The first EU referendum campaign event was hosted by Sky News and featured Prime Minister David Cameron being interviewed by political editor Faisal Islam. Afterwards he took questions from members of the live audience, however, it appears the move may have backfired, with angry audience members accusing David Cameron of “scaremongering”, “waffling,” and causing “personal damage” to his reputation.
The latter point relates to his claim that Britain leaving the European Union would cause the outbreak of World War III, a global recession, and “threats to stability” due to threats from so-called Islamic State and Russia.
The Prime Minister admitted that stemming the flow of migrants from mainland Europe was a “challenge,” going on to state that 1.2 million EU citizens had come to the United Kingdom since 2010. “Immigration is a challenge and it’s a particular challenge when our economy has been growing strongly. We’ve been creating jobs and people have come to our country to work.
“But I think the way to meet that challenge must not be to leave the single market, harm our economy, hurt jobs and damage our country, so we’ve got to find the right ways of dealing with the movement of people, not the wrong way,” the Prime Minister said during the debate.
The Vote Leave campaign seized on the anger directed towards Mr. Cameron, saying it was the “first time” the Prime Minister had come into contact with “real voters and it wasn’t pretty.” Despite the obvious tension during the event, Mr. Cameron remained calm. He stressed the dangers of leaving the Single Market and claimed his biggest fear would be that Britain leaving the EU would cause people to be “worse off” and lead to job losses.
The leader of the Conservative Party insisted that Britons were not “quitters” and that leaving would cause “decades” of uncertainty. He claimed that regulations in Europe did “annoy” him, and that he was regularly “frustrated”.
You can watch the one hour debate here:
“I’m the Prime Minister who sits around the table with 27 other heads of government and state and sometimes this organisation drives me crazy. But do I sit there and think Britain would be better off if we left? Are we quitters? Do we think we quit the EU, we quit the single market and somehow we will be better off? Absolutely not,” the Prime Minster said during the event.
He accused supporters of Vote Leave of “repeatedly” claiming that “all is going to be OK,” rather than state clear points and “spell out” what the county would look like after a vote to leave. “Uncertainty” and “shock” would hit the economy and “prices in the shops would end up being higher,” he added. The audience laughed at the claim that leaving the EU would cause genocide in Europe, as well as a possible outbreak of World War III.