Friday 13 December 2019

'Out is out,' Europe warns UK voters

Cameron makes last-ditch effort to rally for 'Remain' vote on eve of poll

Jean-Claude Juncker warned:
Jean-Claude Juncker warned: "The British policy makers and British voters have to know that there will not be any kind of renegotiation." (PA)

Dean Gray

British politicians were making their final pitch for votes on the last day of campaigning before the EU referendum last night, as European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned: "Out is out".

David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn both addressed rallies and insisted the UK would be better off and safer with a 'Remain' vote in today's poll.

Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage appealed to their own 'Leave' supporters - with the ex-London mayor urging people to "believe in our country".

More than 46 million people are eligible to vote in the referendum on whether the UK should stay in the European Union or leave, in the first vote on the UK's links with Europe for more than 40 years.

It has been a campaign which BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg believed was too close to call, but which has changed British politics in a number of ways.

Mr Cameron, who has appeared alongside ex-PM John Major and former Labour leader Harriet Harman in Bristol, has told the BBC the decision will be irreversible and there will be no coming back if the UK votes to leave.

"You can't jump out of the aeroplane and then clamber back through the cockpit hatch," he told BBC Radio 4's 'Today'.

Leaving the EU would be a "massive problem" for the UK, he said, doing "untold damage" to economic growth, jobs and family finances and hindering the opportunities and life chances of future generations.

"If I had to sum up this entire campaign in a word, it would be that word 'together'.

"I think together we are better able to face the challenges from terrorism and climate change, we are better able to grow our economies, better able to drive good trade deals... and I want us to get the good deals so we give better chances to everyone in our country."

Mr Cameron said he "did not believe there were any risks from staying" in the EU, saying the eurozone was beginning to recover economically and this would have an effect on levels of migration into the UK after what he said was an "abnormal period".

He also said he would lobby for further changes to free movement rules in the light of European Court rulings if the UK votes to remain, and said the process of EU reform will "continue tomorrow", insisting that reducing net migration was "not an unrealistic ambition".

However, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker appeared to reject that option as he told reporters in Brussels "out is out", suggesting that if there was a vote to leave "there will be no kind of renegotiation", saying Mr Cameron "got the maximum he could receive" after months of talks which ended in February.

As party leaders past and present take the stump in the final hours, Mr Major characterised 'Leave' supporters as "gravediggers of our prosperity" and said Brexit may result in a "broken Britain with less importance and less influence in the world".

Mr Junker warned: "The British policy makers and British voters have to know that there will not be any kind of renegotiation."

Meanwhile, the widower and two young children of tragic MP Jo Cox have joined her friends, colleagues and high-profile campaigners as communities around the world gather to celebrate what would have been her 42nd birthday.

Education campaigner Malala Yousafzai was among the guest speakers at an hour-long rally in London's Trafalgar Square, at which the late Labour politician's husband Brendan and their children - three-year-old daughter Lejla and son Cuillin (5) - are also expected to be present.

Organisers said that events which were being held in a variety of locations, were a tribute to Ms Cox's "love, energy, passion, flair, Yorkshire heritage and belief in the humanity of every person in every place".


Other events included a gathering in Jo's hometown of Batley, where her parents and sister were present.

International events also took place in Beirut, Brussels, Melbourne, Nairobi, New York, and Washington DC.

A similar tribute was expected to be held at Glastonbury's Park Stage, while a charity album of music recorded by bands including Coldplay and Muse at the festival this weekend will be released in Ms Cox's honour.

Ms Cox died after being shot and stabbed in an attack in Birstall, near Leeds on Thursday last week.

Tommy Mair (52), has been remanded in custody after being charged with her murder.

Irish Independent

Also in Business