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21 June 2016

David Cameron: An abject, self-imposed humiliation awaits if this proud, important country walks away

The British PM urges people not to vote to leave the EU in the upcoming referendum if they are not 100% sure of their vote because a negative vote is "irreversible", and lists the essential issues that are at stake.

[...] This country has a big decision to make – and there is so much at stake. 

First, our economy hangs in the balance. Today, Britain is on course to be one of the big success stories of the twenty first century – growing faster this year than any other advanced economy in the world except America. We’re an open, dynamic, trading nation. Indeed, the single market we are part of inside the EU was practically a British invention. 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 economy would therefore be smaller. [...]

But try and find a single credible voice who predicts that Britain will actually be better-off, more economically secure and better able to fund our public services if we left Europe. There isn’t one. And so it’s no surprise that there hasn’t been any serious attempt from the Leave Campaign to contest the central economic facts of this referendum: that Britain will be worse off if we left; that there’d be no saving from leaving, only a cost; that there’d be no gain, just pain. A probable recession. 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.  

Second, Britain’s place in the world is also at stake in this referendum. I’ve been Prime Minister for six years. And I can tell you: Britain is a stronger force in the world when we’re working from the inside as part of the world’s most important organisations. Whether it’s the UN, NATO or the European Union, we have a seat where it really matters. When we want to effect change in the world – whether to advance our national interest, protect the security of our people or alleviate suffering in the world – the levers we reach for are invariably found within these organisations. 

If we leave the EU, it will still be a very important forum for sorting out the biggest problems that affect Britain. The difference is: we just wouldn’t be there. [...] It would be a one-off and permanent diminution in our standing in the world; an abject and self-imposed humiliation for a proud and important country like ours. That’s why all of our major allies want us to remain; only our adversaries want us to leave. I say: we are not one twenty-eighth of the EU; we are one hugely important, global player. And that is exactly how we should stay.

Finally, there is this question about the kind of country we want to be. I’m so proud of Britain – this open, tolerant, big-hearted country of ours. But I believe this referendum has now become a watershed moment for our country. [...]

Of course the EU is not perfect. But in a way, our membership of it is the fundamental expression of our Britishness – outward-looking, compassionate, engaged – and yes, sceptical, too. So much is at stake on Thursday. And so rarely will we ever make a decision of such magnitude. And here’s the thing: it’s irreversible. There is no turning back if we leave. If we choose to go out of the EU, we will go out – with all of the consequences that will have for everyone in Britain. And if we were to leave and it quickly turned out to be a big mistake, there wouldn’t be a way of changing our minds and having another go. This is it.  [...]

Full article on The Daily Telegraph

© Daily Telegraph

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