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Britain leaving EU would be a 'big mistake': David Cameron

Cameron said leaving European Union will damage trade and investment in Britain will suffer


Press Trust of India  |  London 

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves Number 10 Downing Street in London
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron

Ahead of the June 23 referendum, Prime Minister David Cameron today warned that if Britain chooses to leave the European Union it would be a "big mistake" and would lead to "debilitating uncertainty" that can last up to a decade.

In an article for the 'Sunday Telegraph', Cameron described the referendum as an "existential choice" for Britain.

"We face an existential choice on Thursday. This country has a big decision to make - and there is so much at stake. It is simply common sense that if we left, trade would be damaged, and investment in Britain would suffer because businesses would no longer be able to access the EU from Britain in the same way. Our would therefore be smaller," he wrote.

"Debilitating uncertainty - perhaps for a decade until things were sorted. Higher prices, lower wages, fewer jobs, fewer opportunities for young people. A permanently poorer country in every sense. How could we knowingly vote for that? I say: don't risk it," he added.

From the opposing camp in favour of Brexit, UK justice secretary Michael Gove appealed for confidence in a future outside the EU.

"People should vote for democracy and Britain should vote for hope," he said.

He also rejected the suggestion leaving the EU would cause a recession: "There are economic risks if we leave, economic risks if we remain.

"My argument is that whatever happens in the future, an independent Britain will be better able to cope with those strains."

Campaigning for the referendum, which had been suspended as a mark of respect following the murder of woman Labour MP Jo Cox, resumed again today with just four days to go before the referendum.

Bookies have cut the odds on a Remain vote as latest opinion polls put the Leave and Remain sides almost neck and neck.

Betting firms were offering odds of 4-9 on Britain choosing to stay part of the EU, compared with 4-7 earlier in the week.

Opinion polls published today show no more than four percentage points between the two sides, within thepollsters' margin of error.

A survey by Opinium for the 'Observer' has the campaigns tied on 50% and a YouGov online poll for ITV's 'Good Morning Britain' show put the side on 51% of the vote and Remain on 49%, once undecided voters are excluded.

First Published: Sun, June 19 2016. 18:18 IST