In Or Out

In Or Out

Last push for votes in England as EU leaders sound Brexit warning

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Print this page Email A Friend!

LONDON, England (AFP) – Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday invoked Britain’s wartime spirit in a last-ditch bid to win votes on the eve of a knife-edge referendum on European Union (EU) membership that has put the continent on alert.

"Winston Churchill didn’t give up on European democracy... and we shouldn’t walk away," Cameron told a crowd in Birmingham, his final rally in a campaign that has been described as one of Britain’s most bitter ever.

EU leaders warned that leaving the 28-member bloc would be final, as two polls indicated the ‘Leave’ camp was just ahead of ‘Remain’.

"If you jump out of the aeroplane, you cannot clamber back through the cockpit hatch," Cameron warned, his sleeves rolled up and pointing for emphasis.

"Put your children’s future first."

As planes with banners from the rival campaigns flew over London to woo the undecided, two polls showed the ‘Leave’ side with the slimmest of leads, both within the margin of error.

"Our latest poll suggests that Leave is in a stronger position than Remain," said Luke Taylor of TNS, after their poll put ‘Leave’ on 43 per cent and ‘Remain’ on 41 per cent.

Record numbers of voters have registered for the ballot, and Taylor emphasised the result could all come down to turnout.

A Brexit vote would mean Britain would be the first country to leave the European Union in the bloc’s 60-year history, leaving it in uncharted waters at an already troubled time.

"Out is out," European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said in Brussels, dismissing any talk of a post-vote renegotiation just hours before polls open.

French President Francois Hollande warned an exit would be "irreversible", while German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she wanted Britain to stay but that the decision was down to the British people.

The German and French leaders will meet in Berlin next week for talks Hollande said would work "towards relaunching the European project", already struggling with an unprecedented migrant crisis.

Cameron’s main rival in the ‘Leave’ campaign and possible successor, Boris Johnson, said Britain stood on the brink of "independence day" from Europe.

"I do think that we are on the verge, possibly, of an extraordinary event in the history of our country and indeed in the whole of Europe," Johnson said in eastern England.

Nigel Farage, leader of the anti-EU UK Independence Party, said: "I genuinely believe we are going to win this."

US Republican White House hopeful Donald Trump, who arrives in Britain today, also spoke out on Brexit again, saying he thought the country should "go it alone".

A British withdrawal would trigger a lengthy exit negotiation, leading to the loss of unfettered access to its partners in the 28-nation market and forcing the country to strike its own trade accords across the world.

In Europe, the referendum has raised concerns of a domino effect of exit votes that would imperil the integrity of the bloc, already buffeted by the eurozone and migration crises.

Though many voters fret over the financial consequences of a Brexit, others relish the prospect of taking back power from Brussels and reining in high levels of immigration.

"I think we need to make our contribution to Europe and to the global economy. And the best way we can do that is by being in it," Chet Patel, a 44-year-old telecoms worker told

Pat Hand, a 50-year-old construction worker, said he would be voting to leave the EU. "The country is in an absolute mess," he added.

Momentum for the ‘Leave’ campaign, however, appeared to be upended with last week’s killing of pro-EU lawmaker Jo Cox of the main Opposition Labour party, which prompted concerns the campaign had been divisive.

"Jo’s killing was political. It was an act of terror," Cox’s husband Brendan told thousands of mourners who gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square to mark what would have been her 42nd birthday.

Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who survived an assassination attempt by Taliban extremists for advocating education for girls, told the crowd: "I’m here today as a living proof that they can’t win with bullets."

A floral tribute to Cox was also towed along the River Thames to a mooring outside the Houses of Parliament.

Though the polls show the race is virtually neck-and-neck, bookmaker Betfair said their latest odds implied a 76 per cent chance of ‘Remain’ winning.

In the latest surveys released, Opinium put the ‘Leave’ camp at 45 per cent and ‘Remain’ at 44 per cent, while TNS gave them a lead of 43 per cent to 41 per cent for staying.

With everything to play for, a string of prominent figures rolled out last-minute endorsements.

James Bond star Daniel Craig and Irish rock band U2 endorsed ‘Remain’, while bosses from nearly 1,300 of Britain’s leading businesses warned in the Time that Brexit would endanger jobs.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon