DAVID CAMERON was last night compared to hapless WWII leader Neville Chamberlain as he suffered a Referendum mauling on immigration, The Sun reports. In his final TV debate of the campaign, the PM was told his EU renegotiation was as worthless as the paper it was written on given that any of other 27 EU heads of state could veto his reforms after Thursday’s historic vote.
In a brutal BBC Question Time special, a furious member of the audience told Mr Cameron he was just another Chamberlain – who famously flew back to Britain from a meeting with Adolf Hitler in 1938 to declare peace in our time. The confrontation came as PM refused twice to say his promise of bringing net migration down to 100,000 a year remained a target – instead calling it an “ambition”.
And he for the first time admitted the Government needed to do more to tackle sky-high EU migration. Under relentless questioning he listed minor changes he had manged to achieve, but said: “Obviously this is an ongoing process. “The more we can do the better”.
He separately refused to answer when asked FOUR TIMES whether he would veto Turkey’s membership of the EU – instead insisting that it wasn’t an issue. The PM entered his final showdown desperately trying to focus on the economy. But for almost half the entire 45 minute debate, he was challenged on the total lack of control the Government has over EU immigration to this country.
The PM insisted Britain would be able to reduce bring numbers down through reforms agreed in principle with the EU to limit a new migrants’ access to in-work benefits for four years. But furious members of the studio audience pointed out any EU leader could veto it immediately after the Referendum.
The PM was asked: “Mr Cameron, you say that your policy that you have negotiated with Europe cannot be overruled, it can. “Are you really the 21st century Neville Chamberlain waving a piece of paper in the air saying to the public this is what I have, I have this promise that a dictatorship in Europe can overrule?
Mr Cameron hit back by promising the EU would honour the vow – insisting Brussels was “not some emperor or dictatorship”. It sparked the first round of applause of the entire night for the PM as he insisted Britain shouldn’t “walk out of the door” but stay and fight.
Yet Brexit campaigners last night were jubilant that yet again a Referendum debate was dominated by their trump cards – immigration and Turkey. One questioner begged the PM to understand that unless Britain was able to take back control of its borders “obviously” people will head across the Channel.
To applause, she said: “We’ve got our public sector, our NHS that is under tremendous strain at the moment – you’re not doing anything to invest into them to make them better. “Knowing full well if we don’t put a limit on this immigration, and the only way to do that is to leave this single market, then everything is just going to get flooded.
“You’re not doing anything to counterbalance all the immigration coming into these services?” Mr Cameron accepted that it was “very challenging” controlling immigration. And he admitted it had been “quite difficult” bringing down immigration from outside the EU.
But he insisted leaving the EU and the single market was not the right way to bring the numbers down. He said it would “damage our economy, cost jobs and hurt British working families in the process. Earlier in the evening the PM dismissed allegations of scaremongering when challenged why both campaigns had been so negative.
But he stood by claims that murderous fanatics IS would be happy if voters back a Brexit on June 23. “I certainly wasn’t comparing the referendum to ISIS or Daesh, I was simply saying that I think one of the strongest arguments for Remaining in the EU is that we are stronger together,” he said. “That we are safer together, we do face a dangerous and insecure world.
“I’ve been your PM for the last six years and I sit in those meetings and I see that we work together to try face down these threats. “And I think we will be stronger if we work together against terrorism “Work together against Putin and his aggression.
“It must be better to try stay together, to work together than to be separate.”