Prime Minister David Cameron is going to set out the benefits of Britain remaining in the EU amid claims that his campaign has focused too heavily on the risks of leaving.
In a speech on Thursday to car workers in Chester, Cameron is expected to argue that full access to the EU’s single market allows British businesses to sell goods to 500 million people without the threat of tariffs and trade obstacles.
The speech comes after Stephen Hawking and 150 other top scientists claimed a Brexit would be a “disaster” for the science industry and UK universities.
Cameron is set to present a more upbeat case for Britain remaining in the 28-nation bloc after being accused by Brexit campaigners including government ministers John Whittingdale and Iain Duncan Smith of being pessimistic and scaring the public into voting to remain on June 23.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Duncan Smith said the Prime Minister has a “low opinion” of British people and accused his campaign to remain in the EU of talking down the country’s capabilities.
BBC political correspondent Eleanor Garnier says the Prime Minister will use his visit to the North West to hit back at his critics and accuse them of being willing to sacrifice economic prosperity for wider political purposes.
“The question isn’t whether Britain could still be a great country outside Europe,” the Prime Minister will say. “Of course it could. The question is: where will our economy be stronger; where will our children have more opportunities.”
Cameron’s latest speech will coincide with Commons leader Chris Grayling’s visit to London where he is expected to use a speech of his own to criticise the Prime Minister for failing to return powers to the UK in the membership renegotiations.
The BBC says Grayling, a member of the cross-party anti-EU campaign Vote Leave, will argue the terms of Britain’s revised membership will not reduce the extent to which the EU “governs” the lives of British people.
The Prime Minister and Grayling will deliver their speeches just a day after The Sun published a story claiming The Queen is in favour of a Brexit.
Buckingham Palace rejected the story as “nonsense” and submitted a formal complaint to press regulator IPSO.
The British public will decide on 23 June whether the country should remain an EU member or pull out in a referendum that David Cameron describes as “the most important decision for this country in a generation”.
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