The Daily Telegraph

Only quitters who don’t love Britain back Brexit, says Cameron

Cameron heckled by TV audience over pledge on incomers as he attacks ‘Little Englander’ Farage

- By Peter Dominiczak, Gordon Rayner, Kate McCann and Ben Riley-Smith

VOTERS preparing to back a Brexit are “quitters”, “little Englanders” and do not love Britain, David Cameron suggested last night.

The Prime Minister said Britain was a nation of “fighters” who should take on the EU rather than vote to leave.

In comments that risk angering voters, the Prime Minister used an ITV debate to say Brexit campaigner­s were “prepared to sacrifice jobs” to secure their dream of getting out of the EU.

Mr Cameron said: “Leaving is quitting and I don’t think we’re quitters. We’re fighters. We fight in these organisati­ons.” Imploring voters not to back “the little England of Nigel Farage”, he added: “We’re an amazing country. If you love your country you don’t damage the economy.”

Mr Cameron was repeatedly taken to task by voters about his failure to get immigratio­n down to the “tens of thousands” and was told areas of the country had turned into “no go areas” because of an influx of foreigners.

He was booed by the audience after refusing to say how much net migration would fall as a result of his renegotiat­ion with the EU. “I haven’t made a forecast,” Mr Cameron said, as he blamed “extraordin­ary years in the EU” for the rise in migration. The Prime

‘Leaving is quitting and I don’t think we are quitters. We’re fighters. We fight in these organisati­ons’

Minister hit back by warning that Scotland would have a second independen­ce referendum if Britain voted to leave the EU.

Earlier yesterday Boris Johnson and Michael Gove challenged Mr Cameron to a “face-to-face” EU debate after the Prime Minister accused them of telling “total untruths”.

After last night’s ITV showdown, which also featured Mr Farage, the Remain campaign released an image of a British flag emblazoned with the slogan, “Britain doesn’t quit”. Asked if his career as Prime Minister would be over after the referendum, Mr Cameron said: “People’s careers and futures [should not] get caught up in this.”

Appearing before Mr Cameron, Ukip leader Mr Farage was repeatedly questioned about “discrimina­ting” against migrants. However, he rejected the claims and said that it was “about time” people considered the needs of “ordinary, decent Britons who have had a bad time”. He insisted that the cost of EU membership outweighed any benefits as he dismissed warnings about the economic impact of Brexit.

“No deal is better than the rotten deal we have got at the moment,” he said.

Asked about his suggestion that women would face Cologne-style sex attacks in Britain because of immigratio­n, Mr Farage said: “I knew that at some point the Remainers would come for me.”

‘If we stay in the EU and keep our economy strong that’s the absolute key to providing a strong NHS’

DAVID CAMERON last night refused to set a target for how much migration would fall as a result of his renegotiat­ion with the European Union.

The Prime Minister was booed by a television audience as he said he would “not make a forecast” about the number of people coming to the UK after he was asked about what can be done to alleviate pressure on public services. He urged voters not to back Leave and “take the Little England option”, adding: “Leaving is quitting and I don’t think we’re quitters, I think we’re fighters.”

He was faced with questions from an audience of voters during an ITV interview-style programme which also featured Nigel Farage. The Ukip leader was forced to defend comments he made over the weekend in which he suggested that British women would be subject to sex attacks from migrants unless voters back a Brexit.

Economy, jobs and wages

The Prime Minister said Britain could certainly survive outside the EU “but the question is how do we thrive, how do we do best?”

There was “an extraordin­ary consensus” from economists that Britain would “suffer a hit” to its economy and jobs if Brexit occurs, he said.

“I think it would be irresponsi­ble for me as your Prime Minister not to warn of these things.

“If we have less good access to that market our economy will be smaller.

“I accept forecaster­s don’t always get it right but I can’t remember a time when you’ve had this sort of consensus. What they’re saying makes common sense to me.”

Mr Farage attacked economists who want to stay in the EU, saying they were the same people who had said Britain should join the euro and the Exchange Rate Mechanism.

“They’ve been wrong before, they’ll be wrong again,” he said. “Trade is not made by government­s, it’s not made by bureaucrat­s, it’s made by people like you … you choose to buy a product or you don’t. We will go on buying clothes and wine.”

He added: “I don’t believe companies are here just because we are in the UK… I hear all these arguments car companies and other firms only being here because we are in the EU, but only 12 per cent of the British economy is exports to the EU. It’s entirely false.”


Mr Cameron was tackled on immigratio­n by a voter who said he had backed the Tories at the last election because of his manifesto pledge to bring immigratio­n down to tens of thousands.

The questioner said his standard of living was going down because of “an influx we can’t control” and his neighbourh­ood was now “a no-go area”.

Mr Cameron said there were “good ways and bad ways” of controllin­g immigratio­n and strengthen­ing the economy was the best way of improving public services and standards of living, which would be threatened by Brexit.

He said: “If we stay in the EU and keep our economy strong that’s the absolute key to providing a strong NHS.

“On this issue of migration I absolutely agree it is a challenge but I don’t think it’s a challenge we should meet by damaging our economy.”

Mr Cameron hit out at his opponent, saying: “We don’t want the Little England of Nigel Farage. We want Great Britain and we’re great if we stay in the EU.” He denied he had been “humiliated” on the issue of immigratio­n, and insisted his change to access to benefits for new migrants “is a real advance… no more something for nothing”.

Mr Farage was tackled by two black women questioner­s, one of whom asked if he was stoking racism through his immigratio­n policy. He said: “I take a strong pro-Commonweal­th view. It was wrong for us to turn our backs on the Commonweal­th in favour of the EU.”

He said people from India and Africa find it difficult to get into the UK and if Britain adopted an Australian-style points system rather than an “open door” to 508 million people “it will be better for black people coming to Britain”.

He was also asked whether he was “demonising” migrants by suggesting women were in danger following a series of sexual attacks in Cologne.

He said: “What I said about Cologne is that it’s a huge issue in Germany, it’s a huge issue in Sweden, I think Angela Merkel has made a huge mistake,” because some migrants “come from cultures where attitudes to women are very, very different”.


Mr Cameron said the European Arrest Warrant had ended the days of the “Costa del Crime” when it could take decades for Britain to extradite crimi- nals. “We will keep our border controls, we can stop anyone at our border, EU nationals included and if we think they’re a risk to our country we don’t have to let them in.”

He said a new prisoner transfer agreement would also make it easier to get EU criminals out of the UK. “Leave and those things go.”

Mr Farage said the head of Europol had said that the migrant policy “had led to 5,000 jihadis coming into the EU in the last 15 months, and that we might as well put a sign on the beaches saying terrorists welcome”.

The Future

Mr Cameron said: “Reform doesn’t end on June 23… we should keep reforming our membership. We do have a special status in the EU and our membership is right for Britain.

“The reform goes on but if we leave the reform ends … here’s what really happens if we leave … we’d still have to meet all the rules and regulation­s that the EU puts down but we won’t be at the table. That is no way for the fifth biggest economy in the world to behave, we need to be in this organisati­on fighting for reform.

“Leaving is quitting and I don’t think we’re quitters, I think we’re fighters.”

Asked what the EU would look like in 20 years if Britain left, Mr Farage said: “It’s done for. The eurozone is a catastroph­e, the migrant policy is dividing countries, the money has run out, but they are saving up their announceme­nts for a European army and increased European budgets.

“I want us to get back our independen­ce and I believe when we do that the rest of Europe will do the same.”


Mr Cameron described the referendum as “the greatest act of national sovereignt­y we’ve had for many years”.

He insisted: “Parliament is sovereign. You hear a lot of talk about patriotism in this referendum… I say if you love your country then you don’t damage its economy.”

He said he worried about a second Scottish referendum if Britain votes to leave, and: “You don’t strengthen your country if you break it up.”

Mr Farage, holding up his passport, said: “We need to reintroduc­e the British passport.

“As a sovereign nation we co-operate with our friends and nations, just as we do with the Americans.”

He went on: “This is a referendum for us to vote to get our independen­ce as a nation and that means we make our own laws in our own parliament and we can then trade and make our own decisions.”

 ??  ?? David Cameron and a passport-wielding Nigel Farage face the television audience
David Cameron and a passport-wielding Nigel Farage face the television audience
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