‘Leave’ want to divide the UK
British Prime Minister David Cameron has warned of the dangers of embracing “leave” campaigner Nigel Farage’s vision of Britain ahead of the country’s referendum on its European Union (EU) membership.
Farage, the UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader, wants to take Britain “backwards” and divide rather than unite, Cameron said, as both sides in the referendum debate prepared to make a final push before the Thursday vote.
He made the argument in an article in the Sunday Telegraph as the battleground shifted to the news media with large rallies still on hold because of last week’s murder of Labour Party MP Jo Cox.
Cameron praised the compassionate vision of an inclusive Britain upheld by Cox, who had publicly backed the “remain” side, in contrast to Farage and the other advocates for a British withdrawal from the 28nation EU bloc.
The leave campaign, headed by former London Mayor Boris Johnson, also turned to the influential Sunday newspapers to press its case.
Johnson told the Sun on Sunday that a British exit, or Brexit, offers voters a “once in a lifetime” chance to change British life for the better. He said it would make a statement that would last through the ages. Johnson had initially planned a major rally yesterday but it was cancelled after the Cox murder. The UK parliament has been recalled for a special session today to honour her memory. Newspaper editorial boards weighed in yesterday with The Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph urging voters to leave the EU. The Observer and the Mail on Sunday endorsed staying within the bloc. The Sun tabloid has earlier said it favours a Brexit. Both sides are expected to resume full-scale campaigning ahead of the Thursday vote. Some analysts believe both sides will use less inflammatory rhetoric in the final days because of the anguish caused by Cox’s death last week.
CAMPAIGNING: David Cameron (left) and Nigel Farage