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EU Referendum

EXCLUSIVE: David Cameron’s EU sham exposed: Leaked letter reveals PM hatched anti-Brexit plot … while still telling voters he could campaign to leave

  • leaked letter suggests the Prime Minister was plotting with a multinational firm on how to hammer home the Remain case while saying he could leave 
  • He had been telling the Commons that he ‘ruled nothing out’ on the EU 
  • PM asked FTSE firms to put in their annual reports warning about Brexit 
A pact between David Cameron and big business to scare Britain into staying in the EU was exposed 
A pact between David Cameron and big business to scare Britain into staying in the EU was exposed

A leaked letter suggests the Prime Minister was plotting with a multinational firm on how to hammer home the Remain case while still claiming he was prepared to campaign to leave.

He had been telling the Commons that he ‘ruled nothing out’ unless he won concessions from the EU.

The secret ‘mobilisation’ plan involved asking FTSE 500 companies to put in their annual reports warnings about the dangers of Brexit.

The strategy was discussed in a letter from Serco boss Rupert Soames to Mr Cameron 11 days before the latter’s renegotiation deal with the EU was complete. This followed a meeting a few days earlier.

Labour’s Gisela Stuart, a Leave campaigner, accused the PM of being ‘knee deep’ in conspiracy. Serco has multi-billion-pound contracts with the Government.

Tory MP Steve Baker said: ‘This is proof that big corporates are being asked to gang up on hard-working British families to try to bully them into staying in the EU. There is a coordinated attempt to use company reports as campaigning documents.’

The revelations follow another heated day in the referendum battle when:

  • The ex-head of MI6 said some of the migrants pouring into the EU would ‘inevitably carry the terrorist virus’ and could trigger a populist uprising;
  • Boris Johnson said uncontrolled mass immigration had led to waiting times on the NHS which are a ‘scandal’;
  • A report claimed immigration was costing the UK £16.8billion a year;
  • George Osborne accused Leave campaigners of being conspiracy theorists.

David Cameron sets out details of EU deal to MPs in Commons

The talks between Mr Cameron and Mr Soames – an EU supporter who is the brother of the Tory MP Sir Nicholas Soames – took place in early February.

A leaked letter Mr Soames sent to Mr Cameron afterwards, dated February 8, reveals the explosive topic of their conversation.

It states: ‘There were two points I thought I might follow up on. The first is how to mobilise corporates to look carefully at the risks Brexit represents.

‘I am working with Peter Chadlington and Stuart Rose (the head of Britain Stronger in Europe) with a view to contacting FTSE 500 companies who have annual reports due for publication before June and persuading them that they should include Brexit in the list of key risks. All public companies are required to set out in their annual report an analysis of key risks.’

Pro-Europeans: Rupert Soames (left) with his Tory grandee brother Nicholas (right)

Later that month, global security firm Serco was one of 200 businesses to sign a public letter in support of EU membership.

Lord Chadlington is regarded as one of Mr Cameron’s oldest political allies and is the chairman of the Prime Minister’s local constituency association.

He donated £10,000 to Mr Cameron personally to fund his 2005 run for the Conservative leadership. He has donated more than £60,000 to the party since then.

Last night, No10 said it did not comment on leaked documents.

The meeting took place shortly before Mr Cameron delivered a speech on February 8 on the need for sweeping prison reform.

Mr Soames argued in the letter that the private sector only having 15 per cent of the prisons market was a ‘wasted opportunity’.

Miss Stuart said: ‘Today George Osborne accused the Leave campaign of inventing conspiracies. Now we see that David Cameron is knee deep in one.

‘There are serious issues for the Prime Minister to answer. We now know he has been doing deals with businesses to exaggerate the risk of a vote by the UK to leave the EU.

Prime Minister David Cameron (left) and Boris Johnson, as voters trust Mr Johnson to tell the truth about Europe more than they trust Mr Cameron, a new poll revealed yesterday

He must now tell us urgently how many businesses has he cut secret deals with? Who are they and what were they promised in return?’ Mr Baker added: ‘This should come as no surprise – big corporates do well out of the EU because they can afford well-paid lobbyists and lawyers to stitch up the rules.

‘The same cannot be said for hard-working families who have to wait longer for NHS treatment and have seen living standards fall.’

Serco denied there was any link between support for the EU and trying to secure state contracts.

The company said: ‘We have contracts worth around £130million a year with European institutions such as the European Commission and the European Space Agency, and it is part of a strategy to build the business we do with European institutions. We believe that if Britain left the EU, it would be more difficult for us to win EU government contracts, and we regard this as a risk to the business.’

Yesterday, Mr Johnson also attacked big businesses over the way they are lobbying to keep Britain inside the EU.

He said: ‘There is a parade of big businesses coming out from Downing Street signing letters saying that they agree with every jot and tittle of EU regulation.

‘Well, of course they agree with an open-border immigration policy because it means they don’t, for instance, have to worry too much about us getting local people.

‘They think they can just get a steady supply of unskilled or skilled labour from abroad and what is the result?’ Mr Soames, who is the grandson of Winston Churchill, said he would argue ‘ferociously’ for the UK to remain in the EU whatever the result of the PM’s renegotiation.

He was also a signatory to No10’s pro-EU business letter in February this year.

WHAT THE PRIME MINISTER TOLDS MPs … AS HE SCHEMED IN PRIVATE

‘I am not arguing – and I will never argue – that Britain couldn’t survive outside the European Union. We are the fifth largest economy in the world. The biggest defence player in Europe with one of the most of extensive and influential diplomatic networks on the planet.

‘The question is not could Britain succeed outside the European Union, it is how will we be most successful? How will Britain be most prosperous? How will we create the most jobs? … How will we be most secure? And I’ve always said the best answers to those questions can be found within a reformed European Union.

‘But let me say again, if we can’t secure these changes, I rule nothing out.’ 

 ‘Thank you for a very useful meeting last week. There were two points I thought I might follow up on. The first is how to mobilise corporates to look carefully at the risks Brexit represents.

‘I am working with Peter Chadlington and Stuart Rose (the head of Britain Stronger in Europe) with a view to contacting FTSE 500 companies who have annual reports due for publication before June and persuading them that they should include Brexit in the list of key risks…

‘During the Scottish referendum campaign we managed to garner a lot of publicity as a series of companies formally stated in their annual reports that independence for Scotland was a major risk.’  

 TO HOUSE OF COMMONS, FEB 3                       LETTER FROM SERCO BOSS, FEB 8

In recent years, Serco has secured contracts worth £3.2billion to run private prisons in England and Wales. It has also won contracts with the Home Office worth £704million to run immigration removal centres and accommodation for asylum seekers.

Since joining the company in 2014, former Eton pupil Mr Soames has been entitled to a salary and pension worth more than £1.1million a year. He can also pocket an annual bonus of up to £1.275million.

Last night, the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign seized on comments by Daniel Hannan MEP, who sits on Vote Leave’s campaign committee.

Mr Hannan said the UK could adopt a model similar to Switzerland or Norway.

Remain campaigners said this would mean continuing to allow the free movement of EU migrants.

Gove slams Remaining Campaign for “treating Voters like children”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3593784/David-Cameron-s-EU-sham-exposed-Leaked-letter-reveals-PM-hatched-anti-Brexit-plot-telling-voters-campaign-leave.html

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