Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cameron Comes out Fighting over Eu Migrants; Migration Figures 'Disappointing' but Brexit Will Wreck Economy, Says Pm

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cameron Comes out Fighting over Eu Migrants; Migration Figures 'Disappointing' but Brexit Will Wreck Economy, Says Pm

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Murphy Political Editor

DAVID CAMERON today delivered an impassioned warning that Britain quitting the European Union in a desperate attempt to curb immigration would "wreck the economy".

The Prime Minister came out fighting at the G7 summit in Japan after Boris Johnson seized on a rise in migrant workers to claim that leaving the EU was the only way to reclaim border controls.

Mr Cameron conceded that the latest official statistics showing 333,000 net migrants in the year to December, including a record 184,000 from EU countries, were "a disappointment".

But he went on: "Let me say this to those who want to leave the single market and cause all the damage that would do to jobs and to growth and to investment, I do not believe for one minute that the right way to control immigration is to wreck our economy."

With 27 days left before the June 23 referendum, the clash confirmed that economic priorities Continued on Page 7 Cameron appeal: Listen to our friends in G7 and vote to stay Continued from Page 1 |||versus immigration control is set to dominate the final debate before Britain decides. On a day of intense debate: Leaders of the G7 countries -- the UK, US, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Canada -- concluded in a statement at the end of the Japan summit that a British exit would be a "serious risk to growth" across the world. Mr Cameron hailed the statement and urged voters to "listen to our friends".

Arts chiefs in London warned that the capital's valuable market in masterpieces and artefacts could be driven overseas by EU moves towards a new import licence regime.

Leading Brexit campaigner Mr Johnson looked set to visit Brussels to respond in person to a senior European Commission official who claimed that the Tory MP running Britain would be "a horror scenario".

The Prime Minister stood by his previous comments that the UK could "thrive" outside the EU, saying: "Britain is an amazing country. We can find our way whatever the British people choose but the question is how do we do best?" Mr Cameron said there was now "a consensus" that the UK economy would pay a price for a Brexit, citing warnings from the International Monetary Fund and economic body the OECD. …

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