published a dossier of 50 criminals – including Learco Chindamo, who murdered London headmaster Philip Lawrence in 1995 – that the UK has been unable to deport.

However, immigration minister James Brokenshire said the prime minister’s deal with Brussels gave the UK greater control over deportation and warned that Brexit would deprive the UK of the ability to use the European Arrest Warrant.

(– PA)