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Rivals join hands to plug pro-EU case; pound hit

world Updated: Jun 07, 2016 07:19 IST

LONDON: Less than three weeks ahead of the June 23 referendum, PM David Cameron on Monday joined hands with political rivals to make the pro-EU case, claiming that leaving the bloc would “put a bomb under our economy”.

The pound took a hit as recent opinion polls suggested a four-point lead for the Vote Leave camp, which did particularly well in the week in which they harped on immigration from within the European Union, and how a vote to leave would help Britain regain control of its borders.

Cameron, senior Labour leader Harriet Harman and Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron appeared together, terming the Vote Leave camp’s arguments on economy as “reckless”. Harman said workers’ rights would not be protected in the event of Brexit.

The Bank of England is reportedly putting in place special measures in case the referendum result on June 24 is in favour of UK leaving the EU. Financial experts predicted a continuing phase of uncertainty until the referendum day.

Cameron cancelled the weekly cabinet meeting amid reports that heightened tensions between his colleagues campaigning for rival camps in the vote led them to avoid sitting at the same table.

In his speech, Cameron repeated his warning of a “decade of uncertainty” if Britain left the EU and accused the Vote Leave group of “sticking pins on a map” over how a future trade arrangement would work.

He said: “Don’t throw away your job, don’t throw away your children’s futures, don’t throw away the strength and future of our country on the basis of misleading statistics peddled by a campaign determined to say anything and indeed everything to get the outcome they want”.

“That is what is happening. Do not be misled. Do not let them persuade you of this reckless course for our country…Add those things together – the shock impact, the uncertainty impact, the trade impact – and you put a bomb under our economy. And the worst thing is we’d have lit the fuse ourselves,” Cameron added.

The Vote Leave camp said speeches by politicians in the ‘Remain in EU’ camp were “desperate stuff from an increasingly desperate campaign,” adding that it had “set out a series of pledges about how life will be better if we take back control”.

First Published: Jun 07, 2016 07:19 IST