EU Referendum

The claims that don’t add up: JAMES SLACK analyses the Prime Minister’s striking assertions – and the rebuttals of senior Tories and EU leaders

  • David Cameron appeared on Andrew Marr Show to sell referendum deal
  • He claims it is best for Britain to stay in a reformed European Union 
  • Here Political Editor James Slack compares the PM’s claims to his critics’ 
  • For more of the latest on David Cameron visit

CLAIM: What’s best for Britain is staying in a reformed European Union.

Response: Foreign leaders do not consider Mr Cameron’s reforms to have fundamentally changed the EU. For example, there are no changes to the rules on free movement. French president Francois Hollande said this weekend that the UK ‘will not be exempt from the rules of the single market’. He added: ‘There is not a planned revision of the treaties and no right of veto with regards to the eurozone’. German chancellor Angela Merkel said: ‘I don’t think we gave the UK too much.’

Scroll down for video 

Yesterday, Prime Minister David Cameron appeared on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show to sell his referendum deal. Here, Daily Mail Political Editor James Slack analyses those claims

 ‘This is bigger than any politician’: PM goes on EU offensive

CLAIM: We’ll be safer inside the EU because we’re able to work with our partners, strength in numbers in a dangerous world.

Response: Several of the terrorists responsible for the Paris massacres were able to travel freely across Europe’s Schengen zone. Yesterday, Cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith said being inside the EU ‘leaves the door open’ to the UK suffering similar attacks. He suggested migrants currently arriving in the EU would be given passports in the next few years which would allow them to end up in the UK without proper security checks.

CLAIM: What we’ve achieved [on restricting child benefit for EU workers whose children live overseas] is a big achievement.

Response: Eurosceptics point out that it falls far short of his manifesto pledge for an outright ban. Instead, the level of support will be linked to the cost of living in the child’s homeland. In a major concession to Eastern European leaders, existing claimants will keep their payments in full until 2020.

CLAIM: What I think I’ve achieved [on limiting EU workers access to tax credits for four years] is even more strong than the promises made in the 2015 Tory manifesto.

Response: Belgian PM Charles Michel said the UK had ended up ‘very, very far’ from its original demands for an outright four-year ban. Rather, migrants will initially receive nothing but will then have their payments reinstated gradually until they are paid in full after four years. Mr Cameron was yesterday unable to explain how this will work in practice. The changes – introduced under a so-called emergency brake – will not come into force until mid-2017. Any migrant who arrives before this date will be unaffected. Experts predict this could lead to a spike in the number of incomers between now and then.

Mr Cameron is going to have to link arms with some of the most bitter opponents of the Tory Party, including SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon (who wants to break the Union), Jeremy Corbyn (who is opposed to Britain having a nuclear deterrent) and the hard-left trade union baron Len McCluskey

David Cameron warns Brexit will leave Britain more vulnerable

 CLAIM: If we were to leave the EU and we were to try to insist on full access to the single market, like Norway has for instance, every other country that’s got that sort of deal has had to accept the free movement of people and a contribution to the EU budget.

Response: Norway has chosen to be part of the Schengen free movement area. Mr Cameron accepts this is not and never will be in Britain’s best interests. Vote Leave points out the EU has free trade deals in force (which do not entail membership of a customs union or limitless immigration) with at least 17 countries. These include: Colombia, Peru, Mexico, South Africa, Chile, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.

CLAIM: If Britain were to leave the EU that might give you a feeling of sovereignty, but you’ve got to ask yourself is it real? You have an illusion of sovereignty but you don’t have power.

Response: As justice minister Dominic Raab points out, with 60 per cent of all our laws made in or derived from the EU, Brussels has ‘tested the democratic contract between the people and their lawmakers to breaking point’. Britain has no way of resisting many of the edicts handed down by Brussels but cannot vote the unelected officials responsible out of power. Sovereignty has, therefore, been given away.

CLAIM: What was agreed by 28 prime ministers and presidents of every EU country on Friday evening, that is in itself an international law decision, a treaty that will be deposited at the UN. It is legally binding, it is irreversible.

Response: The European Council’s own lawyer refers to the deal only as ‘a joint interpretation of certain provisions of the EU treaties’. Chris Heaton-Harris, a Tory MP who spent a decade as an MEP, said the document was not an instruction to the European Court of Justice and could be ignored. He added: ‘This deal is not the final piece and can be amended by others up to the point and past the point of our referendum. The deal can be changed while people are voting in the referendum.’

CLAIM: The prospect of linking arms with Nigel Farage and George Galloway and taking a leap into the dark is the wrong step for our country.

Response: Mr Cameron is going to have to link arms with some of the most bitter opponents of the Tory Party, including SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon (who wants to break the Union), Jeremy Corbyn (who is opposed to Britain having a nuclear deterrent) and the hard-left trade union baron Len McCluskey. As ex-defence secretary Liam Fox pointed out yesterday: ‘That is not a pretty picture’.

Leave a Reply

Help put the World to rights and leave a Comment

Notify of
Powered by: Wordpress
%d bloggers like this: