Saturday, 20 February 2016

EU referendum: Cameron sets June date for UK vote

British Prime Minister David Cameron makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street in London on Saturday.
British Prime Minister David Cameron makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street in London on Saturday.
Britain will vote on whether to remain in the EU on Thursday 23 June, Prime Minister David Cameron has said.
The prime minister made his historic announcement in Downing Street after briefing the cabinet.
He said he would be campaigning to remain in a reformed EU - and described the vote as one of the biggest decisions "in our lifetimes".
Ministers immediately divided up into the leave and remain camps as the campaigns got under way in earnest.
Home Secretary Theresa May heads the list of those who have announced they will campaign to stay - but Justice Secretary Michael Gove has signed up to the leave campaign.
Leave campaigners are also hoping London Mayor Boris Johnson will join their cause - but he has yet to declare where he stands.

'Source of instability'

In his statement, Mr Cameron warned that leaving the European Union would be a "leap in the dark" as he urged voters to back his reform deal.
"Those who want to leave Europe cannot tell you if British businesses would be able to access Europe's free trade single market, or if working people's jobs are safe, or how much prices would rise. All they're offering is a risk at a time of uncertainty - a leap in the dark."
In a direct appeal to voters, he said: "The choice is in your hands - but my recommendation is clear. I believe that Britain will be safer, stronger and better off by remaining in a reformed European Union."
Vote LeaveImage copyrightVote Leave
Image captionMinisters nail their colours to the Vote Leave campaign
Mrs May said the EU was far from perfect but "for reasons of security, protection against crime and terrorism, trade with Europe, and access to markets around the world" it was in the national interest to remain in.
Mr Gove said it had been the most difficult decision of his career to go against the prime minister but he believed "our country would be freer, fairer and better off outside the EU", adding that "far from providing security in an uncertain world, the EU's policies have become a source of instability and insecurity".
Commons leader Chris Grayling, another leave campaign backer, told the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg: "I actually believe the EU is holding this country back. We cannot control our borders, limit the number of people who come here do trade deals.

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