In the latest example of strange bedfellows in the EU referendum debate, Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron presented his case for staying in the EU in a pro-Labour tabloid, urging its readers not to “take a punt on the future of our country”.
Cameron has shared the stage with Labour leader David Miliband and shared the byline in a recent piece for The Guardian with senior trade union leader Brendan Barber. On Monday, chancellor George Osborne joined Vince Cable (Lib Dem) and Ed Balls (Labour) to further burnish the pro-EU case.
Cameron wrote: “We’re fighting for lower prices. It’s widely accepted – even by those who want to leave – that leaving would knock our currency. Hurt the pound and you hit people in the pocket because the price of the food we import goes up.”
He added, “The Bank of England has said it would be left choosing between causing job losses and pushing up prices in the wake of an exit...The Leave campaign are fixated on some sort of grand exit from the European Union. But there is the great irony - what might feel like an act of national defiance could actually lead to our national decline.”
Britain will vote on June 23 in a referendum on the future of its membership of the European Union.
In what is being seen as one of the unlikeliest of alliances, Cable and Balls joined Osborne in a hangar at Stansted airport to argue that leaving the EU would be a “one-way ticket to a poorer Britain”.
Osborne said the fact that former political enemies had joined forces showed the “overwhelming” arguments were on the side of remaining in the EU. “It’s not a conspiracy, it’s a consensus,” he said, joking that pro-Brexit campaigners would be next “accusing us of faking the moon landings, kidnapping Shergar and covering up the existence of the Loch Ness monster”.
Bur Boris Johnson, a star of the Brexit camp, said during a visit to a clothing factory: “I think the EU is not fundamentally anti-democratic. We have no way of kicking these people out, we don’t know who they are. They are taking far too much of our democracy away, and it’s time we took it back.”