Both the “Leave” and “Remain” camps who are battling over the issue of Britain’s EU membership ahead of Thursday’s referendum have clashed in the last televised campaign debate at Wembley Arena in London.
For almost two hours both sides grappled with questions in front of an audience of 6,000 people on the issues of immigration, the economy and sovereignty.
Former mayor of London and leading campaigner for the “Leave” camp, Boris Johnson claimed the UK needed control over its trade policy:
Our entire trade negotiating policy is consecrated, is handed over to the EU commission, where only 3,6% of the officials actually come from our country. And it is no wonder, that they have…not been able to do essential free trade deal with China, India, with all the great economies of the world including America.”
Johnson went onto suggest June 23 could become Britain’s Independence Day if the result was a Brexit.
Jobs depend on EU
Meanwhile newly election Mayor of London Sadiq Khan too issue with Johnson’s outlook on trade and business:
“Boris you should know better – because I speak to businesses round our city every day of the week and you know what, half-a-million jobs in London are directly dependent on the European Union. I speak to companies around the world – more than 60 percent of the world’s leading companies – Sony, AIG Insurance, Bloomberg – have their European headquarters, guess where? Here in London. Half of our exports go to Europe. Boris, why have you suddenly changed your mind?”
For the “Leave” camp Andrea Leadsom it was more about safeguarding Britains’s democracy.
“We have this one last chance to keep our democracy”,
andrealeadsom</a> tells <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BBCDebate?src=hash">#BBCDebate</a> <a href="https://t.co/slOCKdj5NP">https://t.co/slOCKdj5NP</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EUref?src=hash">#EUref</a> <a href="https://t.co/pp99VzXgll">https://t.co/pp99VzXgll</a></p>— BBC News (UK) (BBCNews) June 21, 2016
While MP Ruth Davidson later made an impassioned speech about Britain being stronger in Europe.
RuthDavidsonMSP</a>'s positive, passionate closing words at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BBCdebate?src=hash">#BBCdebate</a>. Make sure your friends see it.<a href="https://t.co/NOFnJTRXLF">https://t.co/NOFnJTRXLF</a></p>— Stronger In (StrongerIn) June 21, 2016
Earlier in a hastily arranged ten minute statement outside Downing Street, Prime Minister David Cameron
appealed to voters across the generations:
“To put it as clearly as I can our economic security is paramount. It is stronger if we stay. If we leave we put it at risk. That is a risk to jobs, a risk to families, a risk to our children’s future and there is no going back.”
With less than a day now before the polls open pundits are still unsure which way the British voters will go. What is for sure, after the divisive nature of the campaign its unclear how normal politics will be resumed.