British Prime Minister David Cameron warned on Monday that a vote to leave the EU would risk Britain’s economic and national security, as uncertainty over the outcome of the June referendum sent the pound plunging.
In a speech to the House of Commons, the Conservative leader launched a barely-veiled attack on London mayor Boris Johnson, his long-term rival who has come out for a Brexit, accusing him of taking the position for political gain, AFP reported.
As sterling fell to a near seven-year low against the dollar on the currency markets, Cameron told lawmakers that it was time to “properly face up to the economic consequences of a choice to leave”.
Cameron warned repeatedly that the threats of terrorism and Russian aggression in Ukraine meant remaining in the 28-member club was more important than ever, saying: “This is no time to divide the West.”
“We are a great country and whatever choice we make, we will still be great,” Cameron said. “But I believe the choice is between being an even greater Britain inside a reformed EU or a great leap into the unknown.”
Cameron emphasised that he has promised not to contest the next election and had “no other agenda than what’s best for our a country”, a reference to speculation that Johnson is backing Brexit as a move on the Tory leadership.
And he condemned the idea that a “Leave” vote could simply be a tactic to win further EU reforms, an idea indirectly referenced by Johnson, as “for the birds”.
Keith Pilbeam, a professor of International Economics and Finance at the City University, told Press TV that the British people are strongly worried about the economic impacts of the country’s decision to leave the EU.
“Basically, when people think about it … they become worried about their jobs and the risk of losing their job is high,” said Pilbeam.
He further emphasized that the fate of Cameron’s Brexit campaign still remains unknown, adding that even the opinion polls on the case cannot be a reliable indicator to realize the vote of the British public on whether to stay or to leave the EU.