Tuesday 21 November 2017

'I've seen nothing but scaremongering' - Student accused David Cameron of 'waffling' during Brexit debate

Video grab taken from Sky News of Muslim student Soraya Bouazzaoui Credit: Sky News/PA Wire
Video grab taken from Sky News of Muslim student Soraya Bouazzaoui Credit: Sky News/PA Wire

David Cameron was accused of "waffling" by a young student who put him on the spot during a live television debate on the EU referendum.

Soraya Bouazzaoui, 22, tore into the Prime Minister over his insistence that accession to the European Union for Turkey was not on the cards.

The Muslim, who is studying English literature. said she had intended to vote Remain in the June 23 referendum, but had been put off by the In campaign, which she described as "a complete shambles".

"I've seen nothing but scaremongering, I've seen no valid facts, I've seen no pros and cons," said Ms Bouazzaoui during the Sky debate. "Everything I've seen has made voting In to the EU look worse.

"We haven't even addressed the fact that Turkey want to become in ever-closer union with the EU when they are under such heavy accusation by the entire Middle East for funding Isis.

"How can you reassure us of staying in the EU and saying there are no risks, when there are clear risks, especially when it comes to Isis, especially when you have turned away so many refugees from the fear of having extremists?

"And you are willing to work with the Turkish government who have a brawl in their parliament just two weeks ago."

As Mr Cameron tried to assure her that he was making a positive case for remaining in the EU, she cut him off, saying: "That's not answering my question. Let me finish now, because I've seen you interrupt many people before. Let me finish.

"I'm an English literature student, I know waffling when I see it, OK. I'm sorry, but you're not answering my question - how can you reassure people who want to vote Out that we are safe from extremism when we are willing to work with a government like Turkey who want to be part of the EU when they are under heavy accusation?"

Miss Bouazzaoui, whose family is originally from Morocco, is from Romford in Essex and studies at Southampton Solent University. She is understood to be a pro-Palestine campaigner and her Facebook page shows a love of comic books and the usual student nights out.

Mr Cameron told her: "There is no prospect of Turkey joining the EU in decades. They applied in 1987, they have to complete 35 chapters. One has been completed so far. At this rate they will join in the year 3000.

"There are lots of reasons to vote one way or vote the other way. Turkey is not going to join the EU any time soon - every country, every parliament, has a veto. There are lots of things to worry about in this referendum campaign. I absolutely think that is not a prospect, it's not going to happen."

Speaking to Sky after the debate, Miss Bouazzaoui hit back at social media claims that she had been rude, saying she had given the Prime Minister a "taste of his own medicine".

She added: "He has spent his entire six years being dishonest, untruthful, brushing a lot of worrying things under the rug, and I think for someone to actually finally call him out on it was necessary."

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