David Cameron’s closest friend in politics today breaks ranks to say Britain must leave the ‘arrogant and unaccountable’ EU. In a shattering blow to the Prime Minister, Steve Hilton claims the UK is ‘literally ungovernable’ as a democracy while it remains in a club that has been ‘corruptly captured’ by a self-serving elite. And in an attack on Project Fear, the former No 10 adviser dismisses claims by Mr Cameron, the IMF and the Bank of England that being in the EU makes us more secure.
David Cameron’s former policy guru says Britain is ‘literally ungovernable’ while it remains a member of the European Union. Steve Hilton, one of the Prime Minister’s oldest political allies and friends, says the EU is a “secretive” and “impenetrable” organisation that does not work to Britain’s advantage. His intervention in the referendum campaign puts him at odds with David Cameron, who made him a key policy strategist in the early years of the Coalition.
The EU is “arrogant and unaccountable”; EU membership makes Britain “literally ungovernable”; the EU is “anti-market” and “stifles competition with its statism, corporatism and bureaucracy”; it’s “perfectly obvious to everyone” that the EU is incapable of reform; Britain will be much better off out of the EU. Even from a known Brexiteer such as Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson or Michael Gove, these words would be pretty strong stuff. But coming from Steve Hilton, they are absolute dynamite: a devastating blow to the Remain campaign and – given that it was starting to look both unassailable and rather cocky – a perfectly timed one too.
The Prime Minister faced a backlash from members of his own Government, including threats of resignations, after he gave warning that leaving the European Union would be the “self-destruct option” for Britain, and that the “moral case” at the referendum was to stay in the EU. Mr Cameron was speaking as the Treasury published an analysis warning that a British exit from the EU would plunge the country into a year-long recession and cost as many as 820,000 jobs in just two years.
A FURIOUS Tory backlash over George Osborne’s doomsday dossier on Brexit tonight took the party to “breaking point” – as two ministers even threatened to quit. The Chancellor ignited fresh controversy when he unveiled the grimmest government predictions yet on what would happen immediately after we vote to leave the EU. By June 2018, the Treasury’s short term impact report predicted 820,000 jobs could go and the average wage will sink by 4%, or between £800 and £1,040 a year. Chaos and market uncertainty could also send the pound plummeting by 15% and government borrowing up by £39bn.
Dozens of Tory MPs are threatening to topple David Cameron over his handling of the EU referendum. In the wake of the latest Brexit ‘dodgy’ dossier row, senior party figures said he would have to name a date for his departure if he wanted to avoid a massive bloodletting. They said even this might not prevent a formal vote of no-confidence after June 23, whatever the poll result. The plotting followed another day of extraordinary clashes between senior Tory party figures over No 10’s Project Fear strategy. Boris Johnson claimed a Treasury dossier was a ‘hoax’.
The Government’s “fear-based” approach to the EU referendum debate risks “insulting people’s intelligence”, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said, in the first significant signs of a split between Remain campaigners. Calling for a more positive campaign, the SNP leader drew parallels with the tactics deployed during the Scottish independence referendum, claiming that then, as now, the Government has been guilty of “over-stating” its economic argument.
DOOM-laden claims by David Cameron and George Osborne that an EU exit could cost 820,000 jobs were today condemned as “a serious attempt to deceive the British people”. In their latest salvo in the referendum battle, the Prime Minister and Chancellor unveiled a new Treasury warning of an “immediate and profound economic shock” if the country votes to quit the EU. Analysis by civil servants forecast a 6% drop in national income, 2.4% rise in unemployment and £39billion increase in Government borrowing after Brexit in a worst-case scenario.
The flurry of officially backed statements warning about the dangers of Brexit will come to an end on Friday, when Treasury officials enter a four-week “purdah” that prevents any activity that could be perceived as an attempt to sway the outcome of the 23 June vote. Civil servants will no longer be able to publish reports such as the Treasury analysis on Monday that stated that in the event of a vote to leave the EU, output would fall up to 6%, house prices would tumble and half a million jobs would be lost.
IAIN DUNCAN SMITH has claimed Turkey has the EU “over the barrel” and the European Union has always wanted Turkey to join its ranks. David Cameron has slammed warnings from the Leave campaign which claim by remaining in the EU, Britain is at risk of having an open border to Turkey and its 78 million citizens. The Prime Minister has said Turkey joining the EU is “not remotely on the cards” despite once pledging to help “pave the way from Ankara to Brussels”. But on Monday, Mr Duncan Smith, a leading supporter of Brexit, said Britons will not get a say on whether Turkey joins the EU, even if each nation has the right to block Turkish membership. He said: “Unless there is substantial change… there is no need and will not be a triggered referendum [on Turkish membership].”
Britain is unable to stop Turkey from becoming a member of the European Union (EU), the Minister of State for the Armed Forces has said. She predicted that a million Turks could come to the UK unless Britain leaves the EU, and agreed that the EU referendum is an “establishment stitch-up”. Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr, Penny Mordaunt said it was “very likely” that a million Turkish migrants would come to the UK over the next eight years if the British public opt to stay within the EU, in part because of the “migrant crisis.
Austria narrowly rejected an anti-Muslim president yesterday but the far right celebrated its biggest surge in Europe since the Second World War. Norbert Hofer — a self-styled “gladiator” of the far right — lost by 31,000 votes, having been in the lead for weeks before Sunday’s election. The 50.3 per cent to 49.7 per cent split was the biggest share of a national vote to be won by a hard-right politician in any EU state. Mr Hofer, 45, insisted that Austria would not take migrants under the Brussels quota system and endorsed the construction of a wall to keep refugees
People who say they don’t identify with any religion now outnumber Christians as the country becomes less religious, a study has found. Almost half the population of England and Wales said they had no religion – referred to as ‘nones’ – in 2014 study, almost double the figure of 25% recorded in the census just three years earlier. People defining themselves as Christian, including Anglicans, Catholics and other denominations, made up 43.8% of the population – lower than the 48.8% of nones.