Both sides of Europe de­bate out in force

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS -

Cam­paign­ers on both sides of the vote on whether or not Bri­tain should re­main in the Euro­pean Union criss­crossed the coun­try yes­ter­day, their last chance to win sup­port from the un­de­cided.

Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron out­lined his vi­sion for a fu­ture with Bri­tain re­tain­ing its place in the 28na­tion bloc, bristling at the no­tion that the coun­try would be headed in the wrong di­rec­tion if it stayed in.

He flatly re­jected the charge that the in­sti­tu­tion is mori­bund.

“We are not shack­led to a corpse,” Cameron told the BBC. “You can see the Euro­pean econ­omy’s re­cov­ery. It’s the largest sin­gle mar­ket in the world.”

The most no­table fig­ure in the “leave” cam­paign, former Lon­don Mayor Boris John­son, kicked off a whirl­wind tour of Eng­land as he pushed for a Bri­tish exit - or Brexit. Tour­ing the Billings­gate Fish Mar­ket, John­son mugged for the cam­eras with fish in hand - a not-so-sub­tle re­minder that this is an is­land na­tion - and one very proud of its in­de­pen­dence and self-as­sur­ance.

“It’s time to have a to­tally new re­la­tion­ship with our friends and part­ners across the Chan­nel,” John­son said. “It’s time to speak up for democ­racy, and hun­dreds of mil­lions of peo­ple around Europe agree with us. It’s time to break away from the fail­ing and dys­func­tional EU sys­tem.”

Bri­tain goes to the polls to­day af­ter a cam­paign that has been both heated and com­pli­cated. The reach of the EU into ev­ery as­pect of life has meant that all sorts of groups - from sci­en­tists to CEOs - have reg­is­tered opin­ions on whether to stay or go.

The stakes are high as the vote is fi­nal - un­like an elec­tion in which the re­sults can be re­versed in the next term. How­ever, the vote is not legally bind­ing, and Par­lia­ment would have to vote to re­peal the law that brought Bri­tain into the EU in the first place.

A vote to leave would in­voke Ar­ti­cle 50 of the Treaty on Euro­pean Union, which al­lows a mem­ber state to with­draw. The ar­ti­cle has never been in­voked.

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