The UK faces an “existential choice” in the EU
referendum from which there would be “no turning
back”, Prime Minister David Cameron has said.
Mr Cameron said choosing to leave the EU in Thursday’s
vote would be a “big mistake” and lead to “debilitating
uncertainty” for up to a decade.
However Michael Gove told the Sunday Telegraph the UK
could become a “progressive beacon” by leaving the EU.
The Leave campaigner urged people to “vote for
The appeals come as the Remain and Leave sides resumed
their campaigns after suspending them for three days as a
mark of respect to Labour MP Jo Cox, who was killed after
being shot and stabbed on Thursday in Birstall, West
Mr Cameron said Thursday’s vote was the “ultimate
democracy” and represented what Mrs Cox, 41, had stood
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Cameron, who is
campaigning for Remain, said Mrs Cox had “embodied
Britain at her best – a country that is decent and
The “irreversible” referendum was a “watershed moment”
for the UK and a question “about the kind of country we
want to be”, he said.
“Are we going to choose Nigel Farage’s vision – one which
takes Britain backwards; divides rather than unites; and
questions the motives of anyone who takes a different view,”
Mr Cameron wrote.
“Or will we, instead, choose the tolerant, liberal Britain; a
country that doesn’t blame its problems on other groups of
people; one that doesn’t pine for the past, but looks to the
future with hope, optimism and confidence? I think the
answer will determine what our country feels like for a very
Trade and economy
How trade and the UK’s economy are affected by
membership of the EU.
Why this issue matters
About half of UK overseas trade is conducted with the EU
The EU single market allows the free movement of goods,
services, capital and workers
Trade negotiations with other parts of the world are
conducted by the EU, not individual member states
UK companies would be freed from the burden of EU
Trade with EU countries would continue because we import
more from them than we export to them
Britain would be able to negotiate its own trade deals with
Brexit would cause an economic shock and growth would
As a share of exports Britain is more dependent on the rest
of the EU than they are on us
The UK would still have to apply EU rules to retain access to
the single market
The PM said the economy “hangs in the balance”, with trade
and investment set to suffer in the event of a vote for Leave
and a “probable recession” that would leave Britain
“Debilitating uncertainty – perhaps for a decade until things
were sorted. Higher prices, lower wages, fewer jobs, fewer
opportunities for young people… How could we knowingly
vote for that? I say: don’t risk it,” he wrote.
Leaving the EU would also be a “one-off and permanent
diminution in [Britain’s] standing in the world; an abject and
self-imposed humiliation,” he argued.
Writing in Sunday Express, Mr Cameron also said he
understood “concerns about immigration” but said leaving
the EU would be the “wrong way” to deal with the issue.
‘We’re not quitters’
Chancellor George Osborne also appealed for voters to back
Remain, saying a vote to leave “would be the most terrible
mistake for our country”.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, he added: “And it would not
be in keeping with who we are as a people. Not the British
“When something isn’t perfect, like the EU, we get stuck in
trying to improve it. We are not quitters.”
However in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Mr
Gove appealed for confidence in a future country wholly run
by elected MPs.
“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,” he told the paper.
“My argument is that whatever happens in the future, an
independent Britain will be better able to cope with those
BBC political correspondent Tom Bateman
The referendum campaign was reaching high levels of
political acrimony when it was suspended due to the murder
of Jo Cox.
The halt allowed for mourning and reflection over this
shocking attack on an MP.
The suspension also drew all the momentum from the
campaigns in an increasingly combative debate.
Now it is reset; both sides are again appealing to some core
arguments – the economy and sovereignty.
But the events of last week have, for now at least, placed
some of this discourse upon deeper foundations – with
narratives from both sides over what the vote means for
kind of democracy we desire, and for the kind of society we
want to be.
‘Echo through ages’
Meanwhile in an interview with the Sun on Sunday, leading
Leave campaigner Boris Johnson said the UK had a “once-in-
a-lifetime opportunity” and people had nothing to fear by
“backing ourselves” and voting to leave the EU.
“If we do this, we’ll be speaking up for democracy not only
in Britain but throughout Europe and it will be a fine thing
that will echo through the ages,” he said.
Mr Johnson suggested a loss of autonomy had prevented
politicians from keeping promises on immigration.
You can only “spike the guns of extremists” and those who
are anti-immigrant by “taking back control”, he said.
He also set out what he would be do in the event of Brexit,
saying his first priorities would include withdrawing from the
jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and “seizing
back control of our borders”.
Thomas Mair, who has been charged with the murder of Mrs
Cox, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on
Saturday and was remanded in custody.
He is next due to appear for a bail application hearing at the
Old Bailey on Monday.
The UK faces an “existential choice” in the EU